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Sorenson looking for a Cup ride

by Monte Dutton

When the Daytona 500 rolls around, Reed Sorenson will be only 24 years old. Unless something changes, he won’t have a car by Monte Dutton to drive in the 2010 NASCAR Sprint Cup opener.

Sorenson is being replaced in Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43. Teammate AJ Allmendinger is moving into the car from No. 44, which apparently will be no more. Provided all the intended agreements are finalized, the team is merging with Yates Racing, changing from Dodge to Ford and fielding Fusions for drivers Kasey Kahne, Elliott Sadler, Allmendinger and Paul Menard, who competed last year at Yates.

“I want to thank the Richard Petty Motorsports organization for giving me the chance to race the No. 43 Dodge this year,” said Sorenson. “I did the best I could and tried to represent the number and company in a way that would make Mr. Petty and our sponsors proud.

“I learned a lot this year. The opportunity to work with people like Richard Petty and Dale Inman is something I’ll never forget.”

Sorenson, of Peachtree City, Ga., is a victim of circumstances, but his inability to put together a solid season contributed to his problems. In his fourth full season, Sorenson finished 29 th in the point standings, with only one Top 10 finish. He was 24 th , 22 nd and 32 nd in his first three seasons, all with the team then known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, a team now aligned with what once was Dale Earnhardt Inc.

After a promising beginning, Sorenson has been unable to make the adjustment to competing at stock car racing’s highest level. He won an ARCA race in 2004 and is a three-time winner in the Nationwide Series.

The combination of NASCAR’s ban on testing and a new team was more than Sorenson could overcome.

Early last season, Sorensen said, “I think we’re making progress and getting our cars better in practice. It’s just tough to do without testing and being with a new team. I think we’re getting the chemistry a little bit better, and I think that should get better as the year goes on.”

The improvement never took hold, and by season’s end, Sorenson found himself outside the sport looking in. He’s still young, though, and is likely to resurface at some point, perhaps in the Nationwide Series. He has never competed previously in the Camping World Truck Series.

Monte Dutton has covered motorsports for The Gaston (NC) Gazette since 1993. He was named writer of the year by the National Motorsports Press Association in 2008. His blog NASCAR This Week (nascar.rbma.com) features all of his reporting on racing, roots music and life on the road. E-mail Monte at nascar_thisweek@yahoo.com. (c) 2009 King Features Syndicate

Reed Sorenson is looking for a ride for the upcoming season afterhis old team, Richard Petty Motorsports, merged with Yates Racing.(Photo: John Clark/NAS- CAR This Week)

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