The Game Plan: Reed Sorenson will only have to shuffle once between Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) this weekend, as he competes in both the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races. He will start off the weekend...
The Game Plan: Reed Sorenson will only have to shuffle once between Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) and the O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) this weekend, as he competes in both the NEXTEL Cup and Busch Series races. He will start off the weekend practicing and qualifying the No. 41 Target Dodge at IMS Friday and Saturday. Then, after he finishes his final NEXTEL Cup practice late Saturday afternoon, he will chopper over to ORP to qualify and race the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge in the Kroger 200.
Hamlin's Help: On Saturday, while Sorenson is over at IMS practicing and qualifying the No. 41 Target Dodge, Kevin Hamlin--a Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) development driver--will help the No. 41 Discount Tire team during both morning practice sessions to get its car set up and ready for Sorenson to run in both the qualifying session and race later that day. Hamlin has helped the team during other non-companion events this year, including Nashville (Tenn.) Superspeedway and Kentucky Speedway (Sparta, Ky.). He also helped at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway, where he qualified the No. 41 Dodge in the ninth-place starting position for the Goody's 250.
Indy was Sorenson's First: Sorenson made his NASCAR Busch Series debut at O'Reilly Raceway Park in August 2004, driving for CGRFS. Sorenson's first run was a solid one indeed, as he grabbed a third-place starting position and then topped it off with a respectable 13th-place finish.
On the Cup Side: The NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series had this past weekend off, which marked the series' last off-weekend before embarking on a 16-consecutive-week stretch that will conclude with the final race of the 2006 season at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla., on November 19. Heading into this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sorenson and the No. 41 Target Team's last run was at Pocono Raceway where they finished 26th after battling handling woes at the Pennsylvania track. Sorenson and team dropped one position to 23rd in the standings at the conclusion of the Pocono event. They are only 53 points out of 20th and 203 out of 15th.
Sorenson comments on returning to the O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP):
"I am looking forward to returning to Indy this year. One main reason is I know we have the car to win at ORP. It is the same car we raced at the track last year, when we sat on the pole and went on to finish third. It also is running a pretty good streak right now. We ran it the last couple of weeks, and have scored top-five finishes every time, so I'm hoping we can improve on that just a bit to grab our first win this weekend.
"The track is pretty special to me and always will be because that is where I had my first start in the Busch car back in 2004, and for a first run we had a pretty good day. We started third and finished with a top 15, so for a first run it was good. Last year was a positive run, too. It seems like we just keep getting better and better each time we go there, so hopefully we can seal the deal this Saturday.
A win this Saturday would be really special for us, one being the fact Chip's [Ganassi, team owner] history in Indy and just the history of motor sports altogether that the whole Indianapolis area possesses."