Hermie Sadler’s return to a race car is tied into another passion he’s getting back into -- professional wrestling.
The former NASCAR driver and current Fox Sports 1 NASCAR personality said Friday he has accepted a position on the board of directors of Global Force Wrestling, the new promotion launched by TNA founder and former WWE star Jeff Jarrett.
Sadler will have Global Force Wrestling as one of his car sponsors when he competes at the Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown next Thursday at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.
“Just trying to get the word out about the brand, and let as many people know that there’s another wrestling promotion that’s coming,” Sadler said.
Sadler worked as a backstage interviewer for TNA and also promoted shows featuring TNA talent under the United Wrestling Federation banner.
“What I’d like to do is kind of like what I did with TNA a long time ago, maybe pick a territory and do some live events,” Sadler said.
He said the tentative timeline is to start running shows in the fall, although he added that television negotiations spearheaded by 25/7 Productions -- the company behind NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” -- will be the key factor in setting the schedule.
“They’re not going to be like traditional wrestling shows,” Sadler said, adding that he’d let Jarrett and 25/7 announce more details when the time is right.
Until then, Sadler said Jarrett and wife Karen are appearing at independent shows and “collecting a lot of tapes of the indy talent.”
It’s an exciting time for Sadler, who got hooked on wrestling when the old NWA Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling promotion brought a show to Greensville County High School in his hometown of Emporia, Va., when he was 7 or 8.
“I saw Wahoo McDaniel wrestle Ric Flair,” Sadler said. “That’s the first match that I remember going to.”
Sadler added that it was especially satisfying to partner again with Jarrett, his friend of more than 20 years.
“I’m very, very lucky,” said Sadler, who will turn 45 the day of the showdown. “I get to do what I love [NASCAR] for a living first of all. And then to get involved in another startup wrestling organization that’s going to bring together a lot of people and employ a lot of people and entertain a lot of people. So, I’m excited about that.”