REED SORENSON STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Reed Sorenson's appearance in Saturday's Budweiser Shootout marks his competition debut with Richard Petty Motorsports in a race that saw the 22-year-old Georgian finish fifth in 2008. Sorenson takes over...
STATESVILLE, N.C. -- Reed Sorenson's appearance in Saturday's Budweiser Shootout marks his competition debut with Richard Petty Motorsports in a race that saw the 22-year-old Georgian finish fifth in 2008.
Sorenson takes over the No. 43 Dodge made famous by his car owner Richard Petty. The seven-time champion and winningest driver in NASCAR history has spent time with Sorenson in recent weeks which is sure to pay dividends on and off the track.
"Any race car driver is going to be excited when he drives through the tunnel for the first time each season. This is like starting over for me. I have a new everything this year and I'm pretty pumped up to get to Daytona.
"Except for the racing part I feel like the season has already begun. I've been on a few sponsor visits and spent a lot of time at the shop with the guys working on pit stops and just learning how they do things here.
"Last week I spent some time up in Randleman (North Carolina) with the King going through his museum. It was an amazing trip. He had all his old race cars up there and a lot of stuff he's collected over the years. He's a guy who helped build the sport and a lot of us are thankful he did. He gives us the chance to do what we love to do.
"I hope to learn a lot from him. You learn a lot just watching him in the way he deals with the fans and media. It such an honor to have someone like that in your corner.
I don't know how much strategy there will be in the Shootout. Whatever there is usually it just comes down to those final laps and you just end up going for it. You just hope you are in the right place at the right time. I think the fans love this event. Anything we can do that pleases the race fans I'm for."
Notes of Interest
* Sorenson turns 23 on Thursday.
* McDonald's will advertise a different product on the rear television panel in each of its sponsored races in 2008
* Sorenson finished fifth in the 2008 Daytona 500.
* If Sorenson wins the Daytona 500 he will be the youngest driver to ever win the race. Jeff Gordon won the 1995 race when he was 24 years old.
* Sorenson spent five full seasons (1998-2002) in Legends Cars, racking up 84 wins, 152 top-five finishes and 166 top-10 finishes in 183 starts
Primary: No. 227
History: Chassis served as a backup in 2008.
Backup: No. 272
History: Will serve as 500 car.