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Sadler scores Truck win

- jutter@charlotteobserver.com
Saturday, Jul. 31, 2010

LONG POND, Pa. It's been a long time coming.

Elliott Sadler ended more than four-year winless drought in NASCAR competition with a victory Saturday in the inaugural Pocono Mountains 125 at Pocono Raceway.

It was Sadler's first win in Trucks in eight career starts and he becomes the 21st driver to win at least one race in all three of NASCAR's top series.

The winless streak had extended to Sept. 5, 2004, when Sadler won at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in a Cup race.

"You don't know how much this means to me," said Sadler in Victory Lane.

"Pretty much the last lap, tears were in my eyes. Once we crossed the white (flag), it was ours to win."

Kasey Kahne finished second, which ended his Truck series undefeated streak. Kahne had won both of his previous series races, at Darlington, S.C., and Homestead, Fla., in 2004.

Saturday's race required two green-white-checkered overtimes to decide the winner.

Kahne restarted in the lead the first time. He was shuffled back as Sadler moved around him for the lead just before a wreck involving Ron Hornaday forced a second.

This time, Sadler put distance on the rest of the field early and was several truck lengths ahead of Kahne at the finish line.

"This is a huge victory for me today. It's a great feeling," an emotional Sadler said.

"I'm still here and I still want to race and be a part of this sport and win races.

"You sit at home a lot wondering if you're ever going to make it back to Victory Lane, if you're ever going to be in that position again."

Matt Crafton finished third, Aric Almirola was fourth and rookie Justin Lofton finished fifth. Todd Bodine still leads the series standings.

"These trucks are kind of fun here and the way they suck up in the draft," said Kahne, who drove the No. 18 Toyota for Kyle Busch Motorsports. "It was pretty exciting and a lot of fun."

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