Texas: Reed Sorenson preview

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge Discount Tire Team Fast Facts: * Testing Time at RIR: The No. 41 Discount Tire team tested at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) March 29 and 30 to prepare for the upcoming NASCAR Busch ...

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge

Discount Tire Team Fast Facts:

* Testing Time at RIR: The No. 41 Discount Tire team tested at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) March 29 and 30 to prepare for the upcoming NASCAR Busch Series race at the .75-mile Virginia track May 5. Sorenson and crew topped off the speed charts during the last morning of their two-day test session at RIR, recording a best lap of 125.506 mph (21.513 seconds).

* Truly triumphant at Texas: Sorenson has two Busch Series starts at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS), both of which came during his rookie season in 2005. He has two top-five finishes at the 1.5-mile speedway (started 15th and finished third in April, started ninth and finished fourth in November), which equal an average finish of 3.5 and an average start of 12th. Sorenson led a total of 31 laps in both events at Texas last season.

* Mears returns with new leader: Casey Mears will return to the Busch garage this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, which will mark his third time this season teaming up with Sorenson in NASCAR Busch Series competition. He will, however, have a new leader making the calls. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced last week veteran NASCAR crew chief Brad Parrot has joined the organization to serve as the crew chief for Mears and the No. 42 Busch team in their remaining seven races. Mears and the No. 42 Busch car most recent run was at Atlanta Motor Speedway last month. They made their debut at California Speedway in late February. Mears and the No. 42 Busch team are scheduled to also run at Phoenix International Raceway later this month, and then at both Charlotte races, Chicago, Michigan and the Labor Day race in California. To-date, the CGRFS Busch Series program has 51 starts to its credit and has amassed three wins, four poles, 15 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.

* New Addition: The No. 41 Discount Tire team has made an addition to its crew, welcoming Todd Hamm aboard to serve as the team's engine tuner. Hamm is originally from Kutztown, Pa. He most recently worked in the engine department at Richard Childress Racing, focusing on the team's Busch Series and lease programs.

* Car of Tomorrow: Sorenson joined three other drivers, including Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards, on Monday, March 27 to test NASCAR's "Car of Tomorrow" at Bristol Motor Speedway. It was the fourth test of the car, which is projected to be phased into NASCAR competition next season.

* Meet Reed in Texas: Reed will visit the Discount Tire store located at 2405 Grapevine Mills Circle in Grapevine, Texas from 4:30 to 6 p.m. CT Wednesday, April 5. Sorenson will be accompanied by the "High School Sports Extra" that is showing up with its road show. Discount Tire sponsors the road show that heads out to high schools around Texas awarding them for their community involvement. There will be basketball goals set up for fans to shoot for prizes, along with a rock climbing wall for the kids and fans to enjoy.

* Rank Update: Sorenson and the No. 41 CGRFS Busch team are now 19th (122 points out of 10th) in driver points and 21st (133 points out of 10th) in owner points. While Sorenson was racing in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at Martinsville Speedway this past weekend, his Busch team had the weekend off. Their last run was at Bristol Motor Speedway two weeks ago. A late-race accident relegated Sorenson from a top-10 running position to a 27th-place finish.

* CGRFS NEXTEL News: Sorenson is coming off of an impressive weekend performance at Martinsville Speedway, as the NEXTEL Cup Rookie didn't let handling issues, lapped traffic and aggressive driving by fellow competitors keep him from turning in his second- best effort of the season at a track that not only had he never seen before, but is considered one of the toughest on the NEXTEL Cup circuit. Sorenson captured Raybestos Rookie of the Race honors for the second time this season and twice in the last three races (He also captured Rookie of the Race honors at his hometown track of Atlanta Motor Speedway March 20). He is currently fifth in the rookie standings with 51 points and is nine points behind leader Clint Bowyer. The Target team also moved up three positions to 24th in the overall standings at the conclusion of the Martinsville race. They are only 20 points out of 20th and 147 out of the top 10 heading into this weekends race at Texas on April 9. Sorenson's Cup teammates Casey Mears and David Stremme finished 27th and 38th respectively. Mears is now 10th in the NEXTEL Cup standings and Stremme is 37th.

* Chassis: Brian Pattie and the No. 41 CGRFS Busch team have selected chassis #555 to carry the Discount Tire colors this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. The same chassis carried Sorenson and team to a third-place finish (started 15th) in the April race at the Texas track last year. It was also run at both Charlotte races, in addition to Las Vegas and Chicago, helping Sorenson and the No. 41 team post two top-five and four top-10 finishes with its best run being at Texas.

Reed, you are heading back to Texas with the same car that carried you to a top five there last season. Was last year's run as smooth as it looked, and it does seem like the Discount Tire team is following the same game plan. "We did have a pretty impressive run at Texas last April. We led some laps and came really close to winning, but I was on older tires than some of the guys behind us and got passed by Kasey [Kahne] and [Greg] Biffle in the last few laps. The ride was pretty solid, too. It was a little loose in and tight off in the beginning, but we pitted early on in the race, made some changes and the car truly got on track at that point. The guys worked hard all day, gained us positions on pit road and got us up inside the top five. As always, Brian [Pattie] made great calls and made a really good call on pit road that got us in the lead so it was a true teamwork effort that got us that top five in April.

Then, we came back later that year and proved the spring run wasn't a fluke by finishing fourth. I learned a lot there last year. Definitely, learned you've got to have your car free enough to where it turns good in the center when you are behind somebody because when you get behind somebody it gets real aero-tight. It's a fun place to race, hard to pass at times but I really did enjoy racing there last year.

"We kind of got into a little bit of a rut during the first few races this season and some of it has been beyond our control, so I am glad the guys had the weekend off. I'm hoping it gave them time to rejuvenate because I know we've got what it takes to be the number one car on Saturday."

-cgr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jeff Burton , Casey Mears , Carl Edwards , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Reed Sorenson , Felix Sabates
Teams Richard Childress Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing