Sadler Brothers Racing

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Sadler Brothers Racing was a motorsports team that competed in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series, NASCAR Busch Series and ARCA Racing Series part time from 1984 until 2008. The team was operated out of Nashville, Tennessee by father Earl Sadler Sr. and son Chester "Check" Sadler. The teams drivers included Sterling Marlin, Davey Allison, Steadman Marlin, Bobby Hamilton, Jr. and Jeremy Mayfield. The team most often ran the number 95.

Beginnings in Cup

Prior to their start in motorsports, father Earl Sadler Sr. and son Check operated their family trucking business, Sadler Brothers Trucking. In 1984, the duo decided to venture into auto racing, hiring second generation driver, and fellow Tennessean Sterling Marlin to pilot the No. 95 Chevrolet Monte Carlo beginning at the Winston 500 at Talladega. Marlin would start 28th, but score an impressive 12th place finish. [1] The team would run 11 of the last 20 races with Marlin, with a best finish of 8th at Bristol.[2] The 1985 season saw Marlin return on a part-time basis, as well as the addition of another Tennessean, Mike Alexander, for 4 races. Marlin would run the 1985 Daytona 500, and was having a strong run, but a broken oil pump with 12 laps to go left Marlin 16th.[3] Marlin ran another six races, finishing no better than 12th. Alexander would make his first start at the second Michigan, finishing 13th. Both Marlin and Alexander would depart the team by seasons end.


1986 saw the Sadler Brothers team again attempt a partial schedule, this time with another second generation driver, Davey Allison. Allison competed in four events for the team, scoring a best finsih of 12th at the Richmond Fairgrounds, while also missing the Daytona 500 as well as the spring Talladega event. [4] After sitting out the 1987 season, the team returned for two 8races in 1988 with Canadian driver Trevor Boys, and four races with Slick Johnson. Boys would make one of two races he attempted with the team, finishing 19th in the Daytona 500, while missing the spring Talladega race, while Johnson missed all four of his events. [5][6] The team would only attempt one race in 1989, missing the Daytona 500 with Boys behind the wheel. The Sadler Brothers team would sit out the 1990 season, but returned in 1991 with Eddie Bierschwale and Kerry Teague. Bierschwale would finish 27th in each of his events, while Teague would miss the Firecracker 400, and crash out of the Mello Yello 500, finishing 37th. In 1992, ARCA Series competitor Bob Schacht would run four races for the team, scoring a best finish of 19th.[7] For 1993, the team would hire Jeremy Mayfield to pilot the Shoney's/MAC Tools Ford. Mayfield, who competed full-time in ARCA for the team would make four attempts, only qualifying for one event, the 1993 Mello Yello 500.


Mayfield would return in 1994, along with fellow Kentuckian race driver Jeff Green. Mayfield would plan on a full schedule with the team with sponsorship from Shoney's. However, after only qualifying for four of seven races, Mayfield would depart for T.W. Taylor's 02 team and later Cale Yarborough Motorsports's 98 Ford. The Sadler team would not return until late in the season with Jeff Green, who would make two of three attempts. 1995 saw the team hire former Modified driver and part-time Busch series driver Doug Heveron. The pair would only attempt one race, missing the 1995 Daytona 500, which was won for the second straight year by the teams first driver, Sterling Marlin. Former Busch Series Champion Chuck Bown. Bown would qualify for three races, with a best finish of 25th at Talladega. Bown would be released following the Coca-Cola 600 in favor of Gary Bradberry. Bradberry would attempt the majority of the remaining schedule. Success was limited, with Bradberry scoring a best finish of 23rd. It was enough, however, for the team to bring him back for 1997. Bradberry would miss the first two races of the season, and would leave for Tri-Star Motorsports. He was replaced by rookie Ed Berrier. Berrier would only make three of twelve races he attempted. In 1998, former ARCA Racing Series Champion Andy Hillenburg would attempt the Daytona 500. Hillenburg and team appeared to be in trouble after only posting the 40th fastest speed in qualifying. Starting 20th in his duel, Hillenburg would fight his way up to finish in the top 10, allowing him to start 18th in the big race. Hillenburg would finish 29th, two laps down in a race that saw no major issues. This would be the teams final Cup race, as the next three attempts with Hillenburg would result in DNQ's.

Busch Series

Beginning in 1986, the team would attempt a partial NASCAR Busch Series schedule with Davey Allison, who would compete in six races for the team, scoring two top 10 finishes. The Sadler team would not make a return to the series until 1998, and would field cars for drivers almost exclusively from Tennessee. Second generation driver Bobby Hamilton Jr. would make six races in 12 attempts across the 1998 and 1999 seasons. The team would sit out 2000, but returned in 2001 with third generation driver, and son of the team's first driver, Sterling Marlin, Steadman Marlin. Marlin would run seven races in 2001 with sponsorship from Shoney's, and 6 races in 2002 with sponsorship from Shoney's, as well as Sun Drop Soda and Keystone Light Beer. Marlin would be replaced by ARCA racer David Keith in 2003. Keith, who had been with team in ARCA, scoring two wins in the series, would make five starts between 2003 and 2004. David Ragan would also attempt two races, making the season finale race at Homestead-Miami. 2005 saw the 95 car split between Bobby Hamilton, Eric Jones and Joe Ruttman. Hamilton would run five races, scoring one top 10 finish, while Jones and Ruttman ran one each, neither finishing their respective races. 2006 saw the return of Steadman Marlin for four events, and Chad Chaffin making one start. The team's final two races came in 2008 with rookie Willie Allen. Allen finished 29th at Daytona and 33rd at Nashville. Following the Nashville event, the team closed up permanently.

ARCA Racing Series

In 1989, the Sadler team began running the ARCA series with driver Slick Johnson finishing 10th at the season finale race at Atlanta. Tragedy would strike in 1990, as Johnson, while racing at Daytona was involved in a late race crash. Johnsonwouldmlater succumb to his injuries. The team would run only one other race that season, the final event at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, with Jeff Green behind the wheel. Ken Ragan would join the team for five races in 1991, scoring two top 10 finishes. The team would only run one race in 1992, with Jeremy Mayfield behind the wheel at Atlanta. 1993 saw Sadler Brothers Racing attempt the full schedule for the only time in team history. Jeremy Mayfield would run the full schedule, winning one race at the Flat Rock Speedway, scoring eight top five finishes and 10 top 10's on route to a fourth place points finish and Rookie of the Year honors.[8] 1994-1998 saw several drivers pilot the 95 part time, including Jeff Green in 94, Steve Clark in 96 and 97, sharing the ride with Ed Berrier in 97, with Andy Hillenburg and Bobby Hamilton Jr. sharing driving duties in 1998. Hamilton Jr. would return for 1999, sharing the ride with Carl Long, Joe Buford and Kevin Ray. David Keith took over driving duties in 2000, scoring two victories, and five top fives in nine races. Keith would qualify in fifth position for the 2001 race at Daytona, but problems led to Keith and the 95 not even taking the green flag. [9] Steadman Marlin would also drive two races, with little success. Driver Jerry Coble would make the only start for the team in 2002, starting second and finishing 10th at Salem. 2003 saw the return of Keith, who would make one start, finishing 34th after an engine issue at Nashville. The team would not run another race until 2007. Series regular Brian Conz would run Daytona, but would crash after only 34 laps. Former Hendrick development driver Blake Feese would run four races, scoring a top 10 finish in each.[10] The team would never attempt another ARCA race after.

After Racing

Sadler Brothers Trucking remains in business today. Earl Sadler Sr. passed away in 2009 at the age of 87.[11] Check Sadler would pass in 2015 at the age of 64.[12]


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