Reed Sorenson will race in the Nationwide Series at Phoenix International Raceway for the first time in three years in Saturday's Able Body Labor 200, driving Braun Racing's #32 Toyota.

Based upon Sorenson's past performance at Phoenix and with the team, Sorenson figures to be a serious threat to win the fourth Nationwide race of his career.

Sorenson finished second in his debut with Todd Braun's team at Gateway International Raceway in July, and this will be his second outing with the #32 team. He also has driven Braun's #10 to two top tens in three starts. In four starts at Phoenix, Sorenson has three top tens, including a second place to Kevin Harvick in April 2006.

"I enjoy the track, it's fun and I've had success there," Sorenson said. "We had a great weekend at Gateway together. The Braun Racing teams unload strong every week, and I have no doubt that the #32 Toyota is going to be ready to go. I am confident that we'll be solid all weekend and be a contender for the win."

Sorenson qualified on the outside of the front row at Gateway and says it will be important to qualify well at Phoenix, too.

"The key will be to start as close to the front as possible, preferably on the pole, of course," Sorenson said. "Because of that, Saturday morning's qualifying effort will be very important. After that, we'll focus on staying out of the trouble that short-track racing always seems to bring.

"Phoenix International Raceway is a fast and flat track. It is not a self-cleaning raceway, by any means, so there is usually a lot of excitement when an accident happens. PIR definitely keeps a driver on his toes."

Sorenson drove two full seasons in the Nationwide Series, finishing fourth and tenth in the points, in 2005 and 2006. He ran 19 races in 2007. He also has been a full-time Sprint Cup driver since 2006 but is a free agent for 2010.

Sorenson is working on deals that would allow him to remain in the Cup series and expand his Nationwide schedule with Braun, which has announced plans to expand from three to four cars next season.

"I want to run as many races as I can," Sorenson said. "I want to be at the racetrack every week and want to be on the track in as many races as can be put together. We're definitely working on a few things in Cup. I'm pretty optimistic about it. It's not a Hendrick or a Gibbs, but there are some good teams out there, and there are some that would be challenging. And I'd look forward to those challenges. I'm just not sure how many Cup races we'll have.

"I definitely want to run more Nationwide and definitely am interested in running with Braun. I've known Todd a few years and never had an opportunity to race with him until this year. We started talking about running Gateway (where Sorenson has Nationwide wins in 2005 and 2007) and I told Todd I wanted to run some more and we planned a few more."

Kyle Busch has a 247-point lead over second place Carl Edwards and will clinch his first Nationwide Series title if his lead after Saturday's race is at least 195 points.

The Raybestos Rookie standings are much closer. Justin Allgaier has 228 points, eight more than second place Brendan Gaughan.

by Tim Tuttle/Sporting News