MOORESVILLE, N.C. (February 9, 2016) – With today’s formal announcement of the implementation of a NASCAR charter system for the 2016 Sprint Cup Series season, Hillman Racing will field the No. 40 CRC BRAKLEEN Chevrolet SS with driver Reed Sorenson as an open competitor in the 58th annual Daytona 500.
“While we are absolutely disappointed with our exclusion from the new charter system, we have sponsors, partners and friends that have stood behind us, and for that I am truly grateful,” said team owner Mike Hillman. “I’ve poured my heart and soul – literally my blood, sweat and tears – into building a competitive NASCAR Sprint Cup team over the past three years, and to be told one week prior to the sport’s biggest event of a complete overhaul of the framework of the Series is disheartening. For the time being, I will instead focus on the positives and that we have a great partner like CRC Industries that will allow me to continue to realize my lifelong dream of fielding a car in the Daytona 500.”
The team has secured the driving services of 30-year-old Sorenson, who last season memorably raced his way into the Daytona 500 by earning a transfer spot in the 150-mile qualifying races, and has tapped race-winning crew chief Pat Tryson to lead the No. 40 CRC Brakleen team.
“When I first met with Reed a few weeks ago, I could see the fire in his eyes to get back into NASCAR’s premier series and compete with the best in the sport,” added Hillman, whose team was in a similar situation in 2013 when it needed to qualify into the Daytona 500 and finished 12th. “He shares the same desire that we have as an organization – along with my partners Doug Fuller and Matt Miller – and teaming him with Pat Tryson gives us the best chance at securing a spot in the 40-car Daytona 500 field. With 36 cars already locked into the field before we even get to SpeedWeeks, I hope that the fans are able to find some excitement cheering for an underdog story like ours as we battle for one of four open starting positions.”
Sorenson, who celebrated his 30th birthday last Friday, will attempt to race his way into the Daytona 500 starting field for the seventh time in his career and has recorded a fifth- and ninth-place finish in NASCAR’s biggest race.
“You always want to start the season with the opportunity to go to Daytona and have a chance to compete in the Daytona 500,” Sorenson said. “I’m confident in the equipment at Hillman Racing, and given the team’s performance on the superspeedways over the past two seasons, I’m looking forward to racing the CRC Brakleen Chevrolet into the Daytona 500 field.”
The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Daytona 500 will be broadcast live on FOX from Daytona International Speedway on Sunday, February 21, with pre-race coverage beginning at 1:00 p.m. EST.
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