The flu knows no season


Elliott Sadler, driver of the #2 Hunt Brothers Pizza Chevrolet, stands in the garage during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway on July 21, 2012 in Joliet, Illinois. (Photo by Tyler Barrick/Getty Images for NASCAR)

JOLIET, Ill. – Nationwide Series drivers Elliott Sadler and defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse Jr. both came to Chicago under the weather, each one battling a flu bug as they race for $100,000 in the second race of the Nationwide Insurance Dash 4 Cash.

Sadler spent nearly 36 hours in bed prior to coming to the track on Saturday morning.

“I think I got a stomach virus from my son,” Sadler said. “He had it last weekend.”

Even though Sadler tweeted in the morning that he was ailing, Richard Childress Racing teammate Austin Dillon, who won the opening Dash 4 Cash race last weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, apparently missed it.

When Sadler was asked about how he was feeling and revealed how sick he had actually been the last three days, he looked over at Dillon during a news conference in the speedway’s media center and quipped, “You might want to get away from me, Austin. Yeah, good move.”

Dillon moved his chair a few feet in the opposite direction and then covered his mouth.

“I didn’t know he was sick,” Dillon deadpanned.

On a more serious note, Sadler said he hopes to be close to normal health-wise in Sunday’s race, noting that hydration — particularly with temperatures expected in the low-to-mid 90s — will be key.

“I’m on the back side (of the illness) and hopefully by tomorrow we’ll feel a little better,” Sadler said. “I’ve just got to keep getting better. If I’d have raced yesterday or this morning, I’d have really had a hard time. But I actually feel myself getting better.

“We’ll gradually work our way back up fluid-wise and stuff like that to be make sure I’m hydrated as much as I can for (Sunday).”

Sadler couldn’t avoid one last good-natured shot at his teammate, who was scrambling for hand sanitizer when Sadler joked, “I hope it’s not contagious, Austin.”


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