SORENSON DRIVES TO AN EIGHTH-PLACE FINISH IN THE CARFAX 250 AT MICHIGAN BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 16, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson and the Dollar General team traveled to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the NASCAR Nationwide Series' annual visit to ...
SORENSON DRIVES TO AN EIGHTH-PLACE FINISH IN THE CARFAX 250 AT MICHIGAN
BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 16, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson and the Dollar General team traveled to the Irish Hills of Michigan for the NASCAR Nationwide Series' annual visit to Michigan International Speedway. Highlighting the weekend was the second appearance of the series' "new car." After qualifying 13th, Sorenson drove the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota to an eighth-place finish, his 13th top-10 finish in only 17 starts this season.
Armed only with the data from the "new car's" debut at Daytona International Speedway in July, the Dollar General team was confident as they unloaded the No. 32 Toyota. As Sorenson turned laps around the two-mile track during the Thursday and Friday practice sessions, the team continued to make adjustments on the car, learning with each change, how the new car would react. Sorenson turned a solid qualifying lap on Saturday morning, reporting to crew chief, Trent Owens, that the car's handling was perfect through turns one and two and slightly tight in turn three. The 176.384 mph-lap placed him in the 13th position to start the afternoon race.
Sorenson climbed into the Dollar General Toyota and prepared himself for the 125-lap CARFAX 250. He set his sights on moving forward through the field and quickly moved the No. 32 inside of the top-10 by lap seven. As he continued to hold strong to the 10th position, he told Owens that the car's handling was slightly free on entry and tight on the exit of turn two.
As teams began to make green-flag pit stops, the No. 32 moved into the seventh position. Owens instructed his driver to come to pit road on lap 39 for service; however, Sorenson reported on lap 37 that the No. 18 was coming to pit road and asked if he could follow, citing that he could get on his brakes better if he did so. Owens confirmed that the team was ready for him, and he drove the No. 32 to pit road. The Dollar General crew quickly changed four tires with an air pressure adjustment and packed the Camry with fuel. As the field circled through the green-flag stops, the Dollar General Toyota returned to the seventh position by lap 42.
As he circled the track, Sorenson reported to Owens that he continued to battle a loose-handling condition, slipping to the ninth position by lap 53.
"I'm sideways all the way through both ends," Sorenson said. "We're just way too loose now. What did we do change on that last stop?"
"10-4," replied Owens. "We'll get it back. We took air out of both rear tires."
"Can we put it back in on the next stop?" asked Sorenson. "I have no rear grip. Also, it feels like we lose a lot of down force with these new cars when we get close to another car."
When the yellow flag was displayed on lap 62 for oil on the race track, Sorenson was relieved to have the opportunity to pit for adjustments. He drove the No. 32 Camry to pit road on lap 63 for service. The Dollar General crew quickly changed four tires, reversed the previous air pressure adjustments in the rear tires, went one round down on the track bar and topped the car off with fuel. Gaining a position on pit road thanks to his crew, Sorenson lined the Dollar General Toyota up in the eighth position for the restart on lap 68.
He quickly advanced the No. 32 up to the sixth position; however, he slipped back to the tenth spot citing that the loose-handling condition returned as the green-flag run progressed. As the field began to cycle through another round of green-flag pit stops, Owens called his driver to pit road on lap 101. The Dollar General crew changed four tires with an additional air pressure adjustment, put one round of wedge into the left side of the car and added fuel. As the field cycled through the green-flag stops, Sorenson drove up to the ninth position by lap 106.
On lap 112, debris on the race track brought out the second and final caution of the afternoon. Sorenson reported that the car's handling remained loose, although it was greatly improved from the previous run. Owens instructed him to come to pit road on lap 113. He ordered the crew to put a round of wedge into each side of the rear of the car in an effort to place additional weight on the nose to improve the handling. The crew quickly changed four tires and made the adjustments. Sorenson lined the car up in the 10th spot for the restart on lap 117.
In the closing laps, Sorenson drove the Dollar General Toyota up to the eighth-position as he took the checkered flag. The finish marked his 13th top-10, giving the No. 32 Dollar General team an impressive 19 top-10s in 23 races this season.
"The Dollar General Toyota was pretty good at the start of today's race," said Sorenson. "I thought we had a car with really good balance. Unfortunately, we got really loose during the next two runs. We didn't really change much and the car just continued to get looser. In the final run the car's handling was a lot more balanced; it was closer to how we started the afternoon. Today was an overall good day for the Dollar General team. We still have a lot to learn with this new car. This is the first time we've run it other than Daytona. We learned a lot today and we'll be able to take these notes and apply them when we run in Charlotte. I want to thank the Dollar General team. They have worked really hard, putting a lot of extra time into building these new cars."
Next Stop: The NASCAR Nationwide Series teams head Bristol Motor Speedway next weekend for the Food City 250.
-source: braun racing