Naturally, Sadler’s first Modified race will take place in his home state of Virginia. Sadler’s effort is supported the Stanley Law Group, which is also sponsoring Saturday’s “Stanley Law Group Supports Small Business 99.”
WATCH LIVE: SMART Modified Tour at Motor Mile
“A couple of weeks ago I was at a dinner with Senator Bill Stanley, who is involved with the sponsorship of the race this weekend,” explained Sadler. “He and I have a lawsuit going on against the Governor of Virginia. Chris Williams happened to be in town that same day, we were playing in a golf tournament together to support the Capitol Police of Virginia.
“We got to talking and Bill decided he wanted to be involved in the sponsorship of the race to support grassroots short track racing in Virginia. He decided it might be a good idea if I drove in the race and that’s how it started.”
Sadler will have an opportunity to compete in top-notch equipment for the race, piloting the No. 17 PSR Racing entry that has been knocking on the door of wins all season on the SMART Modified Tour with drivers such as Chuck Hossfeld and John Smith.
“Chris helped me coordinate with Phil Stefanalli . I appreciate his guys, on short notice, putting me a car together on short notice.”
Saturday’s race marks the first appearance of Tour-type Modifieds at Motor Mile Speedway since 2006, when L.W. Miller won a NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified Tour event at the Radford, Virginia facility. On several occasions in 2021, SMART’s arrival has doubled as the return of ground-pounding Modifieds to the region. While Modifieds had faded from relevance in an area dominated by Late Model Stock Car competition, much of Virginia’s racing heritage is rooted in Modified competition.
Virginia has a lot of history when it comes to racing and short track racing. I think this tour has the opportunity to help rekindle some of that, bring back some of that. My first memories of racing at all, my dad sponsored people like Clayton Mitchell. He was a way-ahead-of-his-time car builder of Modifieds back in the day. Jack Tant was the engine builder, and Ray Hendrick actually drove for them back in the early days. My dad used to sponsor them some. – Hermie Sadler
“My first memories of racing is watching those old-style cars race across Virginia. I think the SMART Modified Tour, with the types of cars, the quality of racing, some of the names they’re getting back into the sport, the length of the races, the competition, all of those things, has an opportunity to fill a void. One thing we’d like to do is, if we can, do a series within the series, so to speak, at the Virginia short tracks. Do something similar to what they do in the Late Model Stock Car divisions, a series within a series.”
Of course, this will also mark Sadler’s first laps since an appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019 at Richmond Raceway. That, along with his first competitive laps in a Modified, means Sadler has a lot to learn in a short amount of practice time this weekend.
Still, he is excited to take his best shot at the stout field of SMART Modified racers and support the series.
“I haven’t driven anything in a couple of years, and I’ve never driven an open-wheel Modified. I’ve got to make my learning curve pretty quick. This is a very competitive series, but I’m excited. I’m excited to get behind the wheel, I’m excited to do it in my home state of Virginia. I’m excited to do it in partnership with Senator Bill Stanley, and I’m excited to do it to support Chris Williams and his effort to grow the fan base in this series. He has a lot of racing and NASCAR experience and he’s passionate to grow this series.”
Race fans unable to attend Saturday’s race at Motor Mile Speedway will be able to watch live on Speed51.TV by clicking here.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Director of Digital Content – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Hermie Sadler on Twitter