The No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford team and driver Reed Sorenson is coming off of a strong 10th-place finish at Richmond International Raceway last Friday night and now looks to secure a second consecutive top-10 finish at the high-banked Talladega Superspeedway.
While Superspeedway racing leaves much to chance, Sorenson knows what it takes to be at the front at the end of the 117-lap race. He has a total of 17 starts on superspeedways, accumulating two top-five and six top-10 finishes.
Richard Petty Motorsports has just one start in the NASCAR Nationwide Series at Talladega. Last year, Michael Annett posted a 23rd-place finish after being involved in an accident while racing for the lead. The No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers team has four starts on superspeedway tracks with a best finish of third at Daytona International Speedway in July of last year with Annett behind the wheel.
Comments from the No. 43 Pilot Travel Centers Ford Mustang driver Reed Sorenson:
"We had a really good car in Richmond, and it was great to get a top-10 for this team. This team is really strong and Richard Petty Motorsports has built a strong Nationwide program in a short time. The whole team has a great chemistry and I can see why Michael (Annett) enjoys racing this car so much. I'm just happy I can fill in for a few races because it's been a lot of fun.
"Going into Talladega you never know what to expect, anything can happen, but we are hoping to avoid getting caught up in any incidents. We want to leave there with another solid finish. These guys have worked really hard all season. It would be great to get some more good finishes so Michael can come back and be in a good position. I know we're all working hard to make that happen.
Comments from Crew Chief Philippe Lopez on Talladega:
"Last week's top-10 was a welcoming sight for our team. We got pretty used to good finishes at the end of last year and going into this year we thought we were doing all of the right things to continue that, but we haven't been getting the results we thought we would. It was nice to finally have things come together.
"We have a really solid foundation in Roush Yates Engines for our superspeedway program. Having a strong, fast motor is very important at these tracks. If you have a fast car, then you have other fast drivers that want to draft with you. Once you get a quality drafting partner, you can go from the back of the field to the front with no problems; you just have to make it to the end of the race with no incidents.
"Even though you go into this kind of race knowing you have a 50/50 chance of making it to the end they are still fun. Every lap is different, and as a Crew Chief, your strategy could change every three laps during the race."