SORENSON DRIVES TO 13TH-PLACE FINISH IN SPRINT SHOWDOWN AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 2010) -- As the sun dipped in the North Carolina sky on Saturday night, Reed Sorenson challenged for one of the coveted spots in the...
SORENSON DRIVES TO 13TH-PLACE FINISH IN SPRINT SHOWDOWN AT CHARLOTTE MOTOR SPEEDWAY
CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 2010) -- As the sun dipped in the North Carolina sky on Saturday night, Reed Sorenson challenged for one of the coveted spots in the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (CMS). Making Braun Racing's Sprint All-Star Weekend debut as he started from the sixth position, Sorenson drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a 13th-place finish in the 40-lap NASCAR Sprint Showdown.
With torrential rains halting and eventually cancelling qualifying on Friday night, the field was set by qualifying draw. Sorenson climbed into the Dollar General Camry and prepared to take the green flag in his sixth career Sprint Showdown race. Unique from traditional races, the Showdown consists of two 20-lap segments with an opportunity to come to pit road for adjustments in between.
As the green flag dropped, cars immediately went three-wide as everyone scrambled for position. As cars barreled into turn one, Sorenson found himself shuffled into the middle with no help and quickly slid backwards to the 16th position. By lap five, he climbed back up to the 14th spot.
"We're hitting the ground with the splitter pretty hard," Sorenson reported to crew chief, Trent Owens.
"10-4," replied Owens. "Let's just get to lap 20 and we'll put some packer shims in it to lift it off the ground."
On lap 17, the No. 78 and No. 42 got together in turn one bringing out the first caution of the evening. Owens called his driver to pit road for service. The Dollar General crew changed four tires, added fuel and put packer shims into the left front shock to help prevent the car's splitter from hitting the track. Despite the extra time required for the adjustment, the team lost only one spot, returning Sorenson to the track to restart from the 15th position.
Because caution laps counted as laps completed in the first 20-lap segment, when the field returned to green-flag racing, it marked the start of the second 20-lap dash. A multi-car accident on the front stretch brought out the second caution of the night on lap one. As cars scrambled to miss the wrecking cars, the Dollar General Toyota was in the 17th position by the time the yellow flag was displayed.
In the second segment of the Showdown, laps run under the yellow flag were not counted by NASCAR. Therefore, when the race resumed, the lap count began with only one lap completed. Sorenson restarted from the 17th position.
The final 19 laps of the Showdown were caution-free. Sorenson drove the Dollar General Toyota to the 13th position by lap three and then slid to 15th by lap seven. As he circled the track, he reported on the car's handling to Owens.
"We're bouncing way too much," he said. "I can't run on the top."
Owens replied, "Hold on to it as best you can."
In the last 10 laps, Sorenson climbed his way back to the 13th spot, edging out cars that race in the Sprint Cup Series every week.
"The weekend was definitely good for us as a team," said Sorenson. "We just needed a little more front grip and to fix the bouncing, which cost us. In a race, we could have made the needed adjustments during pit stops, but in a 40-lap dash like this, there just isn't time. I think we learned a lot and we'll definitely be better when we come back here."
-source: braun racing