Elliot Sadler was recently crowned the winner of the STP 300 Nationwide Series race, which was held July 22 at the Chicagoland Speedway.
The $100,000 Nationwide Dash 4 Cash bonus was also given to Sadler for the victory. The driver overcame sickness, which kept him in bed for more than 36 hours at one point, to win the race in convincing fashion.
"I'm still not 100 percent, but it feels good to win here in Chicago," Sadler said. "My wife and I came here with another couple, which also happens to be my doctor, and we had to put him to work. We drank a lot of fluids and I had to have a few IVs just to stay hydrated."
Ricky Stenhouse Jr. was the leader for the majority of the race, but caution flags toward the end of the race troubled the racer, who finished as the runner-up.
Justin Allgaier, who finished in third place, played a major role in Sadler winning the race, blocking Stenhouse several times in the green-white-checkered finish.
"We were trying to get to Elliott and working both the high and low line," Allgaier said. "At the end, we just couldn't hold off Ricky, but I'm very proud of this Chevy team and what we were able to do [Sunday]."
With seven laps remaining in the race, Sam Hornish Jr. bumped the rear end of Kyle Busch's car, which sent Busch into a crash with Brendan Gaughan, leading to both of the vehicles careening into the wall and bringing out the caution flag. Busch ended up finishing in 27th place while Gaughan followed him in 28th place.
"I feel real bad about it," Hornish said. "I looked down because it looked like one of our hood pins was coming loose, then I looked up and got right into the back of Kyle's car. I get along real well with Kyle and, while he had already gotten on his plane and flown out, I apologized to [team manager] Rick Ren and also apologized to Brendan."
Stenhouse victory was ruined when Brad Sweet's vehicle spun out of control for the second time in the race with 33 laps remaining. Stenhouse dropped from first place to 10th when the race returned to green flag conditions after the caution flag was dropped.
Other notable names that placed in the Nationwide Series race was Danica Patrick finishing in 14th place; Kenny Wallace, who finished in 4th place; and Michael Annett, coming in 5th place.
Sadler will have the opportunity to add another $100,000 to his earning soon at Indianapolis when he goes up against Stenhouse, Allgaier and Wallace once again.
While Sadler is getting a small taste of success, Dale Earnhardt Jr. is taking a huge chunk. The driver was recently revealed as NASCAR's highest-paid driver and the eight highest-earning professional American athlete in sports, according to Sports Illustrated research.
Earnhardt reportedly was paid more than $28 million in 2011, which included more than $4 million in salary and earnings and $24 million in endorsements. Jeff Gordon, Tony Stewart and Jimmie Johnson were also on the list, coming in 18th, 29th and 33rd place, respectively. Earnhardt, who doesn't plan on putting the brakes on driving anytime soon, has improved his speed and consistency this year, becoming one of the most popular drivers in NASCAR and looking like a serious championship contender.