STATESVILLE, N.C.-- The United States Air Force makes its debut with Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend when Reed Sorenson drives the No. 43 Dodge on the highbanks of Talladega Superspeedway. Sorenson finished ninth at Daytona-- the NASCAR ...
STATESVILLE, N.C.-- The United States Air Force makes its debut with Richard Petty Motorsports this weekend when Reed Sorenson drives the No. 43 Dodge on the highbanks of Talladega Superspeedway. Sorenson finished ninth at Daytona-- the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series most recent restrictor plate race--and finished 12th last week at Phoenix International Raceway.
It's been a busy week for Sorenson and crew. After returning from Arizona early Sunday morning the crew flew to Indianapolis to begin a tire test for Goodyear at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. After Talladega, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series travels to Richmond International Raceway and Lowe's Motor Speedway for the Sprint All-Star Challenge. Sorenson is one of three Petty drivers entered in the Challenge with a chance to transfer to the All-Star race if he finishes first or second or receives the most fan votes from the remaining drivers. Last year, Kasey Kahne transferred through the fan vote then won the All-Star race.
When it comes to high speed performance the teams behind both the No. 43 Petty Dodge and an Air Force fighter jet have to be on top of their games. From pilots and drivers, to mechanics and crew chiefs, a lot of their jobs are very similar. Watch the action as Sorenson and team swap places with the men and women of the U.S. Air Force.
SORENSON ON AIR FORCE-- "In racing you learn to like all of your sponsors because those are the people that enable you to do what you really love to do. But, you pay extra attention when you have a sponsor like the men and women of the U.S. Air Force. I've gone up in a F-15 and hung around a lot of the Air Force people this year. They are just like racers in that they would probably do what they do if you cut their pay in half. You can tell they are really into their lifestyles and take pride in what they do for a living.
ALL-STAR RACE-- "Sure you want to be in it. I think what Kasey did last year gives everyone in the Challenge race the confidence that they can win the whole thing. I want to win the Challenge race or at least transfer into the All-Star race but the fans voting you in would be a great honor as well."
INDY TIRE TEST-- "We've been kind of dodging rain drops all week. Every time we get to running it starts to rain again. We are going to stay Wednesday now and then go to Talladega on Thursday. I like what we are doing here. The tire they have us on seems to be pretty good. I think Goodyear is going in the right direction but we haven't been able to do a whole lot because of the rain. They did a lot of work at the end of last year. They have a tire that I think is a lot better than last year."
* Sorenson finished ninth in the Daytona 500. He will drive a different chassis (272) Sunday.
* Sorenson will sign autographs at his merchandise hauler at 10 a.m. on Sunday.
* Norton A. Schwartz, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, will be a guest of the No. 43 crew on Sunday.