No. 41 Discount Tire Team Fast Facts:
Moving On Up: After finishing second at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind., last Saturday night, which was the team's third-consecutive top-five finish in the last three weeks, Reed Sorenson and the Discount Tire team are on a roll and hoping their good times keep rolling into this weekend's Zippo 200 at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International. Over the last three weeks, altogether the driver and team have gained a total of 13 positions and 980 points in the NASCAR Busch Series championship standings, with Sorenson taking a total of five steps up in the driver standings and the team moving up a total of eight positions in the owner standings. Both have added a total of 490 a piece to their running tallies. They now stand 11th in both the driver and owner standings. Sorenson has a total of 2,408 points and is just 97 points out of 10th. The team has a total of 2,493 points and is now just 12 points outside the top 10. Including this weekend's Zippo 200, there are 12 races remaining in the 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season.
Welcome Aboard, John: Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced last Friday John Fernandez, former Director of Dodge Motorsports, accepted a new position with the organization to serve as Managing Director of its Concord racing operation. Fernandez will manage all aspects of the organization's racing operation in North Carolina, including overseeing all four teams, as well as the engine, fabrication and paint shops. His move to CGRFS follows a long career with the DaimlerChrysler Corporation, where he served for 35 years. Fernandez is also an experienced racer himself, competing in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in which he claimed four championship titles. Fernandez earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and MBA in 1977 at the University of Detroit. He is originally from Gloversville, N.Y.
On the Cup Side: Sorenson and the No. 41 Target team maintained their 23rd position in the overall NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings after last Sunday's run at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. They are just 68 points out of 20th and 224 out of 15th heading into this Sunday's race at The Glen.
Rookie Rundown: Sorenson is still third in the NEXTEL Cup Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 169 points. There is just a 55-point difference between him and the rookie class leader Denny Hamlin. Sorenson has captured rookie of the race honors in four of the 21 races run thus far in '06 , including Atlanta (finished 10th), Martinsville (finished 12th), Michigan (finished fifth), and Chicagoland (finished seventh).
Sorenson looks ahead to The Glen and his last road course run of the season: "I will admit road courses are not my favorite races we run. They're still fun, but there is definitely an adjustment when it comes to running them compared to the rest of the tracks where we compete. The last road course I ran in the Busch car was in Mexico earlier this year and we actually had a good game plan and good run going, until the engine dropped out on us. I believe we were running sixth when we fell out so I know we were banking on at least a top-10 finish there in March.
"Last year at The Glen, we were working our way up to a top 15 when we encountered mechanical problems that sent us out of the race the rest of the day. I had some trouble with turn nine, but managed to regain control and move up to 16th before we fell out of the race.
"I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to road racing. I got some extra time running that type of track out in California this year with the Target team, as well. When we raced at Infineon, it wasn't the best race for us that's for sure, but it wasn't a total loss either. We got spun once, hit from behind trying to avoid a wreck, battled handling problems and still managed to bring home a 29th-place finish. That's not too bad considering I'd never raced at the track before or in a road course event in the Target car. I learned a lot and that should benefit us this weekend in both cars."
-credit: chip ganassi racing