On February 6,The Motorsports Group (TMG) announced Reed Sorenson would pilot its No. 40 Chevrolet Camaro in the 2013 NASCAR Nationwide Series season, starting with the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 23.
I had the opportunity to visit The Motorsports Group and interview Sorenson about his new team, his new sponsor, and much more.
How did this deal with TMG come about and how long has it been in the making?
Reed: A few weeks ago. I talked to Curtis(Key) and he kind of told me his plan as far as trying to make his race team better and trying to improve his race team with his engine program that he’s started up – he’s hoping that’s a step forward compared to last year and what he had. You know, he kind of filled me in on – this is the year where he’s going to try to put everything he possibly can into the race team and making it better. I felt pretty encouraged about that and we just talked a few more times and said alright let’s do it.
What are your expectations for this season? Do you feel a lot of pressure to perform well?
Reed: I hope this year will be the best that this team has ever run. I hope that I can bring, as a driver, more experience than they’ve had in the past. We know what we’re up against; we’re not a Cup team, as you can see. I mean you’re here, this is a small operation with a handful of people and we all know that – anybody from me, to Curtis, to the guys working down there(in the shop), we know what we’re up against. Teams that have more, even if it’s not a Cup team, a nationwide team even, they have more assets and things like that to use. But at the same time, we think we can step up a level from where they’ve(TMG) ran in the past and break the barrier and get closer to the guys who are either associated with Cup teams or a strong Nationwide team. We’ll just get out there and see and kind of feel what we’re lacking on. We don’t really know that because we’re not able to test before the season starts, so our testing will be at the race track kind of seeing where we need to get better and what we need to work on and hopefully as the season goes on we make progression on all of those things.
You seem pretty excited. Are you excited about the upcoming season?
Reed: I am! And to add-on to your question about expectations – You know I’ve thought about it and our expectations, we really don’t know what they can be yet. I guess that’s kind of silly to say. Going into Daytona, the way the racing is there, I feel like we have a shot to win, I know that. I love racing there and I’m going there to win. After Daytona, we kind of have to see where we’re at and see what we need to work on. Our expectations, I guess, to put it in a simple form, is to go out there and run well and figure out where we need to get better and do that. A lot of times you’ll have confusion on what you do need to get better, so hopefully we don’t have that problem. I think our expectations from the start of the year to the end of the year; we’re going to expect ourselves to get better and better as the season goes on. It’s kind of hard to simply answer that question because we want it to be, going into the last five races, hopefully we expect ourselves to finish better than we do the first five, cause that means we’ve made ourselves better.
Tell me about your sponsor e-Swisher for the DRIVE4COPD300?
Reed: We’re excited about them. They’ve never been in the sport and it’s a new product. Their excited about their new product and telling people what it is. They will be at the race, so that’s exciting. I’ve been a part of bringing a new sponsor into the sport in the past (with Discount Tire) and they’re still in the sport, so hopefully this is a relationship that can last and we can build on in the future. When you have a new sponsor coming in your kind of want to show them all about NASCAR and what it’s about and how they can get their monies worth out of it. We’ll do the best job we can to show them a good time and show them NASCAR is a place they need to be.
I know you ran part-time in Cup last year, do you intend on running any Cup races this year?
Reed: We don’t know yet. A lot of the stuff I did last year was start and park and for a driver that’s not something you want to do, to go run 15 laps and have to pull off, it’s not the opportune thing. But at the same time, as a racecar driver, you don’t want to not be at the track either. All the guys that do that are doing it because they love racing and want to be in the racecar and want to be at the track. We’ll wait and see as the year goes on if there are some opportunities we’ll definitely look into them. My goal is to race whatever I can – Nationwide and Cup – and be in a competitive situation. We’ll just have to wait and see.
You’re trying to get into Twitter, so I have a question from one of your Twitter fans.
Reed: Do you?
I do! His name is Norman @oneofakind88, and he wanted to know if you feel like, when you were with Ganassi Racing, were you were rushed into the Cup series too soon?
Reed: I don’t feel like I was rushed. The year that I went into Cup, we actually had a decent year. As a whole team the next year or two, the whole organization struggled a little bit. As a young driver coming into the Cup series team that’s not running where it should be or where we wanted to be is probably the toughest thing. There was people coming in and out, as far as my teammates, and we really needed maybe a direction to go in and I don’t think we ever had that while I was there. That was not really one person’s fault. This sport is hard – if it was easy everybody would do it. It was just not maybe the right situation for the right time. But, like I said, the whole team, not just mine, but the other two teams as well, we were all right there together(in performance). But to answer the question: no.
Also, on a side note, the year you entered the Cup series there were a lot of rookies coming into the series as well, so you may have felt overshadowed.
Reed: Well you know, David Stremme was my teammate and he was a rookie as well and we ran right there together all year. Like I said, I think the focus was taken off of the team or the whole organization and maybe put on the rookies. So I don’t know, it is what it is and we’ve moved on from it and we’re going to look into the future.
One fun question for closing – if you weren’t racing in NASCAR what do you think you’d be doing? You’re obviously very dedicated to racing.
Reed: I don’t know, because I’ve been racing since I was six. I’ve gotten that question many times and the honest answer is, I really have no clue. *laughs* I guess I probably would have went to college and figured it out there. I mean, my whole life has been about racing and to be given the opportunity to do it for a living is something that not a lot of people get to do. I think most drivers feel fortunate to get that opportunity and just try to make the most of it and hopefully I can do it for a long time. If I wasn’t racing I guess I would have to sit down and think about what my passion would be because this is my passion. I’ve never really thought for a long period of time about what else I would want to do, so I guess I don’t have a good answer to that question.
Be sure to follow Reed and the TMG team on Twitter @ReedSorenson7 and @TMG_team40.
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