Discount Tire Co. will continue its sponsorship of the No. 41 Dodge Charger in NASCAR's Busch Series next year, with team driver Reed Sorenson running both the Busch and NASCAR's premier Nextel Cup series.
In addition, Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Discount Tire will sponsor Mr. Sorenson's Nextel Cup debut the weekend of Oct. 30-31 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, according to Chip Ganassi Racing, the team running Mr. Sorenson in NASCAR. Mr. Sorenson also will drive the Discount Tire Dodge Charger at the Dickies 500 Nextel Cup race Nov. 6 at Texas Motor Speedway.
Mr. Sorenson's push for the 2005 Busch Series championship took a detour recently, however, when he was docked 50 points after his crew chief was charged with violating NASCAR rules for using an illegal substance on the No. 41 car's tires at a race at Bristol Motor Speedway on Aug. 26.
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.
Despite the penalty, Mr. Sorenson, 19, stands third in the Busch Series championship, 323 points out of first, with four races to go. He races for the Chip Ganassi Racing/Felix Sabates partnership, which is expanding to four cars in Nextel Cup racing to accommodate Mr. Sorenson, who has won twice this year in the Busch Series and led the points chase for several weeks in July.