Daytona 500: Stremme "Speedweeks" preview

David Stremme, No. 40 Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Dodge No. 40 TEAM FACTS: * 2006 Sponsors: The No. 40 Dodge Charger will sport both the Coors Light and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon logos this season. The two will serve as the...

David Stremme, No. 40 Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon Dodge

No. 40 TEAM FACTS:

* 2006 Sponsors: The No. 40 Dodge Charger will sport both the Coors Light and Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon logos this season. The two will serve as the primary sponsors for 17 races each, and as associate sponsors for the other 19 races. Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon will kick off its sponsorship at the season-opening Daytona 500 and Coors Light will begin its season at California Speedway on Feb. 26.

* Chassis: Crew Chief Jeff Vandermoss and the No. 40 crew will be taking chassis No.601 for the Daytona 500. Stremme and the No. 40 team tested this chassis at Daytona in January.

* Did you Know?: Stremme and his teammate Reed Sorenson will be competing for the 2006 Rookie of the Year Award just like Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates (CGRFS) teammates Casey Mears and former teammate Jamie McMurray did in 2003. That same year three CGRFS drivers received Rookie of the Year awards with McMurray in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series, Stremme in the NASCAR Busch Series and Sorenson in the ASA Series.

* NASCAR SMT: Stremme will be part of the NASCAR SMT on Friday, Feb. 17th from 5 to 6 p.m. Join him as he addresses the media about running for rookie of the year, his first full season in the Cup Series and driving for Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

* New year, new team: The 2006 season will be Vandermoss' inaugural year as crew chief for the No. 40 Dodge at Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.

Along with Vandermoss the No. 40 team has many new faces including car chief Jim Pohlman, mechanics Andy Silver and Luke Roffers, shock specialist John Weaver and engine specialist Frank Mathalia. Crew members Fred Ware, race engineer Brian Burns and tire specialist Rob Lopes join the No. 40 team from within the CGRFS stable.

David Stremme Quotes:

What's it like being a rookie about to start the Daytona 500 for the first time?

"It will probably be pretty wild. Growing up the Daytona 500 was a pretty big deal. Right now we'd be working on cars to race locally at home in my parents' garage. On Daytona 500 weekend, we'd always stop and cook dinner and watch. It was a pretty big thing for us because there's not a lot of racing in Indiana at that time. The first time I came down here was in 2003. I walked around and I was telling Tony Glover (team manager) on the way down here it was pretty neat the first time I walked in the garage area. I asked what all the wooden tables were doing here. He said before all the big pit boxes they'd come and sit their tool boxes and everything up there. I thought that was pretty neat. The track is fast, and I enjoy racing on it because you slide around a lot."

What are your thoughts on the rookie of the year race?

"I think Martin Truex, Reed Sorenson and Denny Hamlin and everybody in the rookie class are very, very good drivers, but I think whoever is going to win rookie of the year is going to have to make The Chase and win races. I don't look at the first five or 10 like we've got to go out and beat the rookies, we need to build for later this season and be consistent. Martin and Reed and a lot of them are going to be tough to beat, but I look at it as there are a lot of other drivers you've got to beat on the weekend, too."

-cgr-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Casey Mears , Jamie McMurray , Martin Truex Jr. , Chip Ganassi , David Stremme , Denny Hamlin , Reed Sorenson , Felix Sabates
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing