Sorenson - Dodge teleconference

Reed Sorenson, Driver, No. 41 Target Dodge Charger Weekly Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript August 12,2008 Q: ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MICHIGAN? HOW IMPORTANT WILL FUEL MILEAGE BE AT MIS THIS WEEKEND? A: I'm looking forward to ...

Reed Sorenson, Driver, No. 41 Target Dodge Charger
Weekly Dodge Motorsports Teleconference Transcript
August 12,2008

Q: ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MICHIGAN? HOW IMPORTANT WILL FUEL MILEAGE BE AT MIS THIS WEEKEND?

A: I'm looking forward to Michigan. The last time we were there, we didn't run that good, including my teammate Juan (Pablo Montoya) -- we both had the same issues. Hopefully, we can go back this time and have a different racecar. We've got a different setup (of the car) going into the race and I think we have a better idea of what we need. So I'm just looking forward to getting a decent finish because (Michigan) is one of the tracks that I do enjoy running on. It's a lot of fun when you have a good car and are able to pass. So, I'm looking forward to getting another opportunity to try and be better than we were last time.

Q: WITH SUCH IMPORTANCE ON TRACK POSITION WITH THE COT, DOES QUALIFYING BECOME MORE IMPORTANT AT EACH RACE?

A: It does. A lot of places that we go to, it's really hard to pass with this new car. But with a place like Michigan, if you have a good car, you can come from the back to the front pretty easy. There are three or four grooves that you can run and it's fairly easy to pass when you have a good car. So track position isn't as big of a deal at a track like Michigan versus when we get to some of these smaller tracks where it's tough to pass -- especially with this new car.

Q: WHAT IS THE DYNAMIC OF WORKING AT A RACE SHOP THAT HAS SO MANY DIFFERENT FORMS OF RACING -- NASCAR, IRL AND ROLEX 24?

A: Every team is separated. You have the Cup team that's down here in Charlotte. The IRL team is actually in Indy. They are (the teams) pretty much separated. The engineers do share information, but as far as the teams working together, it's really not the case because they are two separate things. You have two different deals - two different ball games -- but at the same time, we are able to share some information as far as engineering.

Q: HOW IS JUAN PABLO AS A TEAMMATE? YOU'VE BEEN HELPING HIM, HE'S BEEN HELPING YOU?

A: He's a pretty quicker learner. It didn't take him long to get a grasp on these cars and get out of them what he wanted. A lot of the times this year, we've had the same problem, the same issues. I feel like we want the same things out of the car. We've been working really well together this year and like I said, we want the same things out of the car and seem to have the same issues.

Q: WHAT IS YOUR STATUS FOR 2009? WILL YOU BE COMING BACK TO CGRFS?

A: We're working on it right now. The past month or so I've been testing a lot and going out of town a lot. Just this past week, I was down in Nashville for two days testing and have been out of town. We're working on (a new contract) pretty hard and we'll see what we can come up with pretty soon.

Q: WOULD YOU CONSIDER GOING TO ANOTHER TEAM?

A: I've just been trying to focus on what's going on with our race team from a week-to-week basis. The whole organization has been struggling on these mile-and-a-half tracks. There's been a lot of stuff going on back in the shop with the 40 team (Franchitti) getting shut down and people moving around. That was a pretty big change for everybody. Just trying to get better on the bigger tracks has been our main focus.

Q: WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS BEEN THE ONE FACTOR KEEPING CGRFS FROM GETTING INTO THE CHASE? WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET IN THE CHASE NEXT YEAR?

A: We just have to put everything together. I think we have a pretty good car for short tracks where we can qualify decent and run a good race. Right now, we're just struggling on the mile-and-a-half tracks. We have to get that better and be more consistent. A pretty good percentage of the tracks are mile-and-a-half, so we have to get those better. If we can just get our program inside the top 15 or top 20 on those tracks, then I think we can get a lot better and more consistent.

Q: WITH DARIO'S TEAM DISBANDING, HAS THAT ALLOWED FOR MORE FOCUS TO BE PUT ON YOUR TEAM?

A: It's changed a little bit. We don't have to worry about qualifying our car in the race, so we're just concerned about the two cars that are in the race and focusing on trying to make those better. As an organization as a whole, we can concentrate on where we need to be to make our cars better.

Q: DID YOU ABSORB ANY OF THE 40 CREW THAT HAS HELPED GIVE YOUR TEAM AND BOOST?

A: There was some moving around going on, but more at the shop as compared to the road crew. It was really more of the guys who set the cars up versus the guys who go on the road.

Q: HAS THAT BEEN HELPFUL?

A: We lost a lot of good people. It wasn't because we wanted to, it was just a business decision that had to be made. We lost a lot of talented people and I think that was hard for everybody to see. We wish that we could have all those people (back in the shop) because they're obviously worth something. It was tough to see all those people go.

Q: DO YOU HAVE A WORKOUT ROUTINE? HOW IMPORTANT IS IT? AND WHAT IS YOUR ROUTINE?

A: I'm actually a member at the YMCA, so that's where I go. A lot of the times we're on the road and you may be gone two, two-and-a-half weeks without even being home. So it gets pretty tough to have an every-day routine of working out. I try to run as much as I can. You'll see a lot of guys running at the race track -- you just try to get your stamina up and get use to the heat -- get out in the sun and try to run a couple of miles.

Q: DO YOU THINK ALL THE SEAT TIME THAT YOU GET IS PHYSICAL TRAINING?

A: Yeah, definitely. Last week I was in Nashville testing and it was 101 degrees. Testing there for two days will definitely train you for the heat and get you ready for the race, that's for sure.

Q: DO YOU FEEL LIKE PHYSICAL TRAINING HELPS YOU MENTALLY?

A: I think so. Mental toughness is probably the main thing. I think it helps physically too, not worry about getting too hot or worry about being in the car for hours at a time.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE PLANS TO RUN NATIONWIDE OR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK RACES THIS YEAR?

A: The plans got changed this year. I was suppose to run in 11 races in the 40 car and things got changed when the 40 got out of the (Cup) points and Dario (Franchitti) needed to run some more races. I think that they're trying to get Brian (Clauson) in some races and get some seat time and run full-time next year. At the same time, run Dario in six or seven (Nationwide) races. But my schedule got changed as the year went on.

Q: WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES IN MOVING UP TO THE CUP LEVEL AT AGE 18, 19, OR 20?

A: There's a lot. Obviously the level that Cup racing is, the competition level is about 10 times what you're used to. I would say getting use to the competition. When you were coming up, you use to have to beat five or 10 guys that were really good. Then you get to the Cup level, you've got 40 good guys out there. So it gets tougher as you go -- there's a lot of stuff that goes in it -- especially when we go to these bigger tracks. There a lot -- there's the engineering side of it, aerodynamic side -- there's just a lot that goes into it. It's just not as simple as you would want it to be.

Q: HOW TOUGH IS IT, AFTER HAVING SUCCESS AT LOWER LEVELS OF RACING, TO MOVE UP TO CUP AND NOT HAVE ALL THE PREVIOUS SUCCESS?

A: It's tough, that's for sure. I was use to winning at every level that I raced in and then you get to this level, it's tough. Everything has to fall in place just to run in the top-five -- then you have a shot to win. It's tough. But everyone that is in this sport -- whether you're a mechanic or crew chief or driver, you worked your way up to get to this point and to get to that challenge to work as hard as you can just to have that opportunity. It's worth the challenge. I think that everyone that is in the sport feels that way and everybody is hungry for it -- so it's pretty fun.

Q: WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU KNOW NOW THAT YOU WISHED THAT YOU KNEW WHEN YOU MADE YOUR CUP DEBUT?

A: There's just a lot of stuff to know how everything works. Just to know how complex everything is, I don't think that anybody knows until they get to this point.

Q: DO YOU MEAN CAR STUFF OR OFF-TRACK STUFF?

A: You've got 280 employees, it's just hard. The competition is tough and there are a lot of things that go into these cars -- whether it is testing, getting the cars put together -- there are just a lot of things that go into these cars. And then you get to the race track and you are a half-a-tenth off. If you can pick a half-a-tenth up, it seems really small, but it's actually a lot. So it's just hard -- there are a lot of people involved and when you have that many people involved, it's hard to make sure that everything flows perfectly and whoever does that the best usually wins.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Reed Sorenson