Sorenson Captures Second-Place Finish at Nashville Superspeedway LEBANON, Tenn. (April 5, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson did everything in his power to chase down the leader in the closing laps of the Nashville 300 on Saturday afternoon to put sponsor...
Sorenson Captures Second-Place Finish at Nashville Superspeedway
LEBANON, Tenn. (April 5, 2010) -- Reed Sorenson did everything in his power to chase down the leader in the closing laps of the Nashville 300 on Saturday afternoon to put sponsor Dollar General in victory lane at their home track and take home the Sam Bass-designed Gibson guitar. Sorenson, a previous winner at the 1.33-mile track, narrowed the gap between himself and race winner, Kevin Harvick, with each of the final laps. Running out of laps, Sorenson and the Dollar General team had to settle for a second-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway, moving the No. 32 team into the fourth spot in the Nationwide Series owners point standings.
Sorenson battled a loose-handling car during the Saturday morning qualifying session, resulting in a 15th-place starting position. As he climbed into the No. 32 Toyota prior to the race, he was confident that the car would be strong under race conditions. As the green flag dropped to signal the start of the 225-lap race, Sorenson quickly went to work and was inside of the top-10 by the second lap.
When a spinning car brought out the first caution on lap three, Sorenson had already moved the Dollar General Toyota into the ninth position. As he slowed the car under the yellow flag, Sorenson reported on the handling of the car.
"When the car rolls over on the right rear, we get a little too loose" he told his crew chief, Trent Owens.
"10-4," replied Owens. "I'll get you some help. Just hang on until the lap 30 caution."
Prior to the race, NASCAR declared that there would be a competition caution at lap 30 due to the extreme rain that had swept through the area earlier that morning. Based off of the last loop data reported prior to the caution, NASCAR placed the No. 62 in front of the No. 32 car for the restart. Restarting from the tenth spot on lap seven, Sorenson immediately began the charge forward, picking off positions one by one.
By the time the yellow flag was displayed for the competition caution on lap 30, Sorenson had moved the Dollar General Toyota up to the seventh position during the last run.
"I think it is going to be good on long runs," he said. "We are lacking some grip in the rear, but let's not go too far with the adjustments."
Sorenson brought the No. 32 to pit road for service on lap 31. The Dollar General crew quickly changed four tires with air pressure adjustments and packed the Toyota full of fuel. The No. 32 restarted from the eighth spot when green-flag racing resumed on lap 37.
When the caution came out on lap 44 for an accident in turn two, the No. 32 Dollar General Toyota was in the sixth position. As clean-up crews worked to remove the damaged cars and debris, Sorenson reported on how the previous adjustments had affected the car's handling.
"We hurt the front with that adjustment," Sorenson said. I don't have "any front or rear grip now."
Owens instructed his driver to remain on the track. "Stay out for now and let's see what happens during the next run," added Owens. "We'll get you another adjustment during the next stop."
Sorenson resumed green-flag racing from the fifth position on lap 47. As he circled the track, he reported again that he was struggling with no grip. Spotter, Tony Hirschman, continued to encourage his driver. "Great rhythm," he said. "You have nothing in your mirror and the leaders are backing up to you."
As the leaders began making their green-flag pit stops, Owens called his driver to pit road on lap 102. The Dollar General team quickly changed four tires, added fuel and made track bar and air pressure adjustments. As the stops cycled through, Sorenson had moved up to the 16th position, when the yellow flag flew for an accident in turn four. During the caution, cars that had not made their stops under green flag conditions came to pit road. Although the No. 32 car was lined up in the eighth position for the restart, it was buried mid-pack due to the NASCAR wave around rule. As the green flag dropped, the Dollar General team watched anxiously as Sorenson worked to keep the Toyota out of trouble.
On lap 114, a multi-car wreck occurred just in front of the No. 32. Quick action on Sorenson's part saved the car from being caught up in the melee. NASCAR displayed the red flag for 14 minutes as the safety crews worked to remove the destroyed cars and debris from the track. When green-flag racing resumed on lap 121, the Dollar General Toyota was in the ninth position.
By the time the next caution flag flew on lap 132, Sorenson had moved the car inside of the top-five. "That last set of changes definitely helped both ends," he told Owens. The No. 32 restarted in the third spot on lap 137.
During the next green-flag run, the No. 32 battled for position, remaining in the top-five. When the next caution fell on lap 143, Owens called his driver to pit road for service. The team put four fresh tires on the Dollar General Camry, made a track bar adjustment and packed the car with fuel. With some teams choosing not to pit, Sorenson restarted in the 14th spot. He quickly moved the No. 32 up to the eighth position despite reporting that the changes made during the stop had resulted in a tight-handling car.
By lap 185, Sorenson had taken over the third spot. On lap 191, a spinning car on the frontstretch brought out the final caution of the day. Owens called him to pit road on lap 192 to make a final adjustment for the tight-handling condition. The Dollar General team quickly changed four tires, made air pressure adjustments and added fuel. With some teams choosing to take two tires instead of four, the No. 32 restarted in the fifth spot when green-flag racing resumed on lap 196. Sorenson immediately jumped out and took the third position on the restart. He took over the second spot on lap 197 and began to work to capture the No. 33 car.
With every lap, Sorenson narrowed the gap between him and the leader. In the end, there just were not enough laps remaining to take over the top spot for the win and his second Sam Bass-designed Gibson guitar. With the second-place finish, the No. 32 Dollar General team took over the fourth position in the Nationwide Series owners point standings.
"It was a great day for Dollar General," said Sorenson. "This is their headquarters and I'm really proud to drive their car here. I wish we could have given them the win today. I could taste it! I had that feeling in this car a few times last year and we've already felt it again in only our second race this year. These guys do a great job and I can't wait until next weekend at Phoenix."
Next Stop: Next weekend the NASCAR Nationwide Series travels to Phoenix International Raceway.
-source: braun racing