BUSCH: Atlanta: Reed Sorenson preview

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge My Hometown: This weekend of NASCAR racing in the Atlanta, Ga., area will be a type of homecoming for Reed Sorenson, who hails from Peachtree City, Ga. Atlanta Motor Speedway also is the site ...

Reed Sorenson, No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge

My Hometown: This weekend of NASCAR racing in the Atlanta, Ga., area will be a type of homecoming for Reed Sorenson, who hails from Peachtree City, Ga. Atlanta Motor Speedway also is the site of Sorenson's first NEXTEL Cup Series start, which came last fall. Sorenson started the event 22nd and finished 41st after an accident took him out of contention on lap 133 of 325.

Making His Rounds: Before Reed Sorenson arrives at Atlanta Motor Speedway to compete in the Nicorette 300 and the Golden Corral 500, he will be making some stops along the way on Thursday, March 16. First he will stop by Atlanta's WAGA Fox 5 television station to chat about the race weekend ahead. After he finishes there, he will head over to the Georgia Capitol to meet with Governor Sonny Perdue and fellow NASCAR drivers to celebrate Georgia's motorsports history. He also hopes to take Governor Perdue for a "quick ride" before bidding farewell and heading over to a local Discount Tire store in Lilburn, Ga.

More Than One Calls Georgia Home ... In addition to Sorenson's Georgia roots, two other team members on the No. 41 Discount Tire team were also born and raised in the Peach State. A long-time friend of Sorenson's, Shane Bourgeois, is also from Peachtree. Bourgeois grew up racing with Sorenson before moving to North Carolina to work in NASCAR. Brian Taylor, the front mechanic on the No. 41 team, is also a Georgia native. He grew up in Cuthbert.

Meet Reed in Atlanta: As briefly stated above, Sorenson will stop by the Discount Tire store located at 3994 Lawrenceville Hwy NW in Lilburn, Ga., to meet area race fans and sign autographs from 3 to 5 p.m. ET, Thursday, March 16. To keep up-to-date on Sorenson's public appearances and latest news, go to www.reedsorensononline.com.

Mears-Sorenson Busch Duo @ AMS ... Reed Sorenson and Casey Mears will team up for a second time this 2006 NASCAR Busch Series season to go racing at Atlanta Motor Speedway in the Nicorette 300. Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) announced earlier this year, Mears would make his return to the Busch Series in a CGRFS Dodge Charger for nine events during the 2006 season, carrying the number and logo of his NEXTEL Cup car--the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline Dodge. The No. 42 Busch car made its debut at California Speedway last month. In addition to his run in California and this weekend at Atlanta, Mears will also team up with Sorenson to run at the two Charlotte races, Texas and Phoenix in April, Chicago, Michigan and the Labor Day race in California. The program is being led by crew chief Lee McCall who earned five wins, 20 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes calling the shots in the NEXTEL Cup Series for CGRFS. To-date, the CGRFS Busch Series program has 48 starts to its credit and has amassed three wins, four poles, 15 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes.

Where They are Now: The No. 41 Discount Tire team is now 13th in the overall NASCAR Busch Series standings with Sorenson 11th overall in driver points. The driver and team are just coming off of a steady weekend performance at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where they brought home their second-consecutive top-10 finish from the Nevada track which also helped them make substantial steps back up the ranks in the driver and owner points standings.

CGRFS NEXTEL Team Update: Right now, Mears is leading the CGRFS NEXTEL Cup teams in the points standings. Mears and the No. 42 Texaco/Havoline team stand fourth and just 86 points behind leader Jimmie Johnson. With 27 laps to go and sitting 17th, Casey Mears and team rallied to finish ninth at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this past weekend in the UAW DaimlerChrysler 400. It was the team's third top-10 finish of the season. Sorenson and the No. 41 Target team dropped to 32nd in the overall standings after a blown tire in last week's event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway relegated them to a 41st-place finish. They are 82 points out of 20th. Sorenson currently sits seventh in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race with 19 points. He is 16 points behind leader Clint Bowyer. David Stremme and the No. 40 Coor's Light/Lone Star Steakhouse and Saloon team did not have lady luck on their side as they took the checkered flag at LVMS this past weekend in the 33rd position. Despite solid pit stops, the No. 40 Dodge was unable to get any higher than 33rd. Stremme and crew dropped two spots in the NEXTEL Cup standings, and are now 35th and 166 points out of the 10th spot. Stremme stands fifth in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year race with 21 points. He is 14 points behind leader Bowyer.

Chassis: The No. 41 Discount Tire team has picked Chassis No. 555 to run in this weekend's NASCAR Busch Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday. The chassis last ran in October 2005 and had a very busy year, running at both Charlotte races, in addition to Las Vegas, Texas and Chicago. It helped Sorenson and the No. 41 team post two top-five and four top-10 finishes. Its best run was at Texas Motor Speedway in April when the team started 15th and then wrapped up the day with a third-place finish.

Reed, this weekend, you get to go back to where you grew up. Do you look more forward to racing at Atlanta than other venues you race throughout the year and what do you have planned on and off the track this weekend? "I do look forward to getting to go back to see some of my friends I don't get to see very often anymore because of my busy work and travel schedule. I also like to get to stop by to see mom and dad at the house, but they are both still very active with my career so I get to see them a lot through the year anyway. As far as the track itself, I really look at it like any other place we go racing. I do want to run well because there are more friends who will make it out to watch me this weekend than usual, and the Discount Tire team has a really good chance to do so. We're taking one of our best cars with us to Atlanta this weekend. It really helped us deliver some great finishes last year, so we're hoping we can capitalize on those past efforts. I will admit it would be special to win at Atlanta. That is for sure.

"I really don't have a lot planned other than just hanging out with everyone during the little free time I am going to have this week. I have a lot of appearances and media appointments on Thursday leading into the weekend, and then it is really hectic at the track running in both series."


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Drivers Casey Mears , David Stremme , Clint Bowyer , Reed Sorenson , Felix Sabates , Brian Taylor
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing