Reed Sorenson Has Strong Ninth-Place Finish at First Daytona DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2005) --- Rookie of the Year candidate Reed Sorenson never fell out of the top 15 on his way to a ninth-place finish in the Hershey TAKE 5 300 at...
Reed Sorenson Has Strong Ninth-Place Finish at First Daytona
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (February 19, 2005) --- Rookie of the Year candidate Reed Sorenson never fell out of the top 15 on his way to a ninth-place finish in the Hershey TAKE 5 300 at Daytona International Speedway.
"It was a little wild there at the end," Sorenson said. "It was three wide the last three laps, so it was pretty exciting. I was kind of upset there at the end but then I realized that all of those guys are Cup guys and they are pretty smart. It was a lot of fun. I wish I could have finished top three but it was a good run. I was going to try to make a move near the end but those guys wanted to make a move right off the bat so it didn't really work out. I'm not upset at myself, I'm just upset because I finished ninth. I want to win. It's a lot different than what you think it is on TV watching it. I learned a lot today. I think when I come back here in July I'll be a lot better. We had a plan to do something near the end there but it didn't really work out because as soon as we went back green those guys were trying to get back to the front so it didn't work out. Our goal was to come here and get a top 10 and we fell right into that. We're going to go to California to win the race, that's for sure."
Sorenson qualified for the Hershey 300 in the fifth position but after seven laps he was already up to third. On lap 15 Sorenson, who was running in the eighth spot, reported that the "car was tight." The Discount Tire Dodge continued to climb through the field and was sitting sixth when the first caution came out on lap 24.
Crew chief Brian Pattie decided to help free the car up so the Discount Tire crew changed four tires, added fuel, and made a wedge adjustment. When racing resumed on lap 27 Sorenson was 14th, the farthest back in the field he would be for the entire 120-lap race.
Within nine laps Sorenson had made his way back up into the top 10. When the yellow flag waved again on lap 48, Sorenson was sitting 11th. During the pit stop, the Discount Tire crew put on four fresh tires, added fuel and made a slight chassis adjustment.
Sorenson restarted 11th on lap 51 and quickly drafted up to sixth by lap 61. The third caution of the race came out on lap 69 and Sorenson reported that the car was "pretty good, better than the start of the race but the longer I run the tighter it gets." Pattie and the Discount Tire crew continued to make chassis adjustments during the pit stop on lap 70.
On lap 85, Sorenson had made his way up to fifth and continued to draft his way through the top five. When the caution flag came out with 20 laps to go, Sorenson was sitting second. Pattie made the call for a two-tire stop and the Discount Tire Dodge restarted third on lap 105.
Sorenson was behind the cars of Dale Earnhardt Inc., teammates Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Martin Truex with Kevin Harvick hot on his bumper. After several laps of bump drafting with Harvick, Sorenson was still sitting third when the final caution came out on lap 114.
During the final six laps, several cars made their moves but Sorenson was able to hold on and take the checkered flag in the ninth spot.
Sorenson starts the season 10th in the NASCAR Busch Series championship points.
The Discount Tire Company team races at Fontana next weekend. The race will be broadcast live on FX television and MRN radio on Saturday, February 26th at 5:30 p.m. EST.