CONCORD, N.C. ¬- The NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) returns to action this weekend at Richmond International Raceway (RIR) after a one week break. The 250-lap race will be the second consecutive night race of the season for the series. With just seven races into the 2013 season, it is the third time that the NNS teams will visit a track that is less than a mile in distance. After coming off a top-15 finish at the one-and-a-half mile Texas Motor Speedway, Reed Sorenson is ready to return to his roots of short-track racing.
The Peachtree City, GA native has nine NNS starts at RIR, accumulating two top-five and six top-10 finishes. His best start is second (2010) and best finish is fifth (2010, 2006) with an average start of 11.6 and average finish of 13.3.
As an organization, Richard Petty Motorsports’ young NNS team has 10 starts at tracks less than a mile from 2012 and 2013. The team’s average finish is 9.4 with two top-fives and seven top-10s. Their best finish of fourth-place came at the fall race at Iowa Speedway in 2012 with driver Michael Annett.
Comments from the No. 43 Flying J Travel Plaza Ford Mustang driver Reed Sorenson: “We’ve had a few weekends off recently, and I’m just ready to get back to racing, especially on a short track which is what I grew up racing. Richmond is one of my favorite short tracks, you can’t really compare it to Bristol and even Phoenix. It has its own uniqueness to it. The pavement is old enough that there is a big difference between old and new tires and the tire fall off usually results in some pretty good racing.”
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Richmond: “I feel pretty good about our short track program, this year we finished ninth at Phoenix with Aric (Almirola) in the car. We had some success at Richmond last year, finishing fifth and eighth with Michael (Annett), so I think we’re on track for some good results this weekend.
“We’re going to use the three-hour practice on Thursday as an R&D session to make sure what we have works and then try some new things and rule out anything that doesn’t work. Friday is when we’ll get everything dialed-in for the race to hopefully continue our streak at Richmond.”
Chassis History: Lopez, and the No. 43 team will bring chassis number 743 to Richmond. It is the same chassis that Aric Almirola drove to a top-10 for the team in Phoenix International Raceway earlier this year.