Hermie Sadler will make his first Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series start since 2012 in October, driving Tommy Baldwin Racing’s #7 Chevrolet at Martinsville Speedway. The announcement was made Wednesday.
“Excited to drive @MartinsvilleSwy for Tommy Baldwin with @VirginiaLottery !!” Sadler tweeted.
The older brother of Xfinity Series veteran and TBR plate racer Elliott Sadler, Hermie Sadler has not raced in the Cup Series since the 2012 Martinsville spring race, where he drove the #33 for Richard Childress Racing to a 31st-place finish.
The Virginian also competes part-time in the Xfinity Series, running sporadic short track races at Bristol Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway; in 2016, he drove the #14 Toyota for TriStar Motorsports at the two tracks, finishing 34th and 28th. Both of his career NXS victories have come at a short track, doing so at Orange County Speedway in 1993 and 1994.
Sadler made his Cup debut in 1996, finishing 37th at Dover. Over 11 years of Cup competition, he has run 66 races with a best finish of 18th at Richmond in 2002.
The Virginia Lottery has been a longtime sponsor of the Emporia native, working together for over 20 years. In 2001, the Lottery sponsored Sadler when he formed SCORE Motorsports. The team fielded the #02 for Sadler on a part-time basis in the Cup Series, doing so until 2005, when it was sold and became Peak Fitness Racing; the team’s assets have since become part of Front Row Motorsports. A decade later, when Sadler joined TriStar in the Xfinity (then Nationwide) Series, he reunited with the Lottery.
Having scaled back to a part-time schedule for 2017, TBR has run seven races so far. In three plate races, Elliott Sadler finished 20th, 17th and 21st. With Hermie joining the team, it will make the first time since 2007 that brothers have driven the same car in a Cup season; that year, Kenny and Mike Wallace drove the #88 for Robert Yates Racing in five combined races (Kenny in four, Mike in one) as replacement drivers for an injured Ricky Rudd.
J.J. Yeley also drove for Baldwin, running four races in the #7 at Texas, Charlotte, Indianapolis and Bristol, finishing 27th, 26th, 37th and 30th, respectively. If Hermie Sadler qualifies for the Martinsville race, it will be TBR’s 400th Cup race.
Sadler will join Michael Waltrip as Fox Sports reporters to have made Cup starts in 2017. Waltrip, who serves as a color commentator for Camping World Truck Series races, ran his final Cup race in February’s Daytona 500. Sadler currently works as a pit reporter for Truck races on FS1.
The First Data 500 will take place on October 29.
Featured image by 411Mania