Eight inches of North Carolina clay made all of the difference at 175 mph for Reed Sorenson. But that was the difference between finishing on the track or in the garage at the maiden voyage of Leavine Family Racing’s NASCAR Nationwide Series program.
Sorenson clipped the inside apron too closely in last Friday night’s Dollar General 300 at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in an attempt to avoid lapped-traffic that unfortunately sent his No. 95 Jetset Getset Ford into a spin for a 37th-place finish.
“Just thinking back on it, I had a run on the No. 98 and the No. 14, I believe, and I was going to pass them both,” Sorenson said. “The next thing I know my left-front was in the grass, and when I hit it my car went right. So I don’t really have an explanation for it other than that I was making a move on passing a couple cars and once I hit the grass it was over.”
Sorenson and the team hoped the debut would be a springboard for future success in the Nationwide Series. Instead, it served as another valuable and difficult lesson that success doesn’t easily come in NASCAR.
“The car was hurt,” crew chief Wally Rogers said. “Reed barely clipped the grass, but it shot it straight right and into the outside wall. At racing’s drawing board everything is measured by fractions of inches, and Reed found that out last Friday. A fraction of an inch to the right and everything’s all right.”
Sorenson started 21st and was running in the 20s when the accident happened.
“We were still feeling out the car and making changes,” Sorenson said. “For a first race, we were really fast right off the truck. Another stop or two and the adjustments would have been even better. I think we were a top-10, top-15 car, for sure.
“The commitment from everyone at Leavine Family Racing and Jetset Getset was incredible. We came a long way in a couple days in our first Nationwide race. That same commitment will help us move forward.”