RAB Racing withdraws from Phoenix race to regroup, will return at Fontana

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RAB Racing has withdrawn the No. 29 Toyota Camry from Sunday’s CampingWorld.com 500 Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

Team majority owner Robby Benton told NASCAR Talk in an email Thursday that his team’s rough start to the 2015 season prompted the decision to regroup. Team RAB will skip Phoenix but plans on returning for next week’s race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif.

“After having missed the first three events (failed to qualify in each), there’s no need to chase points,” Benton said. “We don’t have sponsorship for every event, we just wanted to attempt the first three to see how points worked out.

“After missing Las Vegas, it made sense to skip Phoenix and take the added time to better prepare for California (Auto Club) Speedway. That’s a home race for TRD (Toyota Racing Development) and very important for us.”

Team RAB failed to qualify for the season-opening Daytona 500 with driver Justin Marks.

“We missed qualifying into the 500 by two spots after easily showing enough speed during Speedweeks practice to make the race,” Benton said. “We just weren’t in the right place at the right time, but I was proud of the effort.”

Reed Sorenson took over the No. 29 but failed to qualify at Atlanta Motor Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

“We got caught by the qualifying tech issues (at Atlanta) and didn’t get a chance to qualify,” Benton said. “I felt we showed enough speed again in practice to have potentially qualified for the field, we just didn’t get to try.

“(As for Las Vegas) we lacked the speed we needed, no excuse.”

Benton said the team will run a limited schedule pending additional sponsorship.

“The more support we secure, the more events we’ll run,” Benton said. “The (Sprint Cup Series) is tough right now with the rule changes and number of teams vying for a spot (on the 43-car race grid).”

NOTES: Sorenson and wife Laura announced Thursday on his Facebook page that they are expecting the birth of their first child later this year.

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