Racin’ News: Sorenson Out, Vickers In At Turner Motorsports
In Racin’ News Today, Tuesday, Oct. 4:
Turner Motorsports announced today that Brian Vickers will assume driving duties of the No. 32 Dollar General Chevy, beginning this weekend at Kansas Speedway. Vickers, who drivers for Red Bull Racing in the Sprint Cup series, will replace Reed Sorenson.
Vickers, the 2003 NASCAR Nationwide Series Champion, who has a long-standing relationship with the team, will also get behind the wheel for the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway. The driver for the remaining 2011 races will be announced at a later date.
Sorenson currently is third in the Nationwide standings, 49 points behind series leader Ricky Stenhouse Jr. He has one 2011 victory – at Road America.
“We are continuing to evaluate our racing program as we look to the 2012 season,” said team owner Steve Turner. “Brian Vickers is a proven winner at NASCAR’s highest level in addition to being a driver at Turner Motorsports over the last four seasons. He has worked with Trent Owens in the past which will allow us to immediately focus on the task at hand. We are confident Brian can help assess where we are, as a company currently, and the direction we are going as we build our programs for 2012 and beyond.”
Vickers previously competed in the Nationwide Series for Turner Motorsports on a part-time basis from 2007-2010. In 41 starts, Vickers compiled 15 top-five and 28 top-10 finishes along with three pole awards. Vickers has made four Nationwide Series starts at Kansas Speedway, notching one top-10 finish back in 2007 while driving the No. 10 entry for Turner Motorsports.
“I can’t thank everyone at Dollar General and Turner Motorsports enough for this opportunity,” said Vickers. “They have been so supportive of me both personally and professionally over the past few years, and it’s great to continue this relationship for a few more races. I am looking forward to driving this new Nationwide Series car with Trent and the guys behind me!”
The No. 32 team remains under the leadership of Trent Owens, the same crew chief Vickers worked with during the majority of his time at Turner Motorsports.
Turner also announced Tuesday that Dollar General would not be back as primary sponsor of the car next year.
A statement issued by the team said: “Due to the current economic climate, coupled with the decision by long-time marketing partner, Dollar General, to seek other sponsorship opportunities, Turner Motorsports has notified its employees of a potential downsizing at the end of the current racing season. It is hopeful the action will become unnecessary as the team continues to work with potential marketing partners for their Nationwide Series and Camping World Truck Series teams.”
Former Indianapolis 500 crew chief and team principal Sal Incandela died Monday, Oct. 3 in Las Vegas. He was 61.
The Italian-born Incandela was raised in France but spent the majority of his adult life working for racing teams based in England and then the United States. He was part of at least two Formula One World Championship-winning efforts. He was a mechanic for McLaren when James Hunt won the world title in 1976 and again for Brabham when Nelson Piquet won his second world title in 1983.
In 1980, Incandela was part of the Toleman team which finished one-two in the Formula Two championship with drivers Brian Henton and Derek Warwick.
One of many former F1 mechanics drawn to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Incandela spent 1986 with Dick Simon and Raul Boesel before stints with Vince Granatelli (driver Roberto Guerrero), Frank Arciero and Bernard Jourdain.
Incandela formed an Indy Lights team, Indy Regency, for 1991 and two years later entered the Indianapolis 500 with Formula One driver Olivier Grouillard. The Frenchman was bumped from the starting field in his only attempt, but the following year Arie Luyendyk qualified in the middle of the third row for Indy Regency. Luyendyk dropped out with engine failure after 179 laps, having run as high as fourth during in the early stages.
The final Indianapolis 500 run for Indy Regency was with Native American Cory Witherill in 2001.
The multi-talented Incandela wrote a highly regarded technical book “The Anatomy and Development of the Formula One Racing Car from 1975,” which was first published in 1983. With forewords by old friends Patrick Tambay and Gordon Murray, the book was twice updated and later translated into French.No Comment