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Find out what's really going on in NASCAR. Look here to find out why your driver really lost his ride, or the real reason those two drivers can't stand each other. Learn about the hidden motives and reasons for the things that happen in NASCAR, from the drivers to the team owners.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sorenson battles on in tough situation

Every once in a while, you’ll hear someone say they like their job so much, they’d do it for free.

99.9 percent of the time that is not really the case.

But it appears it is true for Reed Sorenson. In a story that emerged this week, it was reported that Sorenson was approached this summer with two choices … leave the Richard Petty Motorsports team, or drive for free for the rest of the season.

Wanted to keep his name in the public eye as he looked for a 2010 ride, he chose Option B, and is making no salary to drive the #43 car, according to the report.

My first reaction to the news is that the offer itself is very strange. Can you imagine someone doing that in any other sport: For example, an NFL, NBA or MLB coach telling a player he can be cut, or stay on the team and play just for the experience, but no paycheck?

I doubt you’ll ever see it happen, not in this day of massive salaries in all the major sports.

Still, I can understand why Sorenson is doing what he’s doing. He’s hardly been spectacular in that car, but a few good runs might put him on the radar of a team that’s looking for a driver for 2010 and beyond.

His other option was likely to move down to Nationwide for the rest of the year, but that would have been viewed as a step backward and perhaps detrimental to his career.

Sorenson is now doing the equivalent of a nonpaid internship in the business world. For the rest of the year, he is working for free, but hoping to catch the eye of someone so he can stay in Cup next year.

I have to give Sorenson some credit for he’s handling all this. Though I have been critical of his on-track performance in the past, that kind of attitude and dedication to racing looks very good to potential employers. I bet many drivers in his situation would have had a bad attitude and just walked away from this unique and unattractive offer. But he’s hoping to ride it out and turn lemons into lemonade.

I wish him luck, but I don’t see many options for him and it’s very likely he’ll be back in Nationwide next season.

KHI confusion
Anyone watching the Truck race this weekend saw a situation unravel involving Kevin Harvick and Ron Hornaday that was quite interesting. Hornaday and his teammate/team owner Harvick were both faster than race leader Kyle Busch, but they were busy racing each other and let him drive off into the sunset and take the checkered flag.

Harvick had fresher tires, so he assumed Hornaday would not put up a fight, then let him go chase down Busch. He thought wrong, and was mighty angry at Hornaday after the race, running over to the #33 truck to give his driver a scolding.

I’m on Hornaday’s side in this one, though. He is in a title hunt, and Harvick needs to realize that. To him, the biggest thing was for KHI to get the race win that day. To Hornaday, the biggest thing is winning that title, which will be yet another achievement for KHI. Considering how often trucks end up in the wall in that series, those few points might come in handy later in the season.

Apparently there were some communications problems and Hornaday wasn’t aware of Harvick’s plan of attack, but even if he had been I doubt a competitor like Hornaday would pull over for anyone … even his team owner. And that’s the way it should be.


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