SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (Oct. 13, 2005) — Discount Tire Co. will make its debut as a NASCAR Nextel Cup sponsor Oct. 30-31, backing 19-year-old Reed Sorenson's first drive in NASCAR's premier series at the Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Mr. Sorenson, who is driving a Discount Tire-backed Dodge Charger in NASCAR's Busch Series, also will compete at the Dickies 500 Nextel Cup race Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway before moving up to a full season next year in Nextel Cup competition, according to Chip Ganassi Racing, the team running Mr. Sorenson in NASCAR.
Discount Tire will continue to sponsor Mr. Sorenson in the Busch Series next year. In Nextel Cup, he will drive a Target-sponsored car, according to Ganassi Racing, which is expanding to four cars in Nextel Cup racing to accommodate Mr. Sorenson.
Mr. Sorenson is still competing for the 2005 Busch Series championship, standing third in the championship, 251 points out of first, with five races to go. He has won twice this year and led the points chase for several weeks in July, but was docked 50 points in September after his crew chief was charged with violating NASCAR rules for using a chemical treatment on the car's tires at a race Aug. 26 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The crew chief, Brian Pattie, was fined $35,000, suspended from NASCAR for the next six NASCAR Busch Series events and placed on probation until Dec. 31.