Bradley "Reed" Sorenson is one of those NASCAR drivers who still try to find a way to the top of the most popular American racing series. With many ups and downs in his racing career, Sorenson keeps on fighting for the top of the hill in the world of motorsport.
National quarter midget champion
He was born in Peachtree City in Georgia, on 5th of February, 1986, and when he was six, he started to participate in quarter midget racing. Over the five years spent in the quarter midget racing, Sorenson won the National Championship title. In 1998, he began to race in the legend cars and during those four years, he was extremely successful. Reed had won more than half of the races he had entered, won the southeastern championship and broke many track records during his time in the legend cars racing.
2003 ASA Rookie of the Year
Still a teenager, Sorenson entered the American Speed Association in 2002, driving in the selected events, but in 2003, he competed as a full-time driver and deserved the Rookie of the Year Award. His talent was spotted by the big guns and he signed a development contract with Chip Ganassi Racing which was a hint of a bright future. He became the youngest development driver in the history of the team.
In 2004, Sorenson scored his first win in the ARCA Series and was rewarded with a NASCAR contract. He competed in five Busch Series races, driving for Chip Ganassi Racing, and did very well. His best result was 4th place at Homestead but also three Top 10s.
Full-time driver in 2005 NASCAR Busch Series
Those achievements were good enough for Chip Ganassi Racing to offer him a full-time ride in 2005. Sorenson fully met the expectations in his rookie season after he had scored two wins driving a #41 Dodge. At the same time, he had six podium finishes and many Top 10s which propelled him to the 4th place in the Drivers’ championship. He narrowly missed the Rookie of the Year Award which was won by Carl Edwards.
Sprint cup debut came a bit too early
Maybe a bit surprisingly, Sorenson got a chance to drive a full-time 2006 Nextel Cup (now the Sprint Cup) season for Chip Ganassi Racing. The inexperienced driver did relatively well, scoring five finishes in Top 10, while in the Drivers’ championship, Reed took the 24th place. He continued to drive in the Busch Series but the results weren’t as good as in his first season, so he finished 10th overall.
An unsuccessful try to make the headlines
After that year, he took a break from the Busch Series for a while and concentrated primarily on the Sprint Cup in which he slightly improved and took the 22nd place in the season of 2007, earning his first podium finish at Atlanta. The following year started well for Sorenson, after he had finished 5th at Daytona, but later managed to brake into the Top 10 only once. That’s why he dropped well down in the overall ranking and finished the season in the 32nd place.
Sorenson often changed teams
Before the start of the 2009 season, Reed Sorenson became a member of the newly formed team Richard Petty Motorsports. Driving a #43 Dodge, the lad from Peachtree City had a relatively poor season. His only Top 10 finish was at the season opener at Daytona, but that wasn’t Reed’s main problem that year. In September, Richard Petty Motorsports announced their merge with Yates Racing, which meant that Sorenson would lose his place to AJ Allmendinger, who was hired as the new #43 driver.
Without too many options, Sorenson decided to drive in Sprint Cup for Braun Racing as a part-timer and also entered more Xfinity races for the same team and did better than in the NASCAR’s top division. In the middle of the year, Reed was hired by Red Bull Racing as a substitute for Brian Vickers and had one Top 10 finish at Daytona.
Return to NASCAR Xfinity Series
In 2011, Sorenson was out of Sprint Cup but competed full-time in Xfinity Series, driving for Turner Motorsports. Reed had won only one race that year, at Road America, but did a very good job otherwise. He was 3rd in the overall standings at the moment when the team decided to part ways with Sorenson. In the final five races of the season, Sorenson drove for MacDonald Motorsports and took the 5th place in the final classification.
Video : Sorenson wins the 2011 Bucyrus 200 after a bizarre finish
The year of 2012 was pretty bad for Sorenson. He changed teams and cars very often, in both Sprint Cup and Infinity, his performances were far below his abilities and he also missed too many races. The results were so poor that he even couldn’t score any Top 20 place in both competitions. The situation became better in 2013 after he got a chance to drive a full Xfinity season for The Motorsports Group. He also appeared in a couple of races driving for Richard Petty Motorsports, but his status had hardly improved, and he took the 18th place overall.
A new chance has not been used
Tommy Baldwin offered him a full-time return to Sprint Cup in 2014, driving a #36 Chevrolet. Sorenson had a chance to drive a complete season for the first time since 2009, but the results again were average, at best. Sorenson took the 34th place after he had scored just two Top 20 finishes.
Unable to find proper sponsorship, Sorenson struggled a lot during 2015. He started the season with Team Xtreme Racing, then moved to RAB Racing, followed by recruitment of Front Row Motorsports and Premium Motorsports, but the he failed to qualify for many races. He stayed with Premium Motorsports for the 2016 campaign, debuting in the Camping World Truck Series, but failing to qualify for the race at Daytona, announcing yet another tough season for Sorenson.