RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Hermie and Elliott Sadler were born six years apart, but both Emporia natives found their way to the same finish line, making it to the highest levels of NASCAR.
“It was a lot of fun, really,” Hermie Sadler said of growing up in a racing family. “There was enough age difference that every step of the way, we were in a position to kind of help each other. I got started in kart racing early on. Elliott came and joined that. It was a great family experience for us. It was the only time our whole family really was able to be together. Later in life, I think he kind of helped pave the way for me because he came along and had a lot of success and built on what I had started but it took it to a much greater level.”
Elliott Sadler is quick to credit his older brother for paving the way.
“Well, he got us there,” Elliott Sadler said. “I think it was great that we always had each other’s best interest. It was never really a head-to-head conflict with us. I think that’s what kept us so close through the whole thing.”
Both were able to do it while staying close to home. Hermie lived in Emporia throughout his driving and broadcasting career, while Elliott spent some time in Charlotte before returning as well.
“I always felt like I have been fortunate to be able to race and chase my dream but also be able to stay close to my roots here in Emporia and South Side Virginia. Would my career have been different had I moved to Charlotte or to the hub of racing? You never know, but it never was a time for me that I felt like it was gonna help me,” Hermie Sadler said.
“When my mom got diagnosed with breast cancer, I was driving for Ray Evernham at the time,” Elliott Sadler said. “I called Ray and was like, ‘Look, I don’t need to be in Charlotte anymore. I’ve been here 10 or 12 years, have served my time. I want to be back home, be around my mom.’ There was a lot of going with our family at the time. So he was always supportive of it, which was great for me to have an owner like that, to sell everything and move back home and be back here in Emporia. And I’ve been here and as happy as I can be, ever since.”