19 yr. old Reed Sorensen to NEXTEL Cup, and more

Reed Sorenson, a 19-year-old NASCAR Busch Series driver, will run a full Nextel Cup schedule next season in a fourth team for Chip Ganassi Racing, two people with the team told The Associated Press on Thursday. A formal announcement was scheduled for today at Watkins Glen International, and the two sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Sorenson would be introduced as driver of the No. 41 Dodge. They did not want to be identified before Sorenson's official introduction. Sorenson has two Busch victories and is third in the standings, 104 points behind leader and defending series champion Martin Truex Jr. Casey Mears, meanwhile, will remain with Ganassi in a different car, the sources said. The car number has not yet been determined, but the sponsor will be mortgage lender Home123. Mears had an option in his contract for 2006 that the team picked up, removing him from the free-agent market. Ganassi's planned 2006 lineup — Jamie McMurray, Mears, Sorenson and David Stremme — will have two rookies, and all four drivers are under 30 years old with just one Nextel Cup win among them (McMurray in 2002). McMurray has signed to drive the No. 6 Ford for Roush Racing in 2007 and, by announcing it so early, had hoped to get Ganassi to let him leave early. The car owner has been heavily scrutinized for refusing to do so. Review Journal

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