Reed Sorenson will drive in place of Michael Annett in the Nationwide Series, Richard Petty Motorsports announced Tuesday.
Annett fractured his sternum in a wreck with five laps to go in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway and the team expects him to miss six to eight weeks.
Aric Almirola filled Annett's seat at Phoenix and finished ninth. With Annett behind the wheel last season, the No. 43 team posted six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes and ended the year fifth in driver points.
For Sorenson, landing a ride with a team the caliber of RPM is a good opportunity to showcase his talent. He is a proven winner in Nationwide with four victories in 173 career starts.
However, he hasn't been able to land a ride with an upper-echelon team since unexpectedly being let go by Turner Scott Motorsports with four races to go in the 2011 season. At the time of his release, Sorenson was third in points with an outside shot at winning the championship.
"It was very unexpected to get the opportunity to step in," Sorenson said in a team statement. "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."
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