Sunday, May 22, 2016

CUP: Reed Sorenson becomes first Showdown last-placer to finish under power

SOURCE: Rubbin's Racin' Forums
Reed Sorenson finished last in Saturday’s Sprint Showdown at the Charlotte Motor Speedway when his #55 World Record Striper Company / Hauling Bass! Chevrolet finished under power, one lap down, after 49 of 50 laps.

Sorenson debuted Premium Motorsports’ #55 team at Martinsville in April, thus bringing the season-opening 39-car fields to a “full” 40.  Since then, the team has not missed a race.  The team’s best performance of the year remains a 12th - with Michael Waltrip at Talladega - while Sorenson’s best run stands a 33rd at Kansas.  Last week at Dover, Sorenson’s sponsorless black ride got a splash of color as the World Record Striper Company signed on for a three-race deal.  Unfortunately, the car lost an engine and crashed in its debut, leaving Sorenson 38th.

Sorenson and World Record Striper arrived at Charlotte with the #55 as one of the 25 entrants - and four Open teams - for the Sprint Showdown.  It would be Sorenson’s first start in the event since 2014, when he came home 21st for Tommy Baldwin Racing.  His best Showdown finish was a 12th in 2008, his third and final year with Chip Ganassi Racing.  Rain scrubbed practice and qualifying for the Showdown, so Sorenson would start 24th by virtue of Premium’s 39th-place ranking in owner points for the #55.

Starting last in Sarurday’s postponed event was Josh Wise in the unsponsored #30 The Motorsports Group Chevrolet.  Sorenson took the spot soon after and was running there with four laps to go in the 20-lap Segment 1when Michael McDowell spun off Turn 4, taking 25th in the process.  On the restart, McDowell began to climb through the pack, eventually ending up 18th by the end of the race.  Sorenson, meanwhile, lost a lap along with Jeffrey Earnhardt’s #32 NC Education Lottery Ford during Segment 2.  Unable to catch Earnhardt in time for the Lucky Dog at Lap 40, Sorenson remained a lap behind, and was still there at the finish.

Earnhardt came home 24th.  23rd went to Sorenson’s teammate Cole Whitt in the #98 Vydox Plus Chevrolet followed by Wise in 22nd.  Rounding out the group was Regan Smith in Tommy Baldwin’s #7 Nikko RC / Toy State Chevrolet.  All 25 starters finished under power, and only Sorenson remained off the lead lap.

Technically, Trevor Bayne completed the fewest laps of anyone in the race when he won Segment 1 after 20 circuits, and in fact his #6 AdvoCare Ford was shown on the leaderboard in the last position during the latter parts of FS1’s coverage.  Had he been officially categorized there, he would have been the first driver to be classified last because of a win and not because of disqualification.

*Sorenson is the first last-place finisher of the Sprint Showdown to finish the race on the track and under power.  In fact, no last-place finisher of the event had completed more than 26 laps (of 100) by Mark Martin in 1988, nor come closer than 25 laps (of 40) by David Stremme in 2014.
*This marked the first last-place finish for both Sorenson and the #55 in the Sprint Showdown.

25) #55-Reed Sorenson / 49 laps / running
24) #32-Jeffrey Earnhardt / 50 laps / running
23) #98-Cole Whitt / 50 laps / running
22) #30-Josh Wise / 50 laps / running
21) #7-Regan Smith / 50 laps / running

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