Updated: Wednesday, 22 Aug 2012, 6:08 AM EDT
Published : Tuesday, 21 Aug 2012, 6:41 PM EDT
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - NASCAR nationwide points leader Elliott Sadler stopped by Naval Station Oceana Tuesday for a meet-and-greet with military members as well as a ride in a flight stimulator.
The Emporia native was in town to act as a "bridge" between the military and NASCAR.
"To bring Elliott and to see the connection between our sport and the military is fantastic," President of Richmond International Raceway Dennis Bickmeier said.
Sadler told WAVY.com he saw parallels between his sport and the military, especially regarding speed.
"We have to do the exact same thing, yes they're doing it at a whole different level," Sadler said.
This season, Sadler's car has made its way into the victory lane four times, good enough for a 22-point lead in the Nationwide Series.
"You have to adjust your plan depending on the race and being the points leader, we look at that week in and week out," Sadler said.
Sadler has four cousins who are currently serving in the military. For him, it was a chance to say thank you to pilots like Lt. Dan Solfelt who spends just as much time working on these jets as Sadler's pit crew on his car.
"We're all working 8 to 12 hour days," Solfelt said. "It takes a whole lot to get these things flying and keep them airborne."
While this may be a road less traveled for Sadler, he says he is hoping to apply Tuesday's experience to his racing.
"I have to trust and depend on my pit crew to be successful week in and week out and if we can defend on each other we can win this championship," Sadler said.
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