Sorenson’s calmness, focus help spur Braun’s success

7 07 2010

Reed Sorenson has been through a lot in an abbreviated racing career. He’s driven for five owners in parts of six Cup Series seasons, four of those years spent in full-time rides. Five Nationwide owners as well, in parts of seven seasons, with a lot of overlap.

But the 24-year-old doesn’t react in the way most young drivers might. He said his mind-set keeps him sane despite the changes going on around him.

“Our main thing is we try not to make any mistakes,” Sorenson said. “The [No.] 32 car has not had a DNF this year, which is great. The competition is really tough in the top six, seven, eight.

“We’ve just been really smart about things. We haven’t had the best car every week, but we always finish where we should.” Trent Owens is the crew chief on the Braun Racing car, and he has a solid, experienced crew under him. He said getting that kind of mentality out of a young driver, albeit one with plenty of experience behind the wheel, is a real gift for his team.

“It just brings that Cup level driver experience to the table,” Owens said. “It’s hard to find. He’s still young and still has a long, long future in this sport. We feel like we were getting a veteran driver, but still with a lot of years left in him.” Sorenson has been running well this year for Braun. His 22nd-place finish at Daytona was only his second outside of the top 12 this season and ended a run of six consecutive runs of no worse than eighth.

via Sorenson’s calmness, focus help spur Braun’s success | NASCAR Nationwide Series.

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Motorsports forming second Nationwide team

5 07 2010

Key Motorsports will field a second Nationwide team for at least five races on the 2010 series schedule, team owner Curtis Key announced Sunday.

Continuously seeking avenues to advance the organizations competitive efforts, Key feels the addition of a second team will provide components vital to longevity in the sport.

“We are in the process of putting a second team together that we plan to run in five to seven races this season,” Curtis Key said. “This is not a start and park team we are taking to the track, our goal is to be competitive week in and week out.”

Personnel at the Key Motorsports shop in Mooresville, N.C. have recently spent a significant amount of man hours building several new cars, including the number 40 Chevrolet piloted to a 19th place finish by Mike Bliss in Friday’s Subway 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

“We are constantly looking at ways to strengthen our program and this is a step in that direction,” continued Key. “We are focused on the future and once we have the proper personnel in place, it should be a positive overall for Key Motorsports.”

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New car ‘very important’ for Nationwide Series

3 07 2010

After more than three years of work, countless hours in the wind tunnel, millions of dollars spent by teams and manufacturers and numerous on-track tests, the new Nationwide Series car debuts this weekend at Daytona International Speedway.

The Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang and Toyota Camry usher in a new era in the series, an era NASCAR hopes creates a new identity for the Nationwide Series, as well as improves safety and decreases cost over time.

The Subway Jalapeno 250 is the first of four races for the new car — don’t call it the “car of tomorrow,” NASCAR insists — in 2010, with a full implementation next year. Many Nationwide Series teams fought the rollout of the car, and NASCAR backed off initial plans to use the car full time this season.

But after grumblings and complaints about the costs of the switchover, 44 cars are entered for this weekend’s race, one more than a full field.

“We think it’s very, very important for the Nationwide Series,” Nationwide Series director Joe Balash said. “We’ve been working on that project for a number of years now to try to put together what we feel is the best package to move the series forward, to continue to help us in all our safety aspects and to continue to tighten the competition on the race track. And that car is basically the formula that we put together to do that. We’re pretty excited about that launch in Daytona.”

The chassis is based on the Cup Series version of NASCAR’s “certified chassis,” with a few modifications. NASCAR has said more than half of the Nationwide chassis certified in its research and development center have been converted Cup cars.

Read the full story at   NASCAR Nationwide Series.

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Earnhardt Jr. drives the No. 3 to Victory Lane at Daytona

3 07 2010

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Driving the No. 3 Wrangler Chevrolet in honor of his late father, Dale Earnhardt Jr. broke a Nationwide Series drought of almost four years in winning Friday’s Subway Jalapeno 250 Nationwide Series race at Daytona International Speedway.

Earnhardt’s emotional win was the result of a collaboration between owner Richard Childress, Teresa Earnhardt, JR Motorsports and Hendrick Motorsports, which supplied the engine for the No. 3 car.

The victory, the 23rd of Earnhardt’s career, was his first in the series since Aug. 19, 2006, when he took the checkered flag at Michigan. It was his first points win in any of NASCAR’s top three series since June 15, 2008, when Earnhardt captured the Lifelock 400 Sprint Cup race, again at Michigan.

In a race that saw the debut of NASCAR’s new Nationwide car, Earnhardt held off runner-up Joey Logano and third-place finisher Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in a green-white-checkered-flag finish that took the race two laps beyond its scheduled distance of 100 laps.

“I was so worried that I wasn’t going to win, ’cause nothing but a win would get it-for everybody,” Earnhardt said after getting hugs from Childress, crew chief Tony Eury Jr. and a multitude of others in victory lane. “If we didn’t win, what a waste of time. …

“I worked hard to try to win, not only for daddy-I’m proud of him going to the Hall of Fame, and he would be proud of this, I’m sure — but just all these fans. I hope they enjoyed this. This is it — no more ‘3’ for me. That’s it.”

With a push from Justin Allgaier, Earnhardt took the lead for the first time on Lap 70, surging past Kyle Busch through Turns 1 and 2. On that same lap, NASCAR called a caution for debris on the backstretch. Pitting under the caution, Earnhardt retained his lead, thanks to a quick, problem-free stop by Earnhardt’s No. 88 Cup crew, which volunteered for the race.

Read the Full story at  NASCAR Nationwide Series.

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