STATESVILLE, N.C. -- The last time the McDonald's Golden Arches appeared on Reed Sorenson's No. 43 Dodge, the Richard Petty Motorsports driver raced for the victory before finishing ninth in the Daytona 500. Sorenson hasn't finished that well...
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- The last time the McDonald's Golden Arches appeared on Reed Sorenson's No. 43 Dodge, the Richard Petty Motorsports driver raced for the victory before finishing ninth in the Daytona 500. Sorenson hasn't finished that well since Daytona but the No. 43 team has made steady progress and the young driver and his new crew chief Mike Shiplett have worked hard in 2009 to develop the relationship that will lead to success on the track. Robbie Loomis, vice-president of racing operations at the Petty organization, knows the type of driver/crew chief relationship it takes to win races and championships.
REED SORENSON ON DAYTONA/SEASON: "That's been the highlight of our season so far. We were strong that day. It was typical Daytona, if just one or two things had happened differently we would have been celebrating a victory but on the other hand we could have been caught up in some body else's mess so you just take what you got and go from there. We've had two pretty good week ends at Bristol and Martinsville where we battled back from some adversity. We aren't that far off from having some pretty good finishes."
SORENSON DRIVER/CREW CHIEF RELATIONSHIP: "It's about communication. Mike (Shiplett) and I are just starting out together so each race we work together we get a little bit better. We are going up against guys who've been together for years. But we are making progress. We go to lunch during the week, talk on the phone, and meet after practices. He needs to know what I want and need in the car so it's just a matter or communicating."
MIKE SHIPLETT ON COMMUNICATION: "You look at guys like Kenny (Francis) and Kasey (Kahne) and Jimmie (Johnson) and Chad (Knaus) and its almost like they know what the other is thinking. Reed and I are working toward something like that. It just takes time. It's almost like marriage. You learning to communicate to make the relationship work. It's true with drivers and crew chiefs."
ROBBIE LOOMIS ON CHEMISTRY'S IMPORTANCE: "It's vital. It starts at the top and goes all the way through the team. I think that good chemistry and good communication is just the key to it (success). I think that's what we're building here at Richard Petty Motorsports and all of Dodge is working well together. I think that the real chemistry, a lot of times, between the driver and the crew chief is the part that has to be the closest. A lot of time a crew chief and a lead engineer, they build their rapport with each other and that bleeds into the team and just keeps growing."
* Sorenson owns six starts at Texas and 115 Sprint Cup starts.
* Sorenson will drive chassis 267--the car that finished 21st at California.
* The McDonald's Dodge will carry an in-car camera Sunday at Texas.
* Sorenson's transporter driver Jeff Seaberg earned his commercial helicopter license last week.