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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Helio Castroneves ‘hustling’ for IndyCar, IMSA rides; talking with four to five teams

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As his season gathers steam, Helio Castroneves said his prospects for finding new rides for 2021 in IMSA and IndyCar also are gaining momentum.

The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner said Monday he is optimistic about landing in either or perhaps a combination of both series when Team Penske and Acura end their DPi partnership after this season.

“A lot of people I spoke with, four to five teams, are interested,” Castroneves said. “Whether it’s doing Indy 500 only, whether it’s pushing to do full time or do the sports cars as well. It’s been a very nice conversation.

LOOKING AHEADTeam Penske drivers seeking new rides for 2021

“I have a lot of respect for all the teams that have been talking, and I feel the same feedback. We just have to wait for their (sponsor) connections, and I’m also looking for some connections on my side as well, so hopefully we’ll be able to put this together and get something very soon.”

Given two decades of success with Penske in IndyCar and IMSA, Castroneves’ resume hardly needs burnishing. But the Brazilian has combined with co-driver Ricky Taylor in the No. 7 Acura DPi to win the past two overall victories at Road America and Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.

But Castroneves, who doesn’t have a manager, said he has been working the phones hard rather than wait for the strong results to bring in the calls.

“At this point, I feel like I’m the one who needs to be talking to them because people need to know I want to continue racing and understand my desire,” Castroneves, 45, said. “There is opportunity, no question, in both (IndyCar and IMSA), which I’m really happy about it. However, because of the COVID-19, a lot of things sometimes have to be a little delayed. But I’m excited. Whatever the opportunity and whatever destiny guides me, whether IndyCar or sports cars, trust me I’ll be as happy as it could be and doing my 100 percent like I always did.

“It’s like politics, you need to be out there, good news or bad news. People have to make notice of your presence. I’m hustling. I want to continue to keep it going. Hopefully, we’ll have good news very soon.”

The news has been all good lately on track for Castroneves and Taylor, who hope to continue their run Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

The No. 6 duo has surged to sixth in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship standings, 10 points out of the lead with four races remaining. After thinking there was “no hope” to be competitive after opening the season with three consecutive poor finishes, Taylor now sees an opportunity for a happy ending.

“With the program going away, Helio has won all the big races and given so much back to the team and left such a mark, he’s really part of Penske history,” Taylor said. “For me, it’s been an opportunity of a lifetime to be a part of it. I’d like to leave my little mark as well. Helio has won everything except for a championship.

“Obviously, we’ve won races already together, but we can win a championship now. I think if both of us can do that together and both win our first championship for ‘The Captain,’ that would be an absolute dream come true, and we can tie a bow on it and be happy.”