Car number: 41 • Manufacturer: Dodge • Sponsor: Target
Owner: Chip Ganassi
• Team: Chip Ganassi Racing
• Crew Chief: Jimmy Elledge
Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images
Final Points Standing
After First 26 Races
Lead Lap Finishes
2007 Spin Reed Sorenson is going to be good. One day. Considering the young Georgian was 20 when the '06 campaign began, it's hard to quantify his season - mixed results and all -- as a failure. On the contrary: We believe he showed he could hang with the big boys.
The 2007 season will be a big year for the Chip Ganassi-owned Target team. After a solid year under its belt -- the team qualified for every race, finished in the top 35 in Owner's Points and earned a 24th-place ranking in the season's final standings -- this should be a confident bunch that shows up at Daytona this season.
We see Sorenson coming in at 22nd in 2007 not because he won't make strides as a driver, but because the equipment he is in is still a notch below the Hendricks and Roushes.
The Car of Tomorrow may be a hindrance to this team, but the phasing-in period will definitely be advantageous. The COT will only run at three intermediate events, which is good for this bunch. Sorenson had some respectable showings on the 1.5 and 2-milers last season, finishes that he can build on.
We also like that this team is willing to go for broke. Sorenson was not points racing last year. Once solidly in the top 35 of Owner's Points, he put himself in good position to gamble on fuel mileage. And he did it on more than one occasion.
We see a continuation of last season for this bunch. Sorenson is still very young and will put up a few more decent showings. Don't be surprised if one of his gambles pays off and he hits paydirt in a fuel mileage duel. Otherwise, look for a couple top 5s and a handful of top 10s.
Sorenson and Juan Pablo Montoya will make for an exciting and profitable duo for Chip Ganassi, but they're still a year or two away from being weekly challengers.
2006 Recap The young rookie had some bright moments in his first go-round on the Nextel Cup circuit. Most impressive was Reed Sorenson's performance on the intermediate tracks.
As expected, the season did not get off to a flying start. Four of his first five runs resulted in finishes of 21st or worse. The bright spot was Atlanta, where he earned his first career top 10 in only his sixth Cup race.
The rest of the first half of the season was a roller coaster. An impressive 12th at Martinsville followed by a 13th at Texas were offset by 40th- and 26th- place finishes the following two weeks. So it went for most of Sorenson's maiden voyage.
He did look good on the cookie cutters, where he recorded a top 5 at Michigan and posted four additional top 10s.
This team was testing for 2007 during the Chase, as its 27.2-place average finish can attest -- at least we hope that's what it was doing.
• The Good: Reed Sorenson ran near the front all day at Dover and went for the fuel mileage win but came up just shy and finished 11th. Kudos to the team for going for the big win.
• The Bad: Sorenson averaged a 32nd-place finish at the restrictor plate tracks. Of his four DNFs, two came on the plate tracks.
• The Ugly: The team was lost all weekend at Kansas. The car was so bad that Sorenson wrecked out after only 18 laps, putting him out of his misery.