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Smith, Sadler try to clear the air before Chicagoland

Jul 20, 2013, 7:58 PM EDT

Elliott Sadler AP

After Regan Smith spun out Elliott Sadler on the final restart of last weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, an enraged Sadler found Smith in the garage area and vowed that he would not win this year’s NNS title.

The two drivers have since attempted to come to terms via a mid-week phone conversation, but as tomorrow’s STP 300 at Chicagoland Speedway looms closer, Sadler (pictured) admitted on Saturday that he was still upset about the Loudon incident.

“For him to do what he did at New Hampshire, I’m still ticked about it,” Sadler said according to the Associated Press. “But we talked and we agree that our racing’s going to change a little bit between us. But we know that we’re going to be racing around each other a lot between now and Homestead.”

Smith currently leads the NNS championship by a slim margin of five points over Sam Hornish Jr., and Sadler, at 24 points back of Smith (good for fifth place), is still very much in contention as the second half of the season begins. Clearly, it’s probably better for Smith and Sadler to settle into as close to a detente as they can, instead of continuing their feud and potentially wrecking their title hopes in the process.

As for Smith’s view on the situation, the JR Motorsports pilot has chosen to take blame for what happened one week ago on the “Magic Mile.”

“I made the move and I can’t take it back,” Smith said per the AP. “I understand his anger 100 percent, and I know exactly where he was coming from. He was racing for a lot of money [the $100,000 "Dash 4 Cash" bonus] and the opportunity to race for a lot of money again this week.”

“We talked and if it’s a situation where we’re going for it, I’m sure he’s going to race me considerably harder than what he has in the past and that’s to be expected. I would do the same.”

Sadler is the defending race winner at Chicagoland.

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