News & Media

Sorenson to drive for MacDonald at Kansas

October 07, 2011, Dave Rodman,

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Reed Sorenson, third in the Nationwide Series championship but rideless earlier this week when he was released Tuesday by Turner Motorsports, will race this weekend at Kansas Speedway in MacDonald Motorsports' second car.

Sorenson, 49 points behind leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with five races left this season, will drive owner Randy MacDonald's No. 82 Dodge in the Kansas Lottery 300. The No. 82 has run a part-time schedule of four races so far this season.

Reed Sorenson

2011 Nationwide Stats
Lead Lap Fin.21
Laps Led85
Avg. Start12.5
Avg. Finish10.6

"I know [Sorenson] wants to race and he wants to stay as well-placed in the points as he can," MacDonald said. "We wouldn't even have the car on the track this weekend if it wasn't for [sponsor] K-Love, so we're here to give them as much exposure as we can -- to get a top-10 if we can."

The No. 82 car was entered in the Kansas Lottery 300 for Scott Wimmer, who qualified the car 28th last weekend at Dover in a program MacDonald said was designed as preparation for Kansas. He said Sorenson and Wimmer worked out the switch.

Turner Motorsports recently announced Sorenson's sponsor, Dollar General, wouldn't return next season. Sorenson's release, in conjunction with the announcement he'd be replaced by former Turner part-timer Brian Vickers this weekend, followed on Tuesday.

MacDonald Motorsports acted quickly to put him into the field as a teammate to Blake Koch's No. 81 Dodge, which is in a neck-and-neck battle with Timmy Hill for the Nationwide rookie of the year title. But MacDonald didn't get official clearance to use Sorenson until 11:30 CT Friday -- 90 minutes before Nationwide practice was set to begin.

MacDonald said the possibility of the rest of the season with Sorenson is yet to be determined.

"It's too early to look beyond this weekend," MacDonald said. "I think [Sorenson] needs to get in our car and see how we run and where our weaknesses are, and together see how we can overcome some of those weaknesses to meet his expectations. That's my approach.

"We can't match the performance of the team he had, just like that. But I'd be pretty excited for the challenge of moving in that direction, working together. But it depends on him getting in the car and getting a decent finish."

Robby Gordon Motorsports, which used Sorenson in its No. 7 Dodge Sprint Cup car last weekend at Dover, has changed its Kansas entry from Gordon to Sorenson, as well, MacDonald said.

Although Sorenson may have a ride this weekend, that doesn't mean his championship hopes remain intact. The No. 82 car has run a total of only eight laps in its past three Nationwide Series starts. Stenhouse now sees the title hunt as a two-man race.

"You wouldn't want to wish that on anybody," Stenhouse said. "You don't want to end up without a ride yourself. Right now I think Elliott [Sadler] is our biggest title contender and we are battling it out pretty good right now but with Reed only 49 point backs -- I think in four races I was 31 back and went to the lead, so anything can happen with five races left. Reed was very much in it for sure.

"It is good to see that he has a ride this weekend and hopefully keep some of those points that he would have lost not being here. It is tough when you have to start bouncing around to different teams. He was with a solid team there at Turner Motorsports and felt like he had a good shot. He was running consistent every week and I think that was going to keep him in it if we had a bad weekend and Elliott had a bad weekend. It is probably up to me and Elliott right now."