Friday, March 28, 2008
Updated: April 2, 11:32 AM ET
Injured Sadler's availability to race at Martinsville uncertain
By David Newton
MARTINSVILLE, Va. -- Elliott Sadler says there's a 50-50 chance he'll finish Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Martinsville Speedway after sustaining a lower back injury earlier in the week.
Sadler was held out of the start of Friday's practice in the No. 19 car for Gillett Evernham Motorsports after hurting his back during his regular workout routine on Wednesday.
Truck series driver Dennis Setzer was in the car for most of the session, but Sadler took enough laps to get a feel before qualifying. He will drive the first part of Saturday's practice and be on standby for Sunday.
"I'll definitely start the race but how far I'll go I can't tell you," said Sadler, obviously in pain.
Sadler said he was standing around with a group of friends when he felt a sharp pain. He discounted reports that the injury occurred while playing golf.
"I know I swing the golf club hard, but I don't swing it that hard," he said.
Sadler also said the injury did not occur while cheering for his favorite basketball team, top-ranked North Carolina, during NCAA tournament games in Charlotte, N.C.
In fact, Sadler canceled plans to attend Thursday night's game and likely won't attend Saturday's.
David Newton covers NASCAR for ESPN.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.