The caution allowed most of the leaders to come onto pit road one last time, but Sadler did a fake-out feint (which earned him a tap on the rear from Keselowski) before opting to stay out on track on older tyres in return for inheriting the lead for the restart on lap 272 ahead of Kasey Kahne, Stenhouse, Keselowski and Bayne.
"We knew the most important thing was where we needed to be on the restart,” insisted Sadler's crew chief Luke Lambert, who was at Bristol when Sadler won the first of his three Sprint Cup victories here in 2001 - except that instead of pit road, Lambert had been a high school student watching from the stands with his father. "I was here for that one. And I was pretty young!" said Lambert who is still only 28.
With the remaining laps zipping past in less than ten minutes there was no time for anyone to do anything about Sadler's new lead even though he was on older tyres: he claimed his second series win in just three weeks, making it two wins out of four races in 2012 - and that's after not winning a single race in 2011.
"After what I've been through the last couple of years in racing, this damn sure feels good," said a delighted Sadler after the race, who was also overjoyed that both his parents were actually at the track to see the Nationwide win for the first time.
Sadler's victory at Bristol also means that all four races so far in 2012 have been won by Nationwide Series regulars, rather than by Cup drivers such as Kahne, Keselowski, Logano and Dale Earnhardt Jr. who finished in the next four positions ahead of Stenhouse. Bayne dropped to eighth after losing out in a final battle with Justin Allgaier that saw them both go three-wide for a stretch with Ryan Truex, who finished in tenth place. Kevin Harvick finished just ahead in ninth, having being left fuming after being caught out by a speeding penalty during the final round of pit stops.
The win puts Sadler 25pts ahead of Stenhouse in the Nationwide championship standings, who is just ahead of Trevor Bayne - who may not have many further runs in the series in 2012, having only made it to his home track of Bristol thanks to "a friend of a friend" helping to put together a late one-off sponsorship deal with Knoxville business yourracecar.com.
"It was really fun," said Bayne of his day. "I think we might have played our hand a little bit too early by going to two tyres. I got too loose at the end on the right sides. We took the left sides and that freed the car up more. It was a bad situation to be in. We just got out there too soon. It is all good though.
"Ricky and I push each other hard and we did both lead laps and hopefully [team owner Jack Roush] is proud of that," he added. "Jack's got two stout teams here running hard and two drivers that hopefully are the future for his company."
Full race results, qualifying times and championship