CONCORD, N.C. ¬- In his third race with the No. 43 Pilot Ford team, Reed Sorenson hopes to hit the ground running this weekend at the two-mile Auto Club Speedway located in Fontana, California. More comfortable with the Richard Petty Motorsports team, the Peachtree City, Ga., native will rely on his ample experience at the track to hopefully post his first top-10 with the team. Sorenson will make his 18th Auto Club Speedway NASCAR start in Saturday’s Royal Purple 300. In the Nationwide Series, he tallied a best finish of fifth (2005) and has an average finish of 14.8 at the track.
Comments from Pilot Ford Mustang Driver Reed Sorenson: “California is a good track. I’ve had some success there in the Nationwide Series. Philippe and the No. 43 team ran well there last year. I feel like we had a good car at Bristol, and we are working better with each other. We were racing close to the top-10 and getting better when we had our accident. That ruined our chances of a good finish.
“Going into this weekend, I’m confident that we will come off the truck fast. The team has a good approach to practice, and that’s important. We only have one practice this weekend. We will take advantage of it and then have a good race this Saturday with the Pilot Ford.
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on California: “Our team tends to run well at the big tracks, mile-and-a-half or bigger. Even though Michael isn’t in the car, we are looking to carry that on with Reed this weekend. The biggest challenge at California, it’s so bumpy on the back straightaway. You spend a lot of time getting the car to handle well there and not as much on the turns. The key is to find a good combination of handling in the straightaways and the turns. Whoever can find that will find victory lane.”
Chassis History: The No. 43 team has prepared chassis No. 729 for California. This is a new chassis the team built in the offseason.