Sorenson claims Rookie of The Year honors with third place run Salem, Indiana (October 7,2003) -- 17-year-old Reed Sorenson locked up the 2003 American Speed Association's Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of The Year honors Saturday night under the...
Sorenson claims Rookie of The Year honors with third place run
Salem, Indiana (October 7,2003) -- 17-year-old Reed Sorenson locked up the 2003 American Speed Association's Pat Schauer Memorial Rookie of The Year honors Saturday night under the lights at the Salem Speedway in the Pep Boys 300 and along the way, finished a strong and extremely hard fought third.
With a 383-point lead on fellow rookie Travis Kittleson entering Salem for the Rookie of The Year battle, Sorenson simply had to take the green flag to wrap up the honors.
Although a success in the $50,000 prize payout from winning the rookie title, the night was an up and down one on-track for the Georgia native. After starting 21st an early spin only worsened things, giving the team a glimpse into the struggle that would continue through the early portion of the 300-lap race.
"We ended up adjusting the car during practice on the tires we didn't end up racing, so that's where the problem was. When I qualified, the car was really loose," Sorenson said as he explained his low starting position.
As he looked to move his blue ACDelco Monte Carlo through the field in the opening laps, he dipped too low on the racetrack sending his racy machine through a spin cycle. "I spun out trying to pass Chad Wood on the inside going into three," Sorenson added. "I don't think you can do that there. I learned that pretty quick."
After the spin the team dipped to the pits for fresh left side tires and major chassis adjustments that were clearly what the car needed. After the stop Sorenson said the changes "Really helped a lot."
Following a lap 80 caution flag for a multi car wreck, Sorenson was still sitting pretty low in the field around the 18th position, not-so familiar territory for the normally top-five competitor.
The #29 took the restart in the 18th position and after two more caution flags waved, the cards finally began to fall in Sorenson's favor. With the majority of the field dipping to the pits while they stayed out, the night of struggling ended for the Sorenson gang with the car now running in the third position.
The luck continued when ASA officials gave the field a complimentary caution on lap 195. During the yellow the high school senior Sorenson piloted his machine to the attention of his crew for two fresh tires. The team then took the green on the restart from the fifth position.
With nose to tail battling throughout the night on the Salem short track, the toughest battle came from veteran Rick Beebe in the #5 machine as the two fought for the runner-up position for a solid 40 to 50 laps. With the relentless rookie in his rearview mirror, Beebe managed to pull out on top with Sorenson contently crossing the stripe in third.
With the weekend's struggles aside, the Sorenson racing bunch ended up on top and with that driver 29 says, "The $50,000 is nice. We needed that pretty bad. We're still in a pretty good points battle for third place so there is still a lot of pressure. Robbie Pyle is pretty close. The team has the feeling that we won Rookie of The Year so we're all pretty happy."
Sorenson's trek up the racing ladder on his way to ASA began when he was only six years old. While racing Quarter Midgets he won nine Southeastern championships and in 1997, he was crowned the National Champ. During his time in midgets, he earned over 250 checkered flags and scored 15 different track records throughout the country.
By the time he turned 12 Sorenson was ready for Legends Cars and in doing so, he became the youngest driver to win a race in that series. At the same time, he became the only Legends competitor to ever score a record $12,000 purse in consecutive Superbowl events in 1999 and 2000. After four seasons in legends, the hot shoe racked up 78 wins, five track championships and a National Title at the age of 13.
If you didn't know then that the young Sorenson was talented, you sure know now. With his ASA rookie title, he becomes the youngest competitor in the ASA Racing Series history to hold that honor.
For more information on Reed Sorenson and the entire ACDelco racing team, visit www.reedsorenson.com.