Bryan Davis Keith, senior editor for Frontstretch.com and a contributing writer for THL, had a chance to talk with Reed Sorenson about his 2011 season and the changes at Turner Motorsports.
You’ve been part of a big transition taking Braun Racing over to Turner Motorsports. What impact has that had on you as a driver and as a member of the team at the shop?
There’s been a lot of changes. Obviously switching over to the new Nationwide car is a big change, and with Mr. Turner buying the race team, that was a big change for everyone. The things he’s changed as far as the equipment and the engines that we have now, I think that’s going to be a big difference. The main thing is that everyone is really positive going into this season about what we can do, about the expectations of what we can do. There’s definitely a real positive vibe.
Talking about expectations, there’s been a big shift in terms of how the Nationwide title will be determined in 2011. Does that change alter your expectations for this season at all?
I think so, a little bit. But when it comes down to it, you’re going to race them [the Cup drivers] the same whether they’re allowed [to win the title] or not. We’re really only going to be racing two less people in that regard. It’s great that one of us [the regulars] is going to be the Nationwide champion, but all us are going to race just as hard.
The new Nationwide COT is here full-time this season. You got to drive it a few times as a Toyota last season. Going into this season, what impact does the change in manufacturers have on your team and your experience driving the car?
You know, with the bodies of the car [the way they are now], it makes a humongous difference. But in terms of the engines, everything like that, I’ll have to get to the racetrack. I will say that I am excited to be a part of it. The change is something Mr. Turner thought would be a positive, and anything he’s done [so far] has been to help the team, and I think we’re going in the right direction.
Talking bigger picture, you were fortunate last year to have a career reboot. You moved back to the Nationwide Series, ran really really well, were knocking on the door of victory lane by the end of it. Taking stock of your career now, is there anything you would do differently looking back?
I’m looking forward, more than anything else. This is a great opportunity for me this year. Having Dollar General come back to me on my car, and having a chance this year to win races, well I’m looking forward to this year. I’m looking forward more than anything, and this is going to be a good year as long as I do my job and the guys on the team do theirs. It’s going to be an exciting year, and it’s going to be fun.
Looking at the schedule this year, is there any race you’ve got circled on your calendar?
All of them.
Bryan Davis Keith is the lead Nationwide Series writer for Frontstretch.com, with a special feature for TheHotLap.com