DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light/Lone Star Dodge Charger) WHAT'S THE OBJECTIVE IN THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING? "We're just shaking stuff down. We don't even look at the charts. We're just getting everybody working together, seeing which car we...
DAVID STREMME (No. 40 Coors Light/Lone Star Dodge Charger)
WHAT'S THE OBJECTIVE IN THE FIRST DAY OF TESTING? "We're just shaking stuff down. We don't even look at the charts. We're just getting everybody working together, seeing which car we want to run. The cars have been driving good, but we'll be able to tell more Wednesday when we get out in the draft. You've got to have a good handling car here."
YOU'RE PART OF A HUGE RAYBESTOS ROOKIE OF THE YEAR CLASS IN 2006. WHAT'S THE GOAL AS FAR AS THE ROOKIE RACE GOES? "Obviously, our goal is to win the rookie title. I feel privileged to be a part of this rookie class. It is very strong, probably the strongest Cup class of rookies in a long time. I think we're probably the underdog coming in, and I like that. We'll be a sleeper for most of the year. I have a championship caliber team around me. I can't say enough about these guys. It gives me a lot of confidence, and it's going to help me out driving the car."
DID YOU DO ANYTHING INTERESTING IN THE OFF SEASON? "I got to go visit Coors and taste some of the fine mountain-brewed beer, and I got to go to Lone Star Steak House and had some good steak. I've got the best of both worlds. I can have an adult beverage with a good steak. We've been so busy getting the cars ready to test, we haven't had a chance to do much else."
DID YOU FIND SOME TIME TO WORK ON YOUR FATHER'S CAR? "Yes, both my parents, Lou and Cindy, race. My brother also races. I've got a shop in Mooresville, N.C., and I needed something to do in the evenings, so I brought my father's late model car down to work on it. It reminds me of where I come from. I helped my father build the car in 2000. I think back then when I didn't have anything and I wanted to come to this level. It makes me work even harder when we come into this year."
YOU MENTIONED YOU ENJOYED SNOWMOBILING. IS THAT A COMPETITIVE SPORT FOR YOU AS WELL? "Any time you go riding with anybody it's competitive. The last time I went snowmobiling Chip Ganassi and Reed Sorenson and a lot of other guys went to West Yellowstone and Chip outrode all of us. He's a hard runner. He runs flat out. I haven't done that in awhile. I've been trying to take it easy, but I did move into a new house. I was cleaning off the yard because I've been fighting with landscapers. I was out blowing leaves and tore ligaments in my foot, but that's pretty much cleared up now. I was hobbling around a couple of weeks around Christmas. I've got a brace on now, and I've got to wear it a couple more weeks, but I'll be good. I stepped in a hole and it twisted on me. I'd been fighting with landscapers. They didn't come for a couple of weeks, so I did it myself. I'm more of a hands-on, physical type person. It reminds me how fortunate I am to be able to do what I do for a living."
DO YOU PLAN TO BE HANDS-ON WITH THE CUP CAR? "I'm just there for support, but if they need help I'll try to dig in and help them. With Jeff (new crew chief Jeff Vandermoss) it's been more talking and communicating. We're trying to shorten that learning curve where he'll be able to understand me. It feels really good. It seems like we've been together six months but it's more like six weeks. I think my experience working on cars will help. I could set up one of these cars. Being hands-on, just the other day, we made a change on the car and I understood what we were doing. I think it helps to understand what's underneath the car. I've heard Ryan Newman talk about he wishes they would give points to drivers who set up their cars. I'd be all for that. I've always done that, and I enjoy that part."
ARE YOU A BETTER DRIVER OR MECHANIC? "Well, really I thought I was just going to work on cars at first. I was never pushed into it, but I started racing and enjoyed it. I think I'm a better driver. I'm not much of a fabricator, not nearly as good as a lot of the guys in our shop, but I try. I really compliment the work they do. It's nice to be able to drive their cars."