Sorenson Takes Home Third Top-10 Finish of 2005 Season in Las Vegas Las Vegas, Nev. (March 12, 2005) --- 19-year-old rookie driver Reed Sorenson may not be old enough to gamble, but luck certainly was on his side. Sorenson brought home a ...
Sorenson Takes Home Third Top-10 Finish of 2005 Season in Las Vegas
Las Vegas, Nev. (March 12, 2005) --- 19-year-old rookie driver Reed Sorenson may not be old enough to gamble, but luck certainly was on his side. Sorenson brought home a sixth-place finish in the Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his third top 10 of the 2005 NASCAR Busch Series season.
"We had a really good car today," Sorenson said. "It was a little loose on the first run. The second run, it was really good on the long runs. Then we had to come back in to the pits- we left a lugnut off of the left front. At the end, we just picked our way through there and got a top six for the Discount Tire team."
Sorenson started seventh for his first race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Within the first five laps, he had gained two spots and was sitting fifth when the first caution came out on lap five.
Sorenson radioed the car was "bad on the high side of turns 3 and 4." Sorenson restarted seventh on lap eight, but again started to work his way up through the field when the yellow flag waved on lap 41. The Discount Tire Dodge was in the sixth position when Sorenson brought it down pit road for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment on lap 42.
The Discount Tire Dodge got in the groove on lap 63 and started to gain ground on the leaders. As Sorenson was making a charge for the front, the car caught a tear-off on the grill and the temperatures began to rise in the car. Sorenson was fifth at the time, but he kept his cool and caught up to the car in front of the Discount Tire Dodge and used him to get rid of the trash on the grill.
When the fourth caution flag flew on lap 85 of the 200-lap race, Sorenson radioed that the car was starting to come in. The Discount Tire crew made a quick four tire and fuel pit stop and restarted fourth on lap 89. Crew chief Brian Pattie gave Sorenson some good advice on lap 90 when he told the rookie that "this race is like chess-you just have to play your moves right."
Sorenson continued to make the moves, but was still fourth when the yellow waved again on lap 109. He reported that the car was getting better the more laps he ran and Pattie made the call to fit the Discount Tire Dodge with four fresh tires and fuel only. A pit road miscue on lap 110 caused the Discount Tire Dodge to come back down pit road on lap 111 for a missed lugnut on the left front tire.
The pit road trouble put Sorenson back in 24th place when racing resumed on lap 113. Sorenson easily worked his way through the field and had returned to the top 10 by lap 133, just 20 laps later.
On lap 146 as Sorenson was crossing the start/finish line, he and the No. 18 car got into one another battling for seventh place. They were both able to save it. Although it took a few laps, Sorenson was up to seventh by lap 152.
Green-flag pit stops started on lap 157 and the Discount Tire Dodge was still seventh when Pattie called the car down pit road for the final time. The Discount Tire crew fitted the car with four fresh Goodyear tires, added fuel and made an air pressure adjustment.
As Sorenson returned to the track and tried to stay on the lead lap, the yellow flag waved giving the No. 41 team the break that it needed to remain in the top 10. Racing resumed on lap 178 and Sorenson was eighth. During the next 22 laps the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge was able to gain two spots and take the checkered flag in the sixth spot.
Sorenson's sixth-place finish elevated him one spot to fourth in the NASCAR Busch Series championship points standings, just 126 points out of first place. Sorenson was also the top finishing rookie for the third time this season.
The Discount Tire Dodge travels to Sorenson's hometown of Atlanta next weekend for the Aaron's 312 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live on FX television and PRN radio on Saturday, March 19th at 3:05 p.m. EST.