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NWS: Sorenson begins road back at Bristol

Reed Sorenson prepares for a return to the Nationwide Series at Bristol
Reed Sorenson is only 24 years old, but in the minds of some in NASCAR, he's already washed up. Why? Because after four full seasons in the Sprint Cup Series, Sorenson finds himself with only a part-time ride in the Nationwide Series.

Sorenson made his Cup debut at age 19, and after three years with Chip Ganassi, he drove for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2009. But he was the odd man out in the RPM/Yates Racing merger, leaving Sorenson without a Cup ride.

But a friendship with Braun Racing owner Todd Braun landed him a seat in that team's #32 Nationwide Toyota, at least part time, and Sorenson will make his season debut in Saturday's Scotts Turf Builder 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.

He's eager to make sure people in NASCAR haven't forgotten him.

“As a driver, I think I have a lot to prove,” Sorenson said earlier in the year. “You want to make sure that people know you're still here and you still belong here. I think we can do that by winning a few races. … I think that would show a lot of people.”

Sorenson is sharing Braun's #32 with Brian Vickers, who finished fifth, eighth and fifth in the season's first three races. Sorenson will race 23 times in the car, starting with Bristol, where he has one top ten in seven starts.

“I wish I could run the whole season because it's only ten races or so from running the full (35-race) season,” Sorenson said. “It'd be fun to run for a championship because I think we could do really well and have a good shot at winning it. But that's just the way the schedule worked out.”

Sorenson figures he can win a couple races this season and be competitive every time out.

“I want to win races,” Sorenson said. “I don't see any reason why we can't come to the end of the season with a couple wins under our belt. All the tracks we're going to, I like them all. Hopefully, (crew chief) Trent (Owens) and I, the more we work together, the better we'll be.”

Owens and Sorenson are also paired together for Braun's part-time Cup effort, though the team failed to qualify at Daytona.

Sorenson ran five races last year for Braun's Nationwide team, posting four top-ten finishes, including a runner-up at Gateway International Raceway, site of two of his three career Nationwide wins. Although Braun fields four full-time cars in the Nationwide Series, there wasn't room for a full-season effort for Sorenson.

“Next year, who knows what's going to happen,” Sorenson said. “But that's the way it was this year.”



Related Pictures

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Reed Sorenson has three top-10 finishes in four Nationwide Series starts at Phoenix International Raceway. He will drive the No. 32 Braun Racing Toyota for the second time this season in Saturday`s Able Body Labor 200 Nationwide race at Phoenix. (Jerry Markland/Getty Images for NASCAR)
Kevin Harvick (L), driver of the #5 Bad Boy Buggies Chevrolet, talks to Regan Smith, driver of the #7 TaxSlayer Bowl Chevrolet, in the garage area during practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series Great Clips 300 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on August 29, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo Credit: Todd Warshaw/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Serta/Menards Chevrolet SS, finished ninth and Austin Dillon, driver of the #3 Dow Great Stuff Chevrolet SS, finished 28th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 McDonald’s Chevrolet SS, finished eighth and Kasey Kahne, driver of the #5 Great Clips Chevrolet SS, finished 35th Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Kurt Busch, driver of the #41 Haas Automation Chevrolet SS, finished fifth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, finished fourth and Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 Target Chevrolet SS, finished twelfth Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Nascar Sprint Cup race at Bristol Motor Speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Tom Pennington/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, and his team celebrate in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Matt Sullivan/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee.  (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Joey Logano, driver of the #22 Shell Pennzoil Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, leads a pack of cars during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Danica Patrick, driver of the #10 GoDaddy Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Kyle Busch, driver of the #18 Doublemint Toyota, Aric Almirola, driver of the #43 STP Ford, and Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour Energy Toyota, are involved in an on-track incident during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 23, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Kyle Larson, driver of the #42 ENEOS Chevrolet, is involved in an incident during the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Ryan Blaney, driver of the #22 Discount Tire Ford, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Nationwide Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 22, 2014 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

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