There are two loves in the life of NASCAR Winston Cup Series driver Elliott Sadler, and each has its own season.

As soon as Sadler landed at home in Emporia, Va., last November, he headed straight for the woods. Sadler participated in a passion that comes second only to racing - deer hunting.

Sadler hunts deer every single day in the winter from the time the chequered flag drops in Miami until the track goes green at Daytona International Speedway for pre-season testing.

Rising at 5 am. - much earlier than he ever has to be up at the racetrack - Sadler gears up and heads for the hunt club just down the road from his home. There he meets several family members, friends and hunting buddies to discuss the day's hunt over some warm biscuits. He is just a local guy to the people who join him; no one asks for an autograph or talks about racing. They just swap deer stories, laugh and tease one another about 'the one that got away'.

"I love the sport of hunting," said Elliott. "To the guys I hunt with I am just someone who grew up in this town, ran around like every other normal kid growing up, and who shares the same love of this sport. It's an escape from almost everything for me. I'll tell you what though, deer hunting is really hard work. By the time hunting season is over - I am ready to get back in that race car!"

Sadler emerged from the woods shortly after the New Year - his dogs and hunting buddies will have to wait for the next 10 months to pass before they see him again. Elliott's focus has shifted 100 per cent to racing, but now he is in the hunt to get the No. 38 "M&M's" Ford Taurus into victory lane. He will try to do that on Sunday, March 30 in the Samsung/RadioShack 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.