Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 9, 2011
The NASCAR notebook …
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Reed Sorenson’s up-and-down week in the Nationwide Series came to a disappointing end with a 26th-place finish Saturday at Kansas Speedway.
Sorenson, third in the season standings, lost his ride with Turner Motorsports this week as part of the fallout from Dollar General’s plans to drop its sponsorship of the No. 32 Chevrolet.
He caught a ride in MacDonald Motorsports’ No. 82 Dodge on Friday, less than two hours before practice began, and wasn’t able to get comfortable in the car. He started 24th and spent raced in the mid- to low 20s.
Sorenson still held onto third in the points, but saw the gap between him and leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. widen from 49 points to 70.
Sorenson stayed upbeat, however, even after seeing Brian Vickers — his replacement in the No. 32 — finish eighth.
“We didn’t know what we were getting into,” Sorenson said. “We were tight throughout the day. But we finished the race and got some points, and that’s what we wanted to do.”
Sorenson has no ride confirmed for the remainder of the season.
Vickers, meanwhile, was disappointed with his top-10 finish.
“Eighth was a good day for us, but I wanted more,” he said.
SIX FIGURES’ WORTH OF CHANGE: Talladega Superspeedway is offering Sprint Cup drivers a $100,000 incentive to shuffle things around at the front of the pack.
If there are 100 or more lead changes in the Oct. 23 race, the driver who takes the lead the most times will claim the pot.
Talladega currently holds the NASCAR record of 88 lead changes in one race, and track chairman Grant Lynch said Saturday that rules changes for the restrictor-plate track make 100 a reachable mark.
“The new rules package, that includes a larger restrictor plate opening, should give drivers the opportunity to really mix it up and pass even more in traffic,” Lynch said.
Kurt Busch, currently fourth in the Chase for the Sprint Cup standings, said the challenge would give drivers another incentive to run up front and challenge for leads, even if they’re not involved in the Chase for the Sprint Cup.
“The guys in the Chase have to be careful,” Busch said. “But we also want that bonus point for leading a lap. But there a group of guys just outside the Chase that are very competitive. Throw $100,000 out there and it will get interesting.”
The money will be paid directly from the speedway, Lynch said.
“The insurance company thought it was attainable,” he said. “So we’re not getting insurance.”
HE’S READY FOR SOME FOOTBALL: After a full weekend of racing, Carl Edwards will use his foot for something other than pushing down on the gas pedal next week.
He’s headed to Miami to try to help three fans win new cars.
“There are three folks, and I get three field goal attempts, and each one I make someone gets a free car,” Edwards said Saturday, after finishing second in the Nationwide Series race.
“I haven’t practiced at all,” said Edwards, who will start second Sunday in the Sprint Cup race. “I heard it’s from the 20 yard line. Is that a difficult field goal to make? You never know. A blind squirrel finds a nut now and again.”