Mears moving to fourth Ganassi entry

Updated: August 12, 2005, 5:00 PM ET news services

CONCORD, N.C.-- Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS), announced today that current Busch Series driver Reed Sorenson will pilot the No. 41 Target Dodge in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series in 2006.

Sorenson will be competing for the Rookie of the Year title in Nextel Cup, as well as running the full Busch Series schedule in the No. 41 Discount Tire Dodge.

Casey Mears, who currently drives the No. 41 Cup car, will remain with Ganassi in '06. Mears will pilot a fourth Ganassi entry, which will be sponsored by mortgage lender Home123. Jamie McMurray and David Stremme, who will replace Sterling Marlin in the No. 40 Dodge, complete Ganassi's planned driver lineup for next season.

"Reed is certainly a racing talent, but he's also a good person and has a great family, and it's been a pleasure to watch him develop and grow on and off the race track," team owner Chip Ganassi said. "Target continues to redefine the word partnership. Their support has been an important part of Reed's successful development at CGRFS and their flexibility in allowing Home123 to have Casey Mears once again, shows their commitment to the whole team's success. We're looking forward to what the future holds for Reed, Casey and our entire team."

Sorenson has been a member of the CGRFS race team since 2003 when team owners Ganassi and Sabates signed him to their driver development program. In 2004, he ran three ARCA (Automobile Racing Club of America) races and four Busch Series races for CGRFS, amassing one ARCA win at Michigan and four top-five and five top-10 finishes between the two series.

So far this season, Sorenson has two wins, two pole positions, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes and leads the rookie of the year title race in the Busch Series.

"This is a special day and I am extremely excited about driving the No. 41 Target Dodge next year in the Nextel Cup Series," Sorenson said. "I have worked my entire life to earn this opportunity and to continue my association with Target at this level, given their history in motorsports, makes this step in my career even more memorable. I have a lot to learn next year, but I am looking forward to contributing to the success of this program, running for the rookie of the year award in the Cup series and working with Casey, David [Stremme] and Jamie [McMurray]."