BUSCH: Fontana: Reed Sorenson preview

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge Discount Tire Team Fast Facts: * Sorenson gets a Busch teammate out west ... Reed Sorenson will have a teammate racing with him in the NASCAR Busch Series Stater Brothers 300 at California ...

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge

Discount Tire Team Fast Facts:

* Sorenson gets a Busch teammate out west ... Reed Sorenson will have a teammate racing with him in the NASCAR Busch Series Stater Brothers 300 at California Speedway this weekend, and it just isn't any teammate. It is the one and only Casey Mears who just scored a second-place finish in the 48th running of the Daytona 500. It was announced earlier this month Mears would make his return to the Busch Series in a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Dodge Charger for nine events during the 2006 season, carrying the number and logo of his NEXTEL Cup car--the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. The No. 42 Busch car will make its debut at California Speedway this weekend. In addition to his run in California, Mears will also team up with Sorenson to run at the two Charlotte races, Texas and Phoenix in April, Atlanta, Chicago, Michigan and the Labor Day race in California. The program will be led by crew chief Lee McCall who earned five wins, 20 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes calling the shots in the NEXTEL Cup Series for CGRFS. To-date, the CGRFS Busch Series program has 44 starts to its credit and has amassed three wins, four poles, 15 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes.

* Where they stand now: Sorenson and the No. 41 Discount Tire team finished ninth in last weekend's Busch Series season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. The team currently sits ninth in the overall standings and is only 47 points out of first place.

* Play it again, Reed: After he races the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge in this weekend's Stater Brothers 300 Busch Series race, Sorenson will race the No. 41 Target Dodge in Sunday's Auto Club 500 NEXTEL Cup race. Sorenson is running full-time Busch and NEXTEL Cup schedules this year. This past weekend officially kicked off his double-header year that will involve a very grueling routine for him as he competes in both series, vying for championships and rookie-of-the-year honors.

* NEXTEL Cup Update: Last week at Daytona International Speedway, Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Dodge team finished 29th in the Daytona 500. Sorenson currently sits fifth in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with seven points. He is nine points behind leader Clint Boyer.

* Meet Reed out west this Thursday: Reed Sorenson will stop by the Discount Tire store located at 4583 Mills Circle in Ontario, Calif., to sign autographs and meet area races fans this Thursday, February 23, from 4:30 to 6 p.m. PT.

* Chassis: Brian Pattie and the No. 41 Discount Tire team selected Chassis No. 558 to race at California Speedway this weekend in the Stater Brothers 300. This will be the first official competition the car has been entered in, as it was built last year and only tested at Michigan International Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Reed Sorenson on heading to California Speedway in Fontana, Calif.:

"The Discount Tire team had two really good runs at California last year. We ran inside the top 10 the entire race there in February and came out with a top-five finish. We ran just as strong in September, but the car got a little too tight in the last few laps, so we came home with a top-15 instead.

"I do feel good where we stand right now and how we are starting things off. Although, we seemed to get a little off path in the beginning of last week's race at Daytona with the radio problems and getting hit, Brian [Pattie] and the rest of the guys proved why we are a team not to be taken too lightly. They didn't give up and Brian kept me focused on the big picture. It paid off for us in the end. It was a different ending for me though. I will admit that. I backed up across the finish line so that was a new one for me, but after it was all over and I saw all of the other torn-up cars I was pretty relieved we got across to come home with a top 10.

"We're starting things off just like we did last year and that's a good thing. Hopefully, we can consistently grab those top-five and top-10 finishes, but add more wins this year and stay away from DNFs."

-cgr-

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