Pocono: Reed Sorenson preview

Target Team Fast Facts: * Two Races, Two Different Places: Reed Sorenson will be competing at two different tracks in two separate states this weekend. First off he will practice and qualifying his No. 41 Target Dodge on Friday at...

Target Team Fast Facts:

* Two Races, Two Different Places: Reed Sorenson will be competing at two different tracks in two separate states this weekend. First off he will practice and qualifying his No. 41 Target Dodge on Friday at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania. Saturday he will participate in both final practice sessions at Pocono and then hop on a plane with fellow competitor Carl Edwards and head to Nashville Superspeedway in Tennessee. Upon arrival he'll qualify and race the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge in the Busch Series race that evening. At the conclusion of the event, he'll head back to Pocono to compete in Sunday's NEXTEL Cup Series race.

* Lending a Helping Hand: CGRFS development driver Kevin Hamlin will be on hand in Nashville to practice the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge in Sorenson's absence. He will also qualify and race the car if whether permits Sorenson from making it to the track or postpones the Busch Series event.

* What's Cooking?: Renowned master chef Mario Batali, honorary starter for the Pocono 500, plans to sit atop the Target team pit box for awhile after waving the green flag. Target team shock specialist Roger Parkinson, an acquaintance of Batali, extended the invitation for Batali to join the team for the race. Batali recently released the officially licensed NASCAR cookbook, MARIO TAILGATES NASCAR STYLE: The Essential Cookbook for NASCAR Fans by Chef Mario Batali.

* Getting Acclimated: Sorenson spent Tuesday and Wednesday at Infineon Raceway testing a Busch car to prepare himself for the upcoming NEXTEL Cup Series event at the 1.99-mile road course on June 25.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Jimmy Elledge and the Target Team have selected chassis #206 for this weekend's NEXTEL Cup event at Pocono. In 2006, this car has competed in the NEXTEL Open (14th-place finish), at Las Vegas (40th) and Fontana (21st). The Target team ran this car a total of 11 races in 2005 with driver Casey Mears. The team recorded six top-10 finishes and two top-five finishes, including a sixth-place effort at Indianapolis and two near victories in the final events of the season at Texas Motor Speedway (fourth) and Homestead-Miami Speedway (fifth).

* NEXTEL Cup Points Report: Sorenson and the Target team are 21st in the overall standings after their 19th-place effort in the last event at Dover. The team is only nine points out of 20th and 128 points out of the top 15.

* Rookie Round Up: Sorenson currently sits third in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 113 points. He trails leader Denny Hamlin by 30 points. Sorenson has captured rookie of the race honors in two of the 13 races run thus far in '06 (Atlanta -- 10th-place finish, Martinsville -- 12th).

* Busch Series Update: Sorenson is 12th in the overall Busch Series driver standings heading into this weekend's race. The Discount Tire team is 16 points out of 10th and 263 out of the top five. .

Reed Sorenson on Pocono...

"I've never been there so I hope we're okay [smiles]. We're taking a car that we usually don't qualify too good but races really good. I'm sure I'll learn a lot during the race because I've never been there before. Stremme is running the ARCA race there to gain some knowledge and he's going to be able to help me out a little bit and Casey will be there to help me out as well. Those are tracks where we usually run pretty well at so I'm not really worried."

Sorenson on the challenges of the non-companion NEXTEL Cup and Busch events:

"This weekend is actually going to be a little easier than some of the dates down the road, but a lot of the planning has been handled through everyone back at the shop. I am just going to go where they tell me to and when they tell me to. I am sure a lot of work has gone into it, but I will let them handle all of that and it is nice I don't have to worry about it. I can just focus on driving the cars. I also know Kevin [Hamlin] will do a good job giving solid feedback to the Discount Tire crew so they can get the car ready to race. There are a lot of good people putting a hand in this to help me run both series and I greatly appreciate all of their efforts and help."

-cgr

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , Carl Edwards , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Kevin Hamlin