Sadler will race Nationwide Series
FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Elliott Sadler will race full time in the Nationwide Series the next two years for Kevin Harvick Inc. in a Chevrolet sponsored by Citi Financial, Harvick and Sadler announced Friday.
"I'm looking for my first championship as a driver," Sadler said. "We're definitely going to win some races."
Sadler, 35, has raced full time in Sprint Cup for 12 seasons. But his contract with Richard Petty Motorsports was not renewed for 2012.
Sadler raced earlier this season for KHI in the Camping World Truck Series and won a race at Pocono.
"It was one of the biggest wins I've had in my career with all things that have happened to me lately," Sadler said. "I showed we could be competitive."
Harvick said he is thrilled to have a veteran like Sadler race one of his cars for a title next season.
"From the first day Elliott sat in our truck, he led laps and was competitive," Harvick said. "It's great to have someone come in that wants to win.
"I know some things have not worked out the way he has planned, but as a company, it's about seeing someone in the car that can be successful. That's where we're headed."
Sadler said he has no problem taking a step back and racing in the lower series. He said Dale Jarrett, one of his best friends, took a similar path before coming back to win the Cup title in 1999. "I've leaned on him very hard for advice on this," Sadler said of Jarrett. "He's been there, done that. We talked about how sometimes you have a take a road with a lot of curves and blind spots to get where you want to go."
But Sadler said he is fully committed to the Nationwide Series for the next two years.
"I feel like I'm getting my life back on track," Sadler said. "This is the path I decided to take because of the commitment Kevin and Delana [Harvick's wife] have given me. I owe them a total commitment the next two years.
NASCAR is considering a rule change to keep full-time Cup drivers in 2011 from racing for the Nationwide title, so Sadler won't have to race Cup stars for the Nationwide crown.
"I view myself as a person that can win a championship," Sadler said. "And whoever wants to win it will have to race through us next year. This is the best opportunity I have to win races. We're gonna make the most of it."
Terry Blount is a senior writer for ESPN.com.