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Reed Sorenson No. 43 Pilot Ford Race Summary - Darlington Raceway


May 13, 2013

Reed Sorenson and the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford finished 18th in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, after a mishap on pit road put Sorenson a lap down late in the race. The team eventually gained the lap back by taking the wave-around during the last caution of the race.
 
The Pilot Travel Centers Ford started the 137-lap race from the 16th position. In the first 22 laps, Sorenson picked up two positions, moving up to 14th before the caution came out on Lap 24. He reported the No. 43 Ford was free in Turns Three and Four. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez called for an air pressure and trackbar adjustment and fuel. The crew put on four scuff tires in hopes to save a new set of Goodyears for later in the race. Sorenson restarted in the 13th position on Lap 27.

Just seven laps later, the caution flag waved again for a two-car accident in Turn Four. Sorenson reported the Pilot Travel Centers Ford was really loose, but the No. 43 stayed out to remain in the 13th position. Lopez informed Sorenson that the car felt more loose than normal because of the scuff tires, and to make sure he cleaned them off before going back to green on Lap 37.

Sorenson gained a position on the restart and remained in the 12th position until the fourth caution came out on Lap 51. He reported the balance of the car felt the same as the last run. Once again, Lopez made an air pressure and trackbar adjustment with four new tires and fuel. The Pilot Travel Centers Ford maintained the 12th position for the restart on Lap 54.

The No. 43 moved back and forth between the 11th and 12th positions for the next 66 laps while battling a very loose car. The long green-flag run forced teams to make green-flag pit stops, and the Pilot Travel Centers Ford came down pit road on Lap 109. Lopez called for another air pressure adjustment to make the No. 43 turn better, as well as a trackbar adjustment to make the car tighter, four tires and fuel. A mishap during the stop, when the car came off the jack too early, cost the team extra time on pit road causing Sorenson to restart one lap down in the 18th position.

The No. 43 Ford maintained the 18th position until the next caution flag waved on Lap 120. Sorenson stayed out to take the wave-around, allowing the team to get back on the lead lap in the same position. The restart came on Lap 124.

Lopez and the Pilot Travel Centers crew hoped for a caution in the closing laps to give the No. 43 Ford fresh Goodyear tires, however, the race remained green through the final 13 laps. Sorenson battled a loose car, maintaining the 18th position across the finish line. With the top-20 finish, the Pilot Travel Centers team gained one position in Owner's points to 15th.

"We were loose all night but it seemed like everyone else was battling handling issues too," said Sorenson. "We were just outside of the top-10 and in a really good place until we had a problem on pit road. Once again, our finish doesn't show how good of a car we had. This Pilot Flying J team has been working really hard and doing a really good job to get these cars dialed-in. Unfortunately, tonight we didn't get the finish we deserved."

The NASCAR Nationwide Series team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to action at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday, May 25. The History 300 will be televised live on ABC.

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