Hermie Sadler has over 200 Nascar Busch Series races under his career. He made 10 Nascar Nextel Cup Series in 2003. He is one of the newer drivers on the Nascar circuit next to his brother Elliot Sadler who is more well known. Besides a Nascar driver, he has also been involved in professional wrestling.
Chris Yandek: First off congrats to your brother Elliot Sadler for winning the Radio Shack 500 on April 4, 2004.
Hermie Sadler: “What a great day. We just got back from the airport where we picked him up and there were probably 25 to 30 newspapers and TV people there. It was a great welcome home for him. A big party for him tomorrow. It’s gonna be a fun week.”
CY: Do you feel the sport of Nascar is getting more mainstream sports attention as the years go on?
HS: “I don’t think there is any question. The new markets were getting to on the west coast and Las Vegas, California, and Texas. Those places are growing as it was a southern redneck white sport to a nationwide and worldwide sport. No question about that.”
CY: Do you think many normal sports fans relate to Dale EarnhartJr., the guy they cheer for because of the death of his father?
HS: “Dale Earnhart was our biggest name no doubt. His passing brought a lot of attention to the sport. Some of it was positive and some of it was negative. For the most part it helped create a fan base and a whole new following. We continue to build on that over the last three to four years. Having the name Earnhart is connected with Nascar. Dale Earnhart, Jr. has done a great job of carrying that torch and creating an attraction for new types of Nascar fans. He certainly has helped attract new young fans you wouldn’t expect.”
CY: In your first Nextel Cup Series race in 2004, you finished 31st at the Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway and started 42nd. Thoughts on your first Nextel Cup Series race of 2004?
HS: “It was ok. Certainly not great. The Nextel Cup operation is a work in process. We basically used it to help build and do some testing for our Busch series effort which is our main focus. Nascar this year changed the arrow dynamics and tire compounds that we are running. We use it as an opportunity to get some testing in because we haven’t put ourselves in a place to do some new testing this year. We ran that race to get some information.”
CY: You have had over 200 Nascar Busch Series races in your racing career and at one point started 173 consecutive races. What’s the most important thing to remember and that you have learned through all of your Nascar Busch Series races?
HS: “Well, its really hard to because our sport changes from week to week and certainly year to year as far as the rules, competition, and race tracks we are going to. When I first started there were a lot of short track races and now there are more intermediate speedway races. What you did in the past doesn’t really help you or hurt you as far as now. Our sport runs so many different places, obstacles, and competition is so much tougher. We need to learn to adapt to the new cars, race tracks, competition, and try to do things to keep our teams up there as far as technology and how we prepare our equipment.”
CY: Tell me about your first race ever on the Nascar circuit.
HS: “In 1992 I ran a Nascar Busch Series race at Orange County Speedway. You never forget your first one. We ended up having an accident, but we ran really good. We got a good feel for things and started to attract some attention from car owners. It was a good race. I was fortunate enough over the last 11 years to be able to do what I love to do. Once you get racing in your blood, it’s hard to get it out. We have been working real hard to maintain a presence and a competitive presence.”
CY: Who did you idolize to get involved in racing as a career?
HS: “I didn’t idolize anybody. We just loved racing. My dad use to own a dirt car back when I was five, six, or seven years old. He use to take me every weekend to the races and I use to watch him make the pits in the back of the truck. I have been going with my dad to watch races my entire life. Like I said, once you get it in your blood it’s hard to get it out. Have been doing some type of racing ever since.”
CY: Any rivarly between you and your brother Elliot Sadler?
HS: “No. It couldn’t be further from the truth. There are always people trying to make it into something like that, but we support each other a great deal. Nothing but support.”
CY: How does a Nascar driver end up a fan of professional wrestling?
HS: “Well, I was a fan of professional wrestling before I started even racing. From the time I was really small we would watch on Saturday’s the Jim Crockett shows that use to come on TV Saturdays here at home. My following recently of professional wrestling started when I met Dave and Earl Hebner in Richmond, Virginia nine or ten years ago. I called them up for tickets to a show in Virginia and they were big race fans and we struck up a friendship. I have created friendships with a lot of people in WWE and people in NWATNA with Jeff Jarett and those guys. A lot of wrestlers buy cars from me, as I am in the car business including The Rock who has gotten a couple cars from me. I create a lot of friendships through those associations. A lot of those guys come to the races and watch us, and we watch them too.”
CY: How did you end up getting hooked with the Jarrets and work with NWATNA?
HS: “Well, I met Jeff Jarrett seven or eight years ago when he was with WWE. Jeff is a good person and friend who comes and deals with us every year. He talked to me a lot when they were going to launch NWATNA. He wanted me to go on their first shows where I did some things and the fans seemed to get into it. We worked out a deal to have may come back and do a few more shows and I had a match with Ron Killings. They have sponsored me in a couple of races to help create awareness for their pay perviews. I think they are real close on a network TV deal. They are steadily growing their fan base. Professional wrestling needs more then one organization. Hopefully it will be good for everybody.”
CY: Do you intend to work with NWATNA again in the near future?
HS: “Oh sure. They’re in the middle of working on some programs and getting some stuff together to get some bigger pay perviews together. Probably around June or July, you will hear announcements about me being involved with them again.”
CY: Final comments on your Nascar career?
HS: “I would like to see our Nascar Busch program turn around and hopefully winning would be a stretch for us. We try to show improvement every time we go to the race track and if we can do that I will be happy with our progress.”
For more information on Hermie Sadler check out www.sadlerfanclub.com