NASCAR Insider

Reed Sorenson’s new ride in the No. 36 Chevrolet at Tommy Baldwin Racing brings with it the services of a veteran crew chief on the rebound.

Baldwin, who was a crew chief before becoming a team owner, hired one of his old rivals, Todd Parrott, a championship-winning crew chief with Dale Jarrett in 1999 and a 31-time Cup winner, to steer Sorenson’s team. Parrott is back at work in NASCAR after completing the sport’s Road to Recovery program following a suspension last year for violating NASCAR’s substance-abuse policy.

Sorenson, who is from Peachtree City, said in a team release that he’s glad to work with Parrott, who last year was a crew chief for the No. 43 Ford at Richard Petty Motorsports, a car Sorenson once drove.

“I’m confident with Todd’s winning resume along with Tommy’s accomplishments,” he said. “It’s going to lead to great things for this team. I’m thankful for TBR and all of their partners for allowing me to be their driver. I’m looking forward to helping TBR build on what they have already achieved and to help make the team better than they ever have been.”

Baldwin said he also has high hopes for his fledgling team, which includes the No. 7 of Michael Annett, who is a close off-track friend of Sorenson, and has a veteran crew chief in the recently hired Kevin “Bono” Manion.

“It’s taken six years to get where we are now, and the No. 36 car is only two or three years into it, so we’re slowly building that, and we’re excited to have Reed on board with his experience at such a young age and ability to provide sound feedback to help us do that,” Baldwin said.

Sorenson spent his 28th birthday Wednesday testing his No. 36 at Talladega Superspeedway along with Annett and Trevor Bayne, driving the No. 21 Wood Brothers Ford. Bayne was fastest with a speed of 191.138 mph.

Team Nemechek: John Hunter Nemechek and his father, Joe Nemechek, are teaming to run the full Camping World Truck Series schedule this season.

The younger Nemechek, at 16, is eligible to race in 10 events, those at oval tracks up to a little over a mile in length and road courses of any length. His father, who has four Sprint Cup wins and 16 Nationwide Series victories but is winless so far in the truck series, will run the rest of the schedule.

“My main goal is to finish in the top 15 or top 10 each race,” John Hunter Nemechek said. “I know that’s a tall order, but you have to set your standards high.”

The Nemecheks will use a truck numbered 8, the same as his late uncle John Nemechek was driving when he died in a crash during a truck series event at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 1997.

“That number is something we want to try and keep in the family,” John Hunter said.

Nemechek started his 2014 season with a victory in the Pro Late Model portion of Speedfest at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele on Jan. 26. It was his first victory in any kind of Late Model car.

“It was a good race,” he said. “We had a fast car all weekend.”

But the win didn’t come without its share of drama for the young racer.

“We had a late caution, right after I took the white flag,” he said. “Then we had like seven more green-white-checkered runs. It was a little frustrating, but I kept my cool.”

His victory celebration was a little subdued, though.

“There wasn’t much to it,” he said. “We were trying to get home for school the next day.”