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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)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, races Trevor Bayne, driver of the #6 AdvoCare Ford, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series FedEx 400 Benefiting Autism Speaks at Dover International Speedway on May 31, 2015 in Dover, Delaware.  (Photo Credit: Photo by Todd Warshaw/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, finished in third place, Sunday, May 24, 2015, in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, North Carolina. (Photo by Alan Marler/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS, races to victory Saturday night, May 9, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas. Racing with him is Hendrick Motorsports teammate Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads the field during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet, races Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, races to victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. With him are Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS who finished second, and Paul Menard, driver of the #27 Quaker State/Menards Chevrolet SS who finished in third place. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, waves to fans after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, takes the chequered flag to win the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jeff Zelevansky/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, picks up the victory flag Sunday, May 3, 2015 after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Andrew Coppley/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, and his crew chief, Greg Ives, celebrate in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 3, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama.  (Photo Credit: Chris Trotman/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, is congratulated by Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, driver of the #48 Lowe`s Chevrolet SS Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. Johnson finished second behind Earnhardt, Jr. (Photo by Rusty Jarrett/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, celebrates his victory Sunday, May 3, 2015 in the NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. This was Earnhardt, Jr.`s sixth victory at Talladega. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
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Dale Earnhardt, Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet SS, qualifies for fourth position Saturday, May 2, 2015 for Sunday`s NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway in Lincoln, Alabama. Earnhardt, Jr. is eighth in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) standings. (Photo by Harold Hinson/HHP for Chevy Racing)
Dale Earnhardt Jr., driver of the #88 Nationwide Chevrolet, leads a pack of cars during practice for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway on May 1, 2015 in Talladega, Alabama. (Photo Credit: Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
Matt Kenseth, driver of the #20 Dollar General Toyota, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Food City 500 at Bristol Motor Speedway on April 19, 2015 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)

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