Early career Edit
Sorenson's career started at age six when he began racing quarter-midgets. He won the national championship in 1997. He moved up to Legends cars the following year, winning 13 out of 25 races, southeastern championships and breaking track records in the process. In 1999 he won 30 out of the 50 races in which he competed. He raced in Legends for the next two years and won 84 events.
In 2002, Sorenson began racing in the American Speed Association (ASA), finishing in the top-ten seven out of his eight starts. He became a full-time driver in 2003 and won the highly coveted ASA Pat Schauer Memorial Rookies of the Year award at age 17. He caught his big break by signing a driver development contract with Chip Ganassi Racing, in addition to graduating from Woodward Academy.
In 2004, he won his first ARCA race at Michigan International Speedway, in the #77 Sherwin Williams Dodge. He finished in the top-five in all three of his ARCA starts Sorenson also ran in 5 NASCAR Busch Series events for Chip Ganassi Racing, and had 3 top ten finishes, and a top 5, which was a 4th place finish at Homestead.
Sorenson was named the full-time driver of the #41 Discount Tire Company Dodge Intrepid for Ganassi for 2005 NASCAR Busch Series, competing for Rookie of the Year. He won his first Busch Series race at Nashville Superspeedway, winning by more than 14 seconds after starting on the pole and leading 197 out of 225 laps. After the 15th race (Federated Auto Parts 300) he was leading the points race by 51 points. Sorenson picked up another win at Gateway. He ended the season 4th in points and finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year race to Carl Edwards.
Towards the end of the season, he was signed to move up to NEXTEL Cup to drive the #41 Target car full-time. He made his NEXTEL Cup debut in the 2005 Bass Pro Shops MBNA 500, racing as #39, but was involved in a crash and finished 41st. After a failed attempt to qualify for the Dickies 500, he ran in the Ford 400 for Phoenix Racing, where he finished the race in 28th.
2006 brought on Sorenson's first season as a Nextel Cup regular, along with running a full time driver in the Busch Series. His best finish in the 2006 Nextel Cup season was a 5th place effort at Michigan International Speedway, and he ended the season with five top-ten finishes. He finished 24th in the 2006 points Nextel Cup standings and was fourth in the 2006 Raybestos Rookie of the Year contest with 198 points finishing behind Denny Hamlin, Martin Truex, Jr., and Clint Bowyer. He managed to finish 10th place in the Busch Series standings with 14 Top 10s and 5 Top 5s in the car that he drove the year before.
Sorenson broke his 61-race winless streak in the Busch Series at Gateway International Speedway by leading 95 laps and avoiding late race cautions to win the Busch Gateway 250 in Madison, Illinois. In Cup, he had a career best finish of 4th at the Coca-Cola 600, and later a third-place finish at his hometrack at Atlanta. Sorenson got his first career pole at the Allstate 400. Sorenson became the youngest pole winner ever at Indianpolis Motor Speedway; at 21 years, 173 days old. He broke a record that stood for 72 years. It was previously held by Rex Mays, who won the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in 1935 at 22 years of age. Sorenson ended up leading 16 laps, and finishing in the 5th place, behind race winner, Tony Stewart. At the end of the 2007 season, he placed 22nd in the final standings, improving 2 spots from 2006.
Sorenson started the 2008 season off with a 5th place finish in the Daytona 500. This was the peak of his performances for the season. He got another top ten finish with some late race strategy in a rain shortened New Hampshire race. He was temporarily replaced by Scott Pruett at Infineon Raceway in an attempt to gain points in the owner standings. Sorenson ran a limited 2008 NASCAR Nationwide Series competing in the Aaron's 312 at Talladega Superspeedway in the Fitz Motorsports #22 Artic Ice car. He got involved in a mid-race wreck that ended his day. He also competed in the Missouri-Illinois Dodge Dealers 250 at Gateway International Raceway to defend his win from 2007 in the #40 Fastenal Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge. He was involved in a mid-race wreck that ended his chance at defending his title.
On August 26, 2008, it was announced that the 2008 season was to be Sorenson's last season with Ganassi, after signing a multi year contract with Gillett Evernham Motorsports to start the 2009 season. He ended the year 32nd in points.
On January 8th, 2009 Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Holdings announced in principle to form a new NASCAR Sprint Cup team that will be co-owned by Richard Petty, Petty Holdings (owned by majority shareholder Boston Ventures), and Gillett Evernham Motorsports. The new car number will be #43 and will be driven by Sorenson. It was announced on January 19th, 2009 that with the merger of Gillett Evernham Motorsports and Petty Holdings the newly formed team will be known as Richard Petty Motorsports. Throught Sorenson's 2009 season, he has struggled at many of the intermediate and road courses, and has excelled at flat tracks like Phoenix Internationl Raceway and Martinsville. On September 10, 2009, Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates Racing announced that they plan to merge in 2010, with this merger Sorenson is left without a ride after the 2009 season.There has been no announcements on who Sorenson will be racing for in 2010. Sorenson raced for free in part of the 2009 season so he could keep his crew members employed.
Sorenson will drive for #32 Toyota Camry Braun Racing in a part time schedule consisting of 23 Nationwide races for 2010. He will share the ride with Brian Vickers. He is in the middle of negotiating a full time Sprint Cup team, a definitive decision has yet to be announced.
- ↑ ReedSorensonOnline.com, Reed Sorenson's Official Bio.
- ↑ ReedSorensonOnline.com, Sorenson Finishes Fifth in Daytona 500
- ↑ EvernHamMotorsports.com, Sorenson Signs with GEM
- ↑ GillettevernhamMotorsports.com, Petty Holdings & Gillett Evernham Motorsports To Form New Team
- ↑ NASCAR.com, Richard Petty Motorsports born out of GEM merger
- ↑ Richard Petty Motorsports and Yates racing announce plans to merge.
- ↑ EPSN.go.com, Is Racing for Free Dedicated Enough