HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Elliott Sadler and the track president of Homestead-Miami Speedway had a heated discussion Friday about a security guard denying Sadler entrance to the infield earlier in the day.
Sadler said he did not have a parking pass when he arrived at the track because it was in his motorhome. He said he showed the guard his NASCAR driver credential.
“Oh yeah, I know who you are, but you’re still not going in,’ “ Sadler said the guard told him.
Sadler, who is retiring from full-time competition after this weekend, recounted the episode when he met the media Friday.
“Does anybody have any common sense at this race track?” Sadler said. “Guys, you don’t even know who you are doing security for. You have no idea. Finally I had to steal a parking pass from somebody else until I could get inside to get mine to get to my bus. I’m just sitting there thinking that the guy tells me he knows who I am but he’s still not going to let in. That really took the cake.
“Homestead, please get some folks in here that know what they’re doing. I don’t know who the president is of this track, but he needs to wake up.
“I’ve been doing this for 23 years, 23 years, and that’s the first time, ever, ever, that me and the gate guard if I did not have a parking pass yet because I just landed, that he and I couldn’t have a common sense discussion, here’s my annual, look I’m a driver. I told security, ride with me, I’ll show you where I’m going. I’ll bring you back out here. First time in 23 years. I was mad.”
After his news conference, Sadler was introduced to Matt Becherer, who has been the track’s president since December 2009. They had a heated discussion that lasted a few minutes.
“Our security team is always looking to make sure that people have the proper credentials, which are personal credentials as well as parking passes,” he told NBC Sports. “A parking pass was missing in this instance, and we were just asking for it. Simple as that.”
Asked if everything is resolved, Becherer said: “I don’t know. He’s got everything he needs. We’re looking forward to a great race (Saturday) and wishing him the best in (Saturday) night’s race.”
This is the second time in a little more than a decade that a NASCAR driver has had an issue with a security guard at this track. Kasey Kahne was arrested in 2007 after an incident with a security guard. Kahne had completed running on track and was being taken back to the driver motorhome lot in a golf cart when he was stopped and asked for his credentials.
A police report stated that Kahne exited the golf cart and tried to walk into the motorhome lot. The report stated that when the security guard blocked Kahne, Kahne pushed the guard to the ground. Kahne’s record was cleared upon performing community service, and the security guard’s lawsuit was dismissed after an undisclosed settlement.