Stremme, X32 TRIMSPA Dodge, Finish an Impressive Third in Vegas Debut MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 7, 2004) -- David Stremme came back from one lap down to finish third in this weekend's Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Speedway. Stremme began the...
Stremme, X32 TRIMSPA Dodge, Finish an Impressive Third in Vegas Debut
MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 7, 2004) -- David Stremme came back from one lap down to finish third in this weekend's Sam's Town 300 at Las Vegas Speedway. Stremme began the weekend by qualifying 14th out of 50 cars in his first visit to the 1.5-mile oval.
"I felt like we left a little bit on the table during qualifying," said Stremme, the South Bend, Indiana native. "It was my first visit to the track so we worked more on our performance in race trim. I knew we started the race with a fast TRIMSPA Dodge, it just didn't show as much in qualifying."
From the drop of the green it was obvious that Stremme could be a contender for the win as he climbed from 14th to fourth position in the first 40 laps. However, the race would not be without its challenges as Stremme radioed to the crew on lap 42 that he had a vibration in a rear tire. The TRIMSPA Team was forced to make an unscheduled stop under green flag conditions on lap 54. With a set of fresh Goodyears the vibration ceased and Stremme was set to mount the ultimate comeback from the 36th position, one lap down. When the caution flew on lap 97, and caught all but one car a lap down to leader Matt Kenseth, Stremme had climbed into the 18th position.
"We lost a lot of ground when the tire had a vibration," said Stremme. "But we didn't get down, we just fought back. The X32 Dodge was strong on the long runs. It got confusing trying to figure out which cars were on which lap and who we should be racing, so I just passed as many cars as I could hoping that would somehow get us back on the lead lap."
By lap 171 David Stremme had driven into the 10th position when the third caution flew, giving him his lap back. After the TRIMSPA Team gained two positions with a fast pit stop, Stremme restarted eighth with 24 laps remaining. The final caution of the race fell on lap 182 when the race leaders spun just in front of the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge. Stremme drove through the wreck unscathed and went on to climb into the third position during the final 15-lap shootout.
"I had never driven this track until yesterday's practice," said Stremme. "We went off the notes that McMurray had from testing here in January. We were best on the long runs, but it came down to a 15-lap shootout, which did not suite our car. I am just happy for TRIMSPA and Braun Racing. We have a really good program here."
Stremme's third-place finish tied his personal best, and raised him to 10th position in the Busch Series points. Stremme and the X32 TRIMSPA Team will look to continue their points climb when they visit Darlington Raceway for the Diamond Hill Plywood Co. 200 in two weeks. The race will be televised live, March 20, at 12:30 p.m. eastern time on FX, and broadcast nationally on radio stations affiliated with Motor Racing Network.