Sunday, October 9, 2016

CUP: Open Team Roundup - Charlotte (October)

SOURCE: Getty Images

#98 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Cole Whitt
Started 36th, Finished 27th

Misfortunes suffered by five Chase drivers on Sunday lifted three Open teams out of the Bottom Ten.  Leading the group for the second-straight race was Cole Whitt, who returned to Premium Motorsports after Timmy Hill drove the car last Sunday at Dover.  Whitt, Reed Sorenson, and Josh Wise all lost a lap in the first 20 circuits, and Whitt himself took last during the first round of stops.  When the dust settled, Whitt gained 13 spots for his best finish since Kentucky in July, where he came home 21st.  Next Sunday, he returns to Kansas, where he finished 39th in the spring.

#55 Premium Motorsports
Driver: Reed Sorenson
Started 39th, Finished 28th

At Charlotte, Reed Sorenson’s near-identical Vydox Plus ride to teammate Whitt switched from Toyota to Chevrolet, and he ended up one spot and six laps behind his teammate.  Sorenson was the first driver to lose 2 laps on the 55th circuit, and the first to go 3 down on the 60th.  He was running last when Casey Mears and Alex Bowman tangled on Lap 62, saving Sorenson from becoming the first driver to sweep last place in the Sprint Showdown, the Coca-Cola 600, and the Bank of America 500 in the same year.  Sorenson’s eventual 28th-place finish was his best run since a 26th last month at Richmond, and now heads to Kansas where he ran 33rd earlier this year.

#30 The Motorsports Group
Driver: Josh Wise
Started 40th, Finished 29th

Another lap and another spot behind Sorenson came Josh Wise, his best run since coming home 29th at Darlington.  Wise started last, but spent little time there, and now heads to Kansas, where he finished 36th in May.

#21 Wood Brothers Racing
Driver: Ryan Blaney
Started 18th, Finished 31st

For the second race in a row, Ryan Blaney crashed out of the Top 10 in the closing stages, continuing a frustrating two months for the Wood Brothers.  This time, Blaney was running around the 8th spot on the Lap 260 restart when the multi-car accident triggered by Martin Truex, Jr. and Austin Dillon clogged the racing line.  The #21 crew managed to get their driver on the track once more, 27 laps down to the leaders.  Next week at Kansas, Blaney looks to return to form at a track where he ran 5th in the spring.




#26 BK Racing
#35 Front Row Motorsports
#40 Hillman Racing
#59 Leavine Family / Circle Sport Racing
#93 BK Racing

None of the other part-time Open teams attempted the race in Charlotte.

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