Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Tuesday, October 25, 2005 REED SORENSON (No. 39 Discount Tire Dodge Charger) NOTE: Sorenson, a 19-year-old driver from Atlanta, will attempt to make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut on Sunday in the Bass Pro...
Dodge Motorsports Teleconference
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
REED SORENSON (No. 39 Discount Tire Dodge Charger)
NOTE: Sorenson, a 19-year-old driver from Atlanta, will attempt to make his NASCAR NEXTEL Cup debut on Sunday in the Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
COMMENT ON CUP DEBUT "I didn't really know when it was going to be, so it's been pretty fast, moving along pretty well. About halfway through this year Discount Tire jumped on board and helped us, so it's been pretty exciting for me and Chip and everybody."
ARE YOU DOING ANYTHING SPECIAL TO PREPARE YOURSELF MENTALLY FOR ATLANTA? "I really don't know what to do to prepare myself. I can tell you after I race and tell you what maybe I should have done. I've talked to my teammate Casey Mears and I've talked to David Stremme a little bit. David made his Cup debut at Chicago and ran at Charlotte a couple of weeks ago. I've talked to him and tried to get some advice from him, and Casey Mears has been helping me out. I talk to him last night and told him he'd better help me out this weekend because I'm going to need it. He's been there for me."
COMMENT ON MAKING YOUR DEBUT AT ATLANTA "It just happened to be at the end of the year and was one of the tracks that David wasn't running. It just ended up being where I'm going to make my start."
COMMENT ON STARTING CUP AT THE AGE OF 19 "I think that's a good thing. There are plenty of young guys in the sport and plenty of veterans, too. That's who I've got to beat right now. Rusty Wallace and Mark Martin are ending their Cup careers and they're in The Chase and going for the championship. It's pretty cool to be able to race with some of those guys before they leave and learn from them. I know how old I am, but it's a good thing I believe."
WHICH DRIVERS DO YOU LOOK UP TO? "I've watched Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt and some of those guys. Now I get to go out there and race with some of those guys. Most of the guys I've been watching since I was a little kid and now I'm going to be out there battling with them. That's pretty exciting. We tested in Atlanta a couple of weeks ago and had some pretty good cars to compare it to. Tony Stewart, Greg Biffle and Mark Martin were there. We were not as fast as we should be. We were fast enough to make the race and be competitive, but we needed to be faster, so we brought it here to the shop and tried to make it better. Hopefully it'll be better. For me the goal is to make the race and be competitive and finish on the lead lap. I think if you can stay on the lead lap for 500 miles at Atlanta you'll get a pretty good finish."
CAN YOU COMMENT ON YOUR LEARNING CURVE AS A DRIVER? "You try to look to the future and point things out, but you really can't do that in this sport because things change daily. You learn as much as you can. You can't stay in one series too long and try to move up. Those guys are so good. You can tell they've been doing it for a long time, and that's cool. You're amazed how fast they really are. You've got to give it your all every lap to keep up with these guys."
DO YOU FEEL PRESSURE WITH THE CHASE DRIVERS? "That's definitely something I've thought about. I'm not going to do anything to take a chance on wrecking somebody in The Chase. Those guys have been working all year to get where they're at, and if I was in that situation I wouldn't want somebody coming in. It's a race and obviously everybody is going to do the best they can, but you don't want to cause a problem where something they worked for all year, if you're involved in something that's questionable, you give the guys the respect they need."
DO YOU THINK ANY DRIVERS ARE JEALOUS OF YOUR YOUTH? "I think it depends on who you talk to. Some guys might be that way a little bit, but others are the exact opposite. I've talked to Mark Martin a little bit off and on for a couple of years. He tries to help people like me out, and I think that's pretty cool. Everybody is excited about next year. We didn't get a car in The Chase this year. Jamie got close, but we're working and Chip is doing a good job making sure we get all we need. Ernie is going a great job making horsepower. Everybody is doing what they can to make sure we have cars that can win races and get The Chase next season."