Sorenson breaks major drought with Gateway win
In a war of attrition Saturday night at Gateway International Raceway, Reed Sorenson broke a 60-race NASCAR Busch Series winless drought in beating Scott Wimmer to checkered flag in the NASCAR Busch Series 250.
Sorenson, who won his last race in the series at Gateway in 2005, passed David Reutimann for the lead after a restart on Lap 159 and kept his No. 41 Dodge out front the rest of the way, despite a caution that fell on Lap 178 when points leader Carl Edwards backed into the outside wall.
Sorenson finished 2.064 seconds in front of Wimmer, who got by Reutimann for second place in the closing laps. Reutimann held on to third, followed by Jason Leffler and David Ragan. Edwards (who drove like a madman after his wreck), Kevin Hamlin, Ron Hornaday Jr., J.J. Yeley and Todd Bodine completed the top 10.
"It's been a long time since we won, and we knew we had a good shot coming in here," Sorenson said. "Everybody on the team was real excited about coming in here, and the car was just dominant all night.
"I'm just real proud of everybody. We knew we had a good car after practice -- we didn't know it was going to be this good, though."
Aside from a caution of Lap 6 for Steve Wallace's crash, the race was incident-free until NASCAR called a caution for debris on Lap 92. From that point on, the NASCAR Busch Series 250 became a demolition derby, as seven cautions followed in the last 101 laps.
The action started on Lap 99, when Tim McCreadie's No. 21 Chevy broke loose, causing Mike Bliss to check up behind him. Landon Cassill, making his series debut, got into Bliss who, in turn, was collected by Kyle Krisiloff.
"I don't know who's driving the 24 -- he looks like a 10-year-old out there," Bliss said of the 18-year-old Cassill. "He waved me by, then he ran into me."
Cassill, who has been touted as a future star at Hendrick Motorsports, had a different perspective.
"I was down on the yellow line as far as I could go, where I was supposed to be," he said. "I don't know whether he checked up or he came down the track."
Kenny Wallace, the crowd favorite from nearby St. Louis, also was eliminated in that melee, causing the garrulous driver to say in disappointment, "I'm at a loss for words."
Ten laps later, Cassill wrecked in tandem with Travis Kittelson in Turn 3, and Brad Keselowski also got a piece of the crash. Five more cautions followed before Sorenson streaked across the finish line and headed for victory lane.