KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Elliott Sadler is back in a Sprint Cup car this weekend for the first of three scheduled races with Joe Gibbs Racing, and is hoping to show enough to land a full-time ride for next season.
Sadler qualified 24th for Sunday's race at Kansas Speedway.
"I can't thank the guys enough for giving me this chance," he said. "It's neat. It's fun. I feel like a kid in a candy store all over again, almost like the first day of high school."
Sadler will also attempt to qualify for both races at Talladega in a No. 81 Toyota sponsored by Alert Energy Gum, a new product that is supposed to hit stores this week.
JGR fields full-time Sprint Cup rides for Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch and Matt Kenseth. Sadler drives the No. 11 entry for Gibbs in the Nationwide Series, and two of his three starts – including this weekend at Kansas – will come when that series has the week off.
Sadler has three wins in 430 career Sprint Cup races, but he hasn't made a start since last year's Daytona 500. His last full-time ride came in 2010 with Richard Petty Motorsports.
"There's a lot that goes into running a couple races here and there. It's a big commitment," Sadler said. "I understand the opportunity that's been placed in front of me, and we want to make the most of it, take advantage of it and see where this road leads us."