RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia native Elliott Sadler retired after last season, but made his return to NASCAR's Xfinity Series on Friday night at Richmond Raceway.

The 43-year-old Sadler drove for Kaulig Racing, finishing 12th in one of just two planned starts this season. He is also scheduled to race at Las Vegas in September.

"It's good to be back. I was nervous this week. I'm not going to lie," he said about racing for the first time since last season's finale at Homestead. "I didn't sleep much this week, wanting to come here, excited and nervous and all that good stuff to come back to my home track. ... It was good to be back in my office for a little while."

A native of Emporia, about 70 miles from Richmond, Sadler has raced 56 times on the 0.75-mile oval and never won.

"We didn't run as good as I wanted to run of course," he said. "I got us off a little bit during the middle of the race, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time. I mean, halfway during the race I was definitely smiling (thinking) I kind of miss this a little bit."

He said he initially was concerned about how he would handle not racing, but has been fine.

"I'm as happy as I've ever been in my life. I tell my wife that all the time," he said. "I definitely made the right decision, stepping away full-time."


More AP auto racing: