REED SORENSON TO ASSIST RUSTY WALLACE RACING IN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS --Former Busch Series Winner to Make Single Start in Friend's No. 66 Dodge at Charlotte-- MOORESVILLE, NC (October 4, 2007)--In an effort to assist their team's driver and ...
REED SORENSON TO ASSIST RUSTY WALLACE RACING IN DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
--Former Busch Series Winner to Make Single Start in Friend's No. 66 Dodge at Charlotte--
MOORESVILLE, NC (October 4, 2007)--In an effort to assist their team's driver and vehicle development processes, Rusty Wallace Racing officials announced today that former NASCAR Busch Series winner and NEXTEL Cup Series driver, Reed Sorenson, will pilot the team's No. 66 HomeLife Communities Dodge in next weekend's Dollar General 300 in Charlotte. The event will be Sorenson's only start in the No. 66, before handing the wheel back to Steve Wallace--a two-time pole winner in 2007--for the remainder of the season. Further, the team confirmed that Wallace will wheel its No. 66 entry full-time in 2008.
Noted team owner, Rusty Wallace, "2007 has been a year of ups and downs for us; on one hand, we've won two poles and have had some fast cars, but on the other, some of our performances just haven't been up to our high standards. This team is used to running up front consistently and will settle for nothing less. Our entire organization and all of our partners are 110 percent behind Steve. This is absolutely not a reflection on his ability or potential; we want to do everything it takes to put him and our 66 car back up front where they belong. He is the driver of the 66 for the rest of the year and into the future."
Sorenson, driver of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates's No. 41 in the NEXTEL Cup Series, is no stranger to success at Charlotte. The 21 year-old Georgia native has scored one top-five and two top-ten finishes in the previous two runnings of the prestigious Coca-Cola 600, held at the 1.5-mile speedway. It is that type of experience which Rusty Wallace believes will help the No. 66 team the most. "This move was made solely to help Steve and the 66 team gain additional feedback on our cars and our intermediate track package," Wallace noted, "With any rookie driver like Steve, there's going to be a learning curve; Reed's been at this several years now and like Steve, has been really fast. He's gained some good knowledge and experience from working with Chip Ganassi's guys, so he'll be able to give us another perspective on our program. On that note, I'd like to thank Chip for allowing Reed to work with us; Chip's a great friend and I really appreciate all of his help."
Rusty Wallace continued, "I've been in this sport a long time and I know how people, for some reason, like to start rumors and controversy. Because of that, I'm going to make a few things absolutely clear. Steve Wallace is the driver of the No. 66 car for the rest of this year and into the future. Period. End of story. I believe in Steve 110 percent and our entire team does too. All of our partners, led by HomeLife Communities, are absolutely, positively behind him; just like I do, they know that the kid is unbelievably talented. Nobody, much less a 19 year-old kid, out-qualifies more than 20 NEXTEL Cup drivers--guys like Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards, Greg Biffle, Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch--to win the pole at Bristol, unless they've got a ton of talent. For some reason, we just haven't been able to make everything click this year. I promise you though, we're going to do everything possible to make it happen. Once it does, look out, because that 66 car is going to be hard to beat."
While some might incorrectly view Sorenson's start as a blow to the younger Wallace, it was actually Steve who agreed to step out from behind the wheel in Charlotte. Noted Steve, "I'm giving it 100 percent. For some reason though, we just haven't been able to get our cars handling this year, especially with coil-bind setups. We've been really fast sometimes; we won a couple of poles and even came close to winning a couple of races. Other times though, we've really struggled to get our cars driving well. It's this kind of inconsistency that we're trying to fix. We've got everything we need: a state-of-the-art facility, strong engines and all of the parts and pieces it takes to go fast. We just have to put it all together; our team has been up in the top-five and top-ten consistently over the last several seasons and we're going to get back there again. Reed is one of my best friends and he has a lot of experience and knowledge from working with all of the Cup guys at Ganassi. While it's going to absolutely kill me watching that 66 car on Friday night, I hope that he'll do a good job for us. Come Memphis though, you better believe that I'm gonna be up on the wheel and ready to get after it."