SORENSON AND THE DOLLAR GENERAL TEAM SCORE A TOP-10 FINISH IN THE CAMPINGWORLD.COM 300 AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY FONTANA, Calif. (October 11, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson and the Dollar General team unloaded with confidence at Auto Club Speedway ...
SORENSON AND THE DOLLAR GENERAL TEAM SCORE A TOP-10 FINISH IN THE CAMPINGWORLD.COM 300 AT AUTO CLUB SPEEDWAY
FONTANA, Calif. (October 11, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson and the Dollar General team unloaded with confidence at Auto Club Speedway this weekend. Starting from the 12th position, Sorenson wrestled with an increasingly tight-handling car and drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to a 10th-place finish in the CampingWorld.com 300.
When the green flag dropped on Saturday afternoon at Auto Club Speedway, Sorenson immediately went to work to storm inside the top-10. He quickly overtook positions, one-by-one, and was running in the eighth spot by lap 16. He was tight on the rear bumper of the No. 99 car and took over the seventh position on lap 22.
On lap 31, Sorenson reported that the Dollar General Toyota could use a little more front grip, but that the back of the car was well-balanced. Crew chief, Trent Owens, informed his driver that they would make adjustments when they came to pit road in nine laps.
On lap 39, the leaders began to come to pit road for green-flag stops. Sorenson followed suit and came to pit road for fresh tires and the adjustments on lap 40. The Dollar General team quickly changed the four tires, added fuel and made air pressure adjustments. As the field cycled through the green-flag stops, the Dollar General Toyota was running in the seventh position again on lap 42.
The first caution came out on lap 46 for debris on the race track . Sorenson took the opportunity to update Owens on the car's balance .
"I just about spun off of [turn] two," Sorenson said. "It's really slick over there! When I was behind the No. 12 car, I was sliding around a good bit, but I think that was because we were on old tires."
Sorenson restarted the No. 32 Camry from the seventh spot when the race resumed on lap 51. Positions were shuffled during the restart and he was quickly engaged in a side-by-side battle for the ninth position, rubbing fenders around the two-mile track.
"We're getting tighter a lot faster in this run," Sorenson informed Owens. "I don't know if it's the track or the fender that's causing the change."
"Probably a little of both," replied Owens. We'll get them both fixed on "your next pit stop."
Settled into the eighth spot, Sorenson continued to circle the track, waiting for the opportunity to return to pit road for adjustments.
NASCAR officials displayed the yellow flag on lap 79 when fluid was reported on the track. As the field slowed behind the pace car, Sorenson updated Owens on the changed handling of the car.
"We need more front grip," he said. "I still wouldn't take anything out of the back. The water temperature is running about 240 and the oil is about 270. Are those temps ok?"
"They're ok, but we'll pull a strip of tape off of the bottom grill," Owens replied.
"Sounds good," Sorenson said. "Can we make a bigger adjustment now because of that?"
"I already have an air pressure adjustment coming in your right front tire and we're going to get your fender pulled back out," Owens told him. "You should be fine."
As the lengthy caution continued, pit road remained closed, forcing the concern of running out of fuel.
"How are we with fuel?" asked Sorenson.
"We're good until at least lap 86, but save what you can," Owens answered his driver.
Pit road was opened on lap 87 and Sorenson brought the Dollar General Toyota in for service. The No. 32 crew changed four tire tires, made an air pressure adjustment, removed a strip of tape off of the lower front grill, removed a windshield tear-off and packed the car with fuel. The Dollar General Camry was quickly returned to the track and restarted from the sixth position on lap 91.
Within two laps Sorenson told Owens that the car's handling was greatly affected by the adjustments.
"We are too tight," he said. "Definitely, too tight!"
The Dollar General Toyota climbed to the fourth position, but as the run progressed, slipped back to the eighth spot by the time the third yellow flag of the day was displayed for debris on lap 102. Owens called for a four-tire change, two rounds up on the track bar, the removal of another windshield tear-off and fuel when the No. 32 came to pit road on lap 103. When green-flag racing resumed on lap 107, Sorenson was in the ninth position.
On lap 114, Sorenson told Owens that the car's balance was still tight and that he was experiencing a vibration when he entered the corners.
Owens replied, "10-4. How bad is the vibration? If you think you need to come in, we're ready for you."
Sorenson continued to power around the race track, maintaining the ninth spot and hoping for the opportunity to return to pit road one more time before the race's conclusion. On lap 126, a multi-car accident in turn one brought out the yellow flag again.
Owens instructed the team to change four tires, make an air pressure change, add tape to the bottom front grill and top off the gas tank with three seconds of fuel. On lap 127, Sorenson brought the Dollar General Toyota to pit road for service and adjustments. The race resumed on lap 134 with the No. 32 in the tenth position.
"We are still very tight," Sorenson told Owens after the race restarted.
"10-4," Owens replied. "Just get the most you can and we'll take a closer look at the car when the race is over."
The closing laps were littered with cautions. During the green-flag racing, Sorenson fought hard for position and took the checkered flag in the 10th spot. The finish marked the 24th top-10 for the No. 32 Dollar General team this season.
"The Dollar General car started out pretty good, but the handling went to the tight-side and we just couldn't seem to find the right adjustment. I think the tape back on the grill would have helped us out after that last pit stop, but the patch fell off sometime during that last run. It wasn't the prettiest top-10 finish, but we'll take it and worry about focusing on Charlotte and the 'new car' now."
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series teams will have a short trip to Charlotte Motor Speedway next weekend.
-source: braun racing