Reed Sorenson will assume driving duties in the No. 43 Ford in NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, filling in for the injured Michael Annett, beginning with Saturday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, according to a release from Richard Petty Motorsports.
Annett suffered a broken and dislocated sternum in a crash during the season-opening race at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway on Feb. 23. Aric Almirola, a driver for RPM in the Sprint Cup Series, drove the No. 43 Nationwide car last weekend at Phoenix International Racing.
"It's an unfortunate situation for the team and Michael," Sorenson said. "I have been to the hospital to see him, and he will be fine, but it's going to take some time to heal. As a friend for a long time, my initial reaction was concern. I'm glad that he's recovering now. It was very unexpected to get the opportunity to step in," continued Sorenson. "The best part is that my friend, Michael, will be cheering for me and the whole 43 Pilot Flying J team. I talked to him about it, and he really wants to see me do well. This is a big deal for me, and I am going to make the most of it."
According to Richard Petty Motorsports, Sorenson will be in the No. 43 until Annett returns. Annett recently underwent surgery in Charlotte and his recovery is expected to take a couple of months.
Sorenson has to his credit four Nationwide Series wins, along with 38 top-fives and 85 top-10 finishes. Lately, he's been driving the No. 40 Chevrolet for The Motorsports Group in Nationwide competition.
"It's an unfortunate situation to have to deal with," Richard Petty Motorsports Director of Competition Sammy Johns said. "We had a lot of momentum from last year and we want to make sure we don't lose that and give Michael the best situation possible when he returns."