One of Emporia’s most famous residents is making a return to the racetrack. Former NASCAR driver Hermie Sadler will make his first-ever appearance in the Southern Modified Auto Racing Tour (S.M.A.R.T.) on Oct. 2 at Motor Mile Speedway in Pulaski.
Hermie, the elder brother of fellow NASCAR driver and Emporia resident Elliott, is returning to the track mainly to publicize his ongoing lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia, Gov. Ralph Northam, Attorney General Mark Herring, and others.
The Stanley Law Group — the law firm of Sen. Bill Stanley (R-Franklin County) who is representing Sadler — is sponsoring the race, which will be called the Stanley Law Group Stands With Small Business 99.
“I am honored to support grassroots racing here in Virginia, while at the same time bringing attention to the fight that Hermie Sadler and I are waging on behalf of small business owners across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Stanley in a press release issued on Thursday. “We hope to see everyone out at Motor Mile Raceway on Oct. 2.”
“To be representing Senator Stanley and bringing attention to our mission for Virginia small businesses is why I am doing this, as well as to support The SMART Modified Tour and short track racing in Virginia,” said Sadler.
Sadler drove in NASCAR’s top three series on at least a part-time basis from 1992 to 2019. His greatest successes came in the second-tier series, now known as the Xfinity Series, where he won two races as well as the 1993 Rookie of the Year award. Today, Sadler and his wife, Angie, operate Fo Sho Bar & Grille in Emporia, as well as a chain of truck stops across Virginia.
Sadler filed his lawsuit against the Commonwealth of Virginia in late June to combat a controversial law which effectively halted small businesses across the state from selling “skill games”. The law, SB 971, came into effect July 1. Sadler estimates that the ban could cost his truck stops and other establishments $750,000 per year.
Sadler and Stanley have accused the Northam administration of unfairly targeting small business owners and creating a monopoly for large casino operators. One of those operators is Rosie’s Gaming Emporium, who is on the verge of expanding into Emporia pending the results of a referendum in the November elections.
“They’re doing away with skill games for us to pave the way for the casinos coming in in two or three years, and I don’t think that’s fair. I believe in the free market system,” said Sadler in June.
This article was originally published by the Independent Messenger