Hermie Sadler to promote new wrestling group in Denny Hamlin’s Short Track Showdown

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Hermie Sadler will never be confused with former wrestling greats Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin – not even Rik “Wooooo” Flair.

But the NASCAR analyst for Fox Sports 1 has been a longtime fan of wrestling and will now become somewhat of a decision maker, too.

According to Newsday, Sadler, who used to wrestle race cars on racetracks when he was a driver, has accepted an invitation to be part of a different kind of wrestling as a member of the board of directors of the new Global Force Wrestling series, expected to debut later this summer.

Having been friends with Sadler for two decades, former WWE and TNA star Jeff Jarrett – and if you’re wondering, no, there’s no relation to Dale Jarrett – knew Sadler was such a fan of the rasslin’ game that asking him to join GFW’s board was a no-brainer.

To celebrate and commemorate his involvement, when Sadler takes part and races in Thursday’s Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston (Va.) Speedway, his car will carry logos of GFW.

“(I’m) just trying to get the word out about the brand, and let as many people know that there’s another wrestling promotion that’s coming,” Sadler told Newsday.

Not only will he be promoting GFW at South Boston, Sadler will also be celebrating his 45th birthday there, where he and younger brother Elliott cut their racing teeth earlier in their respective racing careers.

Sadler believes in being hands-on, and while it’s likely he won’t climb into the ring, he hopes to eventually expand his involvement with GFW as an announcer and promoter, as he used to do on the TNA circuit.

“What I’d like to do is kind of like what I did with TNA a long time ago, maybe pick a territory and do some live events,” Sadler said.

Expected to be heavily dependent upon TV broadcasts, GFW is working with a heavyweight in that industry, 25/7 Productions, which is known for producing hit shows including “The Biggest Loser.”

Sadler has been a wrestling fan for more than 35 years, and still vividly remembers the first match he ever saw in person: Flair vs. Wahoo McDaniel in his hometown of Emporia, Va., when he was about 7 or 8 years old.

“I’m very, very lucky,” Sadler said about his involvement with GFW. “I get to do what I love [NASCAR] for a living, first of all.

“And then to get involved in another startup wrestling organization that’s going to bring together a lot of people and employ a lot of people and entertain a lot of people. So, I’m excited about that.”

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IndyCar 2017 driver review: Ed Carpenter

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MotorSportsTalk continues its annual review of the Verizon IndyCar Series drivers that raced in 2017. The 2017 season behind the wheel was better for Ed Carpenter than either of the last two years, but still wasn’t ideal results-wise in his six oval starts.

Ed Carpenter, No. 20 Ed Carpenter Racing Chevrolet

  • 2016: 25th Place (5 Starts), Best Finish 18th, Best Start 5th, 0 Top-5, 0 Top-10, 1 Lap Led, 11.2 Avg. Start, 21.8 Avg. Finish
  • 2017: 22nd Place (6 Starts), Best Finish 7th, Best Start 2nd, 0 Top-5, 1 Top-10, 5 Laps Led, 11.3 Avg. Start, 12.3 Avg. Finish

Ed Carpenter’s 2017 season was largely one of frustration, both behind the wheel and as a team owner.

While a respectable turnaround in results occurred – Carpenter finished between seventh and 12th in five of his six oval races after a nightmare season of ending 18th or worse in each of his 2016 starts – this is still not what he sets out to strive for in the races he does. Lost opportunities loomed larger than any official result he or the Ed Carpenter Racing team achieved.

Carpenter and new teammate JR Hildebrand, in for the departed Josef Newgarden, dominated preseason testing in Phoenix but Hildebrand could only muster third in the race, Carpenter a season-best seventh. Then at Indianapolis, Carpenter (second) and Hildebrand (sixth) flew the flag for Chevrolet in qualifying and practice pace, but they fell to 11th and 16th on race day owing to a front-wing change and late-race penalty for passing before a restart.

Both drivers got collected in incidents at Texas. Hildebrand qualified and finished a season-best second in Iowa but that result came only after the ECR crew rebuilt his car from a crash in practice. Then Carpenter had a practice crash in Pocono and despite a rapid rebuild, they missed the clock to qualify by mere minutes and were unable to do so. Carpenter’s spin on a slick Gateway track at the start of the race sent him over Will Power’s nose assembly in one of the scarier looking incidents of the year, although fortunately he was OK.

In a similar refrain as we often write, it’s not that Carpenter’s lost his ability to drive and he remains one of the series’ savviest and smartest people in the paddock. There have been a lot of extenuating circumstances of late, and it almost felt as though this team had “empty nest” components. Since September, Carpenter has had to secure his team’s future with a move away from its Speedway, Ind. shop, line up Spencer Pigot for a full-time drive replacing Hildebrand in the No. 21 car, find a new road/street course driver in the No. 20 car, and manage both driving and owning himself.