Sorenson Bounces Back after an Early Spin to Finish 16th at Lowe's Motor Speedway CONCORD, N.C. (October 19, 2009) -- Reed Sorenson donned a pink fire suit and drove a specially painted, pink No. 10 Dollar General Toyota this weekend at Lowe's...
Sorenson Bounces Back after an Early Spin to Finish 16th at Lowe's Motor Speedway
CONCORD, N.C. (October 19, 2009) -- Reed Sorenson donned a pink fire suit and drove a specially painted, pink No. 10 Dollar General Toyota this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway as he and his Braun Racing teammates went "all pink" to support Susan G. Komen for the Cure® and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Following a solid qualifying effort, the Dollar General team had high hopes of putting the No. 10 into victory lane on Friday night. An early spin and subsequent damage, resulted in a hard fought, 16th-place finish in the Dollar General 300.
Sorenson took the green flag from the eighth position and immediately had his hands full. Battling an extremely loose condition, the No. 10 Dollar General Toyota slid back to the 17th spot. As he moved past the No. 17 on lap 12, the car snapped loose and brushed the outside wall. The No. 17 made slight contact with the rear bumper of the No. 10 Camry, sending both cars spinning down the frontstretch and bringing out the night's first caution.
During the yellow flag, Sorenson brought the Dollar General Toyota to pit road for a series of stops. During the first pit stop the team changed four tires, packed the car with fuel and made an air pressure adjustment. On the second visit to pit road, the crew returned the roof flaps to their closed position and inspected the fenders for damage. On the final stop, the team topped the Camry off with fuel. Sorenson restarted from the 34th position when the race resumed on lap 22.
By lap 50, Sorenson had moved the No. 10 Camry back into the top-25. As the leaders began to make green-flag pit stops, the No. 10 was able to remain on track longer, due to their early pit stops on laps during the lap 13 caution. The second caution of the night came out on lap 63, with Sorenson running in the 12th position. Two laps later, crew chief, Mike Hillman, Jr., called his driver to pit road for service. The Dollar General crew quickly changed four tires, filled the Camry with fuel, put in a spring rubber and made an air pressure adjustment. When the race restarted on lap 68, the No. 10 Toyota was in the 10th position.
As he drove the car around the 1.5-mile speedway, Sorenson reported that the car's handling felt like something was broken in the right rear of the car. Hillman, Jr. and Sorenson discussed the car's condition, speculating that a shock or the sway bar was damaged from the trip through the frontstretch grass.
Sorenson had driven the No. 10 Dollar General car up to the eighth position when a multi-car wreck in turn two brought out the next caution flag on lap 69. He brought the car down pit road on lap 70 for the team to assess the issue. With the hood up on the No. 10, it was discovered that the sway bar pin had broken during the lap 12 accident. The crew worked quickly to repair the sway bar, but the extra time on pit road cost the team valuable track position as Sorenson restarted 20th.
Sorenson gained one position before the caution flag came out again on lap 81. As green-flag racing resumed on lap 84, the No. 10 was in the 16th spot. Sorenson continued to gain ground, moving into the top-15 by lap 110.
Teams began to monitor the radar carefully as inclement weather developed west of the Concord-based track. Leaders began to make green-flag pit stops on lap 130. On lap 134, the No. 10 Dollar General Toyota took over the ninth position. With the hopes for a caution flag, Sorenson remained on the track as long as possible.
"The car is just too tight," Sorenson reported to Hillman, Jr. "I'm not able to get on the throttle out of the turns. It needs to be freed up."
On lap 140, the No. 10 Camry came down pit road for four tires, fuel and adjustments. As the field cycled through the green-flag stops, Sorenson had moved back up to the 15th position before the caution came out again on lap 148.
The race resumed on lap 153 and the No. 10 slid to the 16th position. Sorenson was able to return to the 15th position by the time the final caution of the night occurred on lap 175. When the No. 10 came to pit road for one final pit stop, the team quickly changed four tires, packed the car with fuel and made air pressure and track bar adjustments.
Sorenson restarted from the 18th position on lap 179. In the final 20 laps, he advanced the No. 10 Camry to a 16th-place finish in the Dollar General 300.
"We had a really good car here this weekend," said Sorenson. "The Dollar General Toyota started the night just a little too loose-handling. Unfortunately, before we could adjust on it, we got into the wall. The No. 17 had nowhere to go and got into the back of us, spinning us and sending us through the grass. The team worked really hard all night to fix the car and adjust on the handling. I think this was easily a top-five car, we just ran into some bad luck and couldn't make up the ground we lost. I think we had one of the best looking cars this weekend! We supported Susan G. Komen for the Cure tonight with our pink Toyota and brought some awareness to breast cancer."
Justin Marks will return to the wheel of the No. 10 Toyota Camry next weekend at Memphis Motorsports Park, making his fourth Nationwide Series start of the season.
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series travels to Memphis, Tennessee this weekend for the Kroger on Track for the Cure 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park.