BUSCH: Phoenix: Reed Sorenson preview

Discount Tire Team Fast Facts: * Discount Tire's backyard: The No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Busch team is racing not too far from its sponsor's home base this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), as...

Discount Tire Team Fast Facts:

* Discount Tire's backyard: The No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) Busch team is racing not too far from its sponsor's home base this weekend at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR), as Discount Tire Company--the team's primary sponsor--is headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz., which is just a little more than 35 miles from PIR. To learn more about Discount Tire, go to www.discounttire.com.

* ALWAYS PREPARED. ALWAYS AWARE: The Arizona Governor's Office of Highway Safety has developed a new campaign called, "Always Prepared. Always Aware." In 2004, 1,152 people were killed and 73,376 injured in 138,353 vehicle crashes in Arizona. The campaign was created in an effort to make Arizona's streets less dangerous through educating motorists about safe driving habits. Sorenson and Discount Tire have teamed up with the state of Arizona in its education endeavors. Sorenson is being featured in a public service announcement that will broadcast throughout the state, reiterating the campaign's three main points, "check your tires regularly, always wear your seat belt, and be focused on driving while behind the wheel." Then, this weekend at PIR, fans who sign a pledge promising to be "Always Prepared. Always Aware." will be entered into a drawing for the chance to win a set of wheels from Discount Tire, a Sprint camera cell phone, or tickets to the November 12 NEXTEL Cup race at PIR. To learn more, go to www.rhir.org.

* NATIONAL TIRE SAFETY WEEK: Next week is National Tire Safety Week April 23-30. Discount Tire and the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) have partnered in a nationwide effort to educate consumers about essential tire safety maintenance practices as part of the "Be Tire Smart --Play Your PART" consumer education program. Sorenson has also joined them in their endeavor by helping put together a nationwide radio public service announcement addressing the importance of maintaining proper vehicle tire inflation pressure. The program highlights pressure, alignment, rotation and tread (PART) as the four essential areas of tire maintenance. Another step Discount Tire is taking to encourage awareness is providing free tire safety kits at more than 600 retail stores throughout the United States. Discount Tire also provides free air pressure and tread depth checks by trained tire technicians at all of its retail stores nationwide. To learn more about "playing your part" when it comes to tire safety, go to www.betiresmart.org.

* Meet Reed in Phoenix: Reed Sorenson will stop by the Discount Tire store located at 13213 W. McDowell Road in Goodyear, Ariz., to meet with area race fans and to sign autographs from 5 to 6:30 p.m. MST Wednesday, April 19. For more information, please call 623.547.3061.

* Mears & Parrot Preparing to Make Second Run: Almost two weeks ago at Texas Motor Speedway, Casey Mears' and Brad Parrot's first Busch Series race together resulted in a third-place finish. Now, the duo is making another run together at PIR in the Bashas' Supermarkets 200 to try to beat their Texas stats. This weekend's run will mark Mears' and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team's fourth run this season in NASCAR Busch Series competition. In addition to racing at Texas, Mears and the No. 42 Busch car also raced at Atlanta and California earlier this year. Mears and the No. 42 Busch team are scheduled to also run both Charlotte races, Chicago, Michigan and the Labor Day race in California. To-date, the CGRFS Busch Series program has 54 starts to its credit and has amassed three wins, four poles, 16 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.

* Busch Rankings Update: The No. 41 CGRFS Busch team is coming off of an overall impressive weekend performance at Nashville Superspeedway that was shaping up to look a lot like Reed Sorenson's run last spring when he claimed his first-career NASCAR Busch Series win at the Tennessee track, but with less than five laps left in the Pepsi 300 the No. 41 Coats/ Discount Tire Dodge hit the outside wall and relegated the team's second-place run to a 19th-place finish. The team soon discovered something on the track had punctured the right-front tire and was the culprit behind the late-race mishap. The team and driver still stand 17th in the driver rankings and 19th in owner points.

* CGRFS NEXTEL News & Updates: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series had this past weekend off, but will return to action at PIR this weekend in the Subway Fresh 500 on Saturday, April 22. Currently, Sorenson and the No. 41 Target team are 19th in the overall NASCAR NEXTEL Cup standings after their strong performance at Texas (finished 13th). They are only 43 points out of 15th and 144 out of 10th. Sorenson currently sits fourth in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings with 61 points. He is only 10 points behind leader Denny Hamlin. Casey Mears and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team are still10th after finishing 14th at Texas Motor Speedway. David Stremme and the No. 40 Coor's Light/Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon team held on to the 37th position after finishing 21st in Texas. CGRFS also announced earlier in the week, Steven Lane is taking over crew chief duties on the No. 40 Coors Light/Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Dodge starting this weekend in Phoenix, and Jeff Vandermoss will assume the car chief duties on the No. 41 Dodge. Vandermoss began the season as crew chief on the No. 40 car after a successful seven-year career at Roush Racing. It was also announced today Andy Graves has resigned his position as team manager at CGRFS and will be reassigned to a different position within the company. On an interim basis the duties of team manager will be absorbed by the current management staff that is in place. For more information, go to www.chipganassiracing.com.

* Chassis: The No. 41 Discount Tire team will race Chassis #453 at PIR this weekend. The Chassis was raced a total of five times in 2005, with one of the five runs taking place in July at Gateway International Raceway (Madison, Ill.) where Sorenson and team soared to their second victory of the season and Sorenson's second-career win. It was an all-around strong weekend for the No. 41 CGRFS Busch team, as they also started on the outside pole. The same car also ran at Phoenix last April, when Sorenson and team came to the track with a top-five car, but a late-race accident relegated them to a 32nd-place finish (started 17th). The same chassis was also run at the Milwaukee Mile (started 23rd, finished 12th) and New Hampshire International Speedway (started 15th, finished 14th) in July, and Richmond in May (started ninth, finished 31st).

R. Sorenson briefly discussed his return to Phoenix International Raceway early in the day Tuesday, April 18:

"We had strong cars at both races last year, we just didn't have the best luck in this race last April ... it was kind of like the luck we've been having here lately. We definitely had a top-five car there this time last year and successfully avoided a lot of crashes that day, but the notorious 13th caution of the day collected us. I just had no where to run and then I got hit from behind and spun around. We did manage to finish the race, but it was again one of those situations where we had a lot better car and run than the final numbers showed. I look forward to getting back there to see what we can make up from last year and from here lately."

"Last weekend was so disappointing because we were running so well and then it literally felt like someone yanked the ground right out from under us on Saturday. The guys on the Discount Tire team shouldn't hang their heads though because we had a great car. I feel like I am saying this every week, but hopefully we can turn things around this weekend in Phoenix, which would be nice because we are racing practically in Discount Tire's backyard. They're headquartered in Scottsdale and they're such a great group of people to work with, so it would be nice to get a win for them so close to their home."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Casey Mears , Chip Ganassi , David Stremme , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing