Elliott Sadler never had given a “start your engines” command before Friday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race — and that’s a shame.

The 43-year-old driver announced Wednesday that he would retire from full-time racing after this season. So, when word got out he would give the command before the Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway, fans anticipated an emotional moment.

And, well, Sadler delivered:


Sadler, whose emotions sometimes get the best of him, remains a popular driver despite having not raced full-time in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since 2010. His retirement announcement certainly was bittersweet for many NASCAR fans.

Sadler wasn’t the only popular driver who broke news last week, however. Kasey Kahne, too, will call it a career once the current season ends.

Thumbnail photo via Matthew O'Haren/USA TODAY Sports Images