Driver blasts FOX Sports for skipping over him to interview Brad Keselowski instead – For The Win
Despite finishing third in the Irish Hills 250 on Saturday, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Elliott Sadler was furious after the race at Michigan International Speedway.
Sadler – a former full-time Cup Series driver who now competes full-time in the lower series for Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s team, JR Motorsports – finished third to winner and Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin and rookie William Byron. FOX Sports obviously interviewed Hamlin afterward but skipped Sadler and instead chose to talk with the fourth-place finisher, Cup Series driver and Michigan native Brad Keselowski.
The 42-year-old driver leads the XFINITY Series in the standings with 460 points, ahead of JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier and Byron, who have 439 and 388 points respectively.
And he further explained after the race, via USA TODAY Sports:
“We took over the points lead and TV told me they didn’t have time to interview me,” Sadler said. “So I don’t understand that. They interviewed Brad Keselowski, who finished behind me and he’s a Cup driver. I would think he’d have plenty of time to talk tomorrow. So I don’t understand how you take the Xfinity regular season points leader and tell him you don’t have time for him when he has one of the longest-running sponsors in the sport.”
On Monday, FOX Sports responded to Sadler’s criticism and told For The Win via email:
“FOX Sports has a long, solid history with Elliott Sadler dating back to before his days as a member of Trackside on SPEED. We always have respected him, both on and off the track, and realize the pressures on drivers to provide television exposure for their sponsors. Elliott’s frustration is understandable, and we will seek to discuss with him privately as we continue to cover his team and sponsors in pursuit of the 2017 XFINITY Championship.”
There are several reasons FOX could have chosen Keselowski over Sadler. Keselowski was both a Cup Series and XFINITY Series champion, he has won more XFINITY races than Sadler this season, the race was in his home state and he’s just a bigger name.
Regardless of why, it’s not surprising the network chose a Cup Series driver over Sadler, and after two decades in NASCAR, it shouldn’t surprise him either.