EARLY ENDING TO SORENSON'S NIGHT DUE TO BLOWN TIRE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY NEWTON, Iowa (August 2, 2010) -- The No. 32 Dollar General team knew that this weekend was going to have its challenges as the NASCAR Nationwide Series traveled to Iowa Speedway...
EARLY ENDING TO SORENSON'S NIGHT DUE TO BLOWN TIRE AT IOWA SPEEDWAY
NEWTON, Iowa (August 2, 2010) -- The No. 32 Dollar General team knew that this weekend was going to have its challenges as the NASCAR Nationwide Series traveled to Iowa Speedway for the second annual race at the 0.875-mile track. What they did not anticipate was Mother Nature interfering with the weekend schedule and the carefully coordinated plans as Reed Sorenson fulfilled his double-duty responsibilities, travelling between Pocono Raceway and Iowa. With no practice in the No. 32 Camry, he started from the 27th position. He had powered up to the 12th spot when his right front tire blew without warning, sending the car hard into the outside wall. The damage was severe and ended the day for the Dollar General team, relegating Sorenson to a 36th-place finish in the U.S. Cellular 250.
Armed only with the data from last season's inaugural event and a driver who had never competed on the track, the Dollar General team remained confident as they headed to Iowa. Inclement weather resulted in the cancellation of Friday's two practice sessions. The change in schedule was announced as Sorenson was en route from Pocono to Iowa. He returned to Pennsylvania and the Dollar General team made preparations for teammate, Jason Leffler, to shake down the No. 32 Toyota during the rescheduled practice the following morning. Sorenson arrived minutes before Nationwide Series qualifying began and logged his first laps in the car during the time trials. With the track temperatures high, he battled a very loose condition as he turned a fast lap of 24.167 seconds.
Sorenson strapped into the Dollar General Toyota and lined up for the start in the 27th position. He set his sights on moving forward and quickly went to work to advance the No. 32 into the top-15 by lap nine. He continued to pick cars off one by one and took over the 12th position on lap 33. He reported to crew chief, Trent Owens, that the brakes felt like they were starting to go out.
"It almost feels like they're too hot or something," he said as he circled the track. "I'm lifting early [going into the turns] right now to save what I can."
"10-4," replied Owens. "Just do what you need to do until we can get you in here to take a look at things."
On lap 41, the right front tire exploded on the Dollar General Toyota, sending the car careening into the outside wall of turn two. As the car slid to a stop, the rear was engulfed by flames. Sorenson quickly climbed from the window and waited on emergency crews. He was taken to infield care where he was evaluated and released. The damage to the No. 32 Camry was beyond repair, relegating the Dollar General team to a 36th-place finish.
"We had a pretty good car today, especially since I didn't have any time in it before qualifying and [teammate, Jason] Leffler only put four laps of practice on it this morning," said Sorenson. "I've never raced here at Iowa Speedway before so I was really looking forward to it. The race started out great and we passed a lot of cars before we blew the right front tire and hit the wall pretty hard. I think the reason that we lost the tire was that we had some type of brake cooling issue. I don't think we ran over anything, I think it just melted the bead. The last five laps I was trying not to use the brakes at all but by then, it was too late. It's just really unfortunate because I think we had a solid car. This is the first DNF that I've had with the team this year and hopefully we don't have any more. I wish we had been able to take the Dollar General Camry to the end, but we're finished for today."
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series teams head to Watkins Glen International next weekend for the Zippo 200 at the Glen.
-source: braun racing