Stremme's Top Five Bristol Finish Lost in Late Race Spin
BRISTOL, TN (March 28, 2004) -- David Stremme qualified a strong sixth for his first Busch Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway this weekend. Stremme fell to eighth position during his second pit stop of the day on lap 69 and spent much of the day trying to bounce back. Stremme had to reverse his X32 TRIMSPA Dodge when he was blocked into his pit stall, costing him several positions on the track.
"The pit stalls are tight at Bristol," explained Stremme. "Team TRIMSPA did another outstanding job in the pits. That was not where the real problem occurred today."
Stremme restarted seventh but continued to climb through the field despite fighting a tight handling condition. He had worked up into the fifth position when the red flag came out on lap 236. During the final 15-lap shootout, Stremme passed former winner Kevin Harvick for the third position. However, in the closing laps the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge was turned into the wall by contact with Kevin Harvick's Chevy. With a crippled racecar Stremme dropped through the field, accidentally making contact with Johnny Benson's No. 1 Dodge on the final lap.
"I raced Harvick clean the whole time," Stremme said. "He hit me in three and four and I wrecked in turn one and two. My car was crippled when Johnny (Benson) ran into me. I guess his guys thought I did it on purpose, but I didn't. Johnny was upset with me, I was upset with Harvick and we both got called to the NASCAR hauler."
The final fireworks and media frenzy of the day were not just reserved for Stremme's friend Martin Truex Jr., who was celebrating his first NASCAR victory. Members of Stremme's former No. 1 Dodge team confronted him in the pits as Stremme exited the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge. When members of Team TRIMSPA arrived at the car, cooler tempers prevailed and any additional postrace activity was avoided.
"It's just typical Bristol," explained Stremme. "I hate it for Benson and his team. But I had no brakes and steering, it was just an accident caused by a previous accident. We are all professionals and we will move on to next weekend. This is tough finish for Team TRIMSPA because we are racing for points and lost a top 5."
Stremme finished the day in the 18th position, lowering him one spot to ninth in the final points standings. Stremme and the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge will look to bounce back when they visit Texas Motor Speedway for the O'Reilly 300 next weekend. The race will be televised live, April 3, at 2 p.m. eastern time on FOX, broadcast nationally on radio stations affiliated with Performance Racing Network and XM Satellite Radio Channel 144.