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Sadler leaves Yates

MOORESVILLE – Elliott Sadler will be leaving the Robert Yates Racing team.

The Emporia, Virginia native asked out of his contract with the NASCAR Nextel Cup owner and was granted his release.

&uot;We would like to thank Elliott for his commitment to our organization over the past four seasons and for all the success we’ve enjoyed together,&uot; Robert Yates said in a press release.

Sadler characterized the last week of his life as &uot;probably…the toughest week of my life as far as decisions being made.&uot;

For the past four seasons, Sadler has been behind the wheel of the M&M’s No. 38 for Robert Yates Racing. During that time, he has scored two victories and was in the inaugural ‘Race for the Chase.’

For his part, Sadler said his decision to leave RYR was not about personalities, but about the future of Nextel Cup Racing.

&uot;I have decided to leave Robert Yates Racing, not from my relationship with Robert or Doug Yates,&uot; he said. &uot; They’re great, great people and I’ve definitely enjoyed driving for those guys, but pretty much just have come to differences of opinion on which way the sport is going.&uot;

Sadler is the second driver to announce their departure from Robert Yates Racing this season. Dale Jarrett and sponsor UPS will both leave RYR after 2006. Both have signed with Michael Waltrip Racing.

While Jarrett made his intentions clear, Sadler said early speculation about his signing to drive the number 19 of Ray Evernham could be premature.

&uot;I know there’s a lot of speculation and a lot of stuff going around the garage and TV and news,&uot; he said. &uot;But as of right now I do not have a ride for next year.

&uot;I appreciate you guys getting it out that I’m free now because my phone has been ringing off the hook this week,&uot; he continued. &uot; Some teams you guys know that I’m talking to and some teams that you guys have no idea who that I’m talking to.

I actually did not know that there were that many seats available for next year until this week, so now I’m kind of re-thinking my thought process and what I think I need to do to get in a really good race car.

&uot;I’m pretty excited as far as some of the chances that have come up and some of the talks I’ve had this week, but nothing concrete yet,&uot; he added.

Sadler, who currently sits 18th in points, will race the rest of this season for Robert Yates. No driver has been named to succeed him in the 38.