Bristol: Sorenson - Dodge Friday interview

REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger) NOTE: Sorenson scored a career-best 10th-place finish last week at Atlanta in his sixth career Cup start. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender was the highest finishing rookie at Atlanta. He...

REED SORENSON (No. 41 Target Dodge Charger)

NOTE: Sorenson scored a career-best 10th-place finish last week at Atlanta in his sixth career Cup start. The Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender was the highest finishing rookie at Atlanta. He moved from 32nd to 25th in the series standings following last week's 10th-place finish.

"We definitely needed a run where we could gain some points because we were in the 30s and we felt like we've had some great cars but we just didn't have the finishes to show for it. It was a boost for the team and points, and we think it's what we needed to get the ball rolling. Everybody is excited about the rest of the season."

YOU SAID THE ATLANTA DODGE WASN'T AS GOOD AT THE CHARGERS YOU HAD AT CALIFORNIA AND LAS VEGAS. "That's what we were all talking about after the race. It's probably the worst car we've had at a mile and a half track this year. We finished 10th, so that made us feel pretty good about the rest of the mile and a half tracks coming up. We've got a brand new car going into Texas, and we're really excited about that one from the numbers and everything we've seen so far. We're looking forward to Texas and the rest of the mile and a half tracks."

IT'S YOUR FIRST CUP RACE AT BRISTOL. HOW ARE YOU APPROACHING IT? "I was asking Biffle how this track is Cup cars versus Busch cars and he said it's probably the least different out of any track we go to between the two. Obviously you've got more horsepower and you can't stomp on the gas quite as hard (in the Cup car). I'm looking forward to getting in the Cup car and getting some laps on this track because this is probably one of my favorite places to come to all year. We finished third in my first race here in a Busch car. We need a win on that side and another solid top 10 in the Cup car."

WHY IS BRISTOL ONE OF YOUR FAVORITE TRACKS? "Growing up doing short track racing like a lot of these guys did, it just kind of goes back to everyone's roots. Obviously it's got a lot of banking and it's fast and it's just fun to race on. It's hard to pass on, but if you've got a good enough car you can work on a guy for two or three laps and hopefully he'll make a mistake and you can make your move."

COMMENT ON THE RAYBESTOS ROOKIE RACE. IS IT TOUGHER THAN YOU EXPECTED? "Nope, it's exactly what I thought it would be. Everybody knew going into this year that this is probably the best rookie class that's been in Cup in a long time, if not the best ever. I'm just happy to be a part of it, and hopefully we'll be one of the guys with a chance to win it at the end of the year."

COMMENT ON YOUR RISING POPULARITY "You're so caught up in trying to beat everyone you don't realize you're racing against Jeff Gordon and Mark Martin. You're just trying to beat them every weekend. It's like any of the racing you've ever done, but there's more competition, more money, more fans and that just makes it more exciting."

DESCRIBE WHAT IT FEELS LIKE DRIVING INTO THE CORNERS AT BRISTOL "It's kind of rough. It's bumpy. If you tires are new you can drive it in there pretty hard, but you've got to be careful when your tires get older. You can't quite drive it in as hard. You can get on the gas as hard, but you've got to be careful going into three. The rear end wants to come out if you get in there too hard. You've just got to be patient with this place and take what it gives you. I don't think you can push the car too hard and take advantage of the car because if you do you'll either be in the wall, or as rough as this place is, you'll wreck."

WILL THE WEATHER CHANGE YOUR SETUP? "I've never been here in a Cup car, so we'll just start with what we've got. If it rains out practice and qualifying, we'll just start with it and try to do our best. I'm sure we'll get some practice, but we'll just start out with what we've got and adjust from there. Our Cup and Busch setups are pretty close. We thought we had a pretty good Busch setup last year, so we think that's a good starting point for Cup."

COMMENT ON RUNNING CUP AND BUSCH SERIES "So far it hasn't been too bad. I haven't been too tired. I haven't run good, so it hasn't been that much fun. Things haven't gone as planned, but it's not to say we haven't had good cars. My Cup cars have been awesome. Everywhere we've been we've been fast. That threw me off guard and surprised me. I knew we could do it. I just didn't know how long it would take to be able to get top 10s. I'm looking forward to the rest of the Cup season for sure. It's taken, no so much has it taken the pressure off, but it's taken away the unknowns. Now I know that the team is behind me and they believe in me and I believe in them, I think it's going to be pretty good the rest of the year."

HOW DOES IT FEEL TO SEE CASEY MEARS RUN AS WELL AS HE'S BEEN RUNNING? "At California we were running fifth and we felt like we were better than him there. At Vegas we were in front of him and blew a tire, and at Atlanta his car wasn't that good. Casey has always been fast. He's just had some bad luck like we're having right now. He's never had a problem of being fast. Bad things have happened to him, but this year he's going for the top 10 (Mears is currently ranked fifth). We'd like to get as close as we can to the top 10. That's our goal. This is Casey's fourth year and he's definitely learned a lot. I think he's shown that he can contend with any of these guys, and I believe within the next year or so he'll be a championship contender."

WHAT DO YOU DO ON A RAINY, SNOWY DAY AT THE TRACK? "I'm not feeling too hot, so I might go do nothing, take some medicine and try to feel a little bit better. If the weather stays like this, it's kinda gloomy for everybody. I might go play my Bristol video game. At least that way I can get in some practice laps."

-dodge motorsports-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Gordon , Mark Martin