Originally-From: "Wright, Keri" <Keri.Wright@ogilvypr.com> RICHMOND, VA (September 5, 2003) -- In the historic city of Richmond, Virginia, Richmond International Raceway (RIR) turned into a battlefield for the drivers of the NASCAR Busch...
Originally-From: "Wright, Keri" <Keri.Wright@ogilvypr.com>
RICHMOND, VA (September 5, 2003) -- In the historic city of Richmond, Virginia, Richmond International Raceway (RIR) turned into a battlefield for the drivers of the NASCAR Busch series. The Funai 250 left many cars with bent sheet metal, and many drivers with heated tempers. In the midst of the battle, Team Yellow was able to continue their march toward the championship with a 13th place finish, their 19th top-15 finish of the season.
During Thursday's practice session, driver David Stremme was back behind the wheel of the Yellow Transportation machine for the first time in a month. In the morning practice session, which was shortened by rain, Stremme was 19th on the time sheet and felt very comfortable with the way the car was handling. That afternoon heavy rain cancelled qualifying, which meant the starting field would line up by car owner's points. Later that evening, 'Happy Hour' was cancelled as well, leaving the teams to set up their battle positions based on the limited information they had gained in practice.
At the beginning of the battle, the Team Yellow Dodge was tight and quickly fell back in the field. At one point, Stremme was as far back as 29th position. The never give up attitude clicked into place for the team, and they were able to slowly but surely work their way through the field and into the top-10. With five laps to go the team was in seventh place, when a caution came out and NASCAR chose to red flag the race to finish under green flag conditions. When the green flag flew with three laps to go, it quickly became apparent that there was trouble with the No. 1 car as smoke began pouring out the rear end. The front brakes were not working, and the rear brakes had overheated and started to burn, causing both rear tires to blow as the car scraped the wall and coasted across the finish line in 13th place.
Johnny Sauter won the race, Kevin Harvick finished second and Bobby Hamilton, Jr. came across the finish line in third place.
"It was so frustrating having trouble with the car with just a few laps to go," driver David Stremme said. "We worked so hard to gain back positions all night, only to have some taken away from us at the end. I know some people made the mistake of counting us out early when we fell back so far in the field, but they were reminded that Team Yellow never quits. If that last caution had not come out I know the outcome would have been different for us, but that's racing, it certainly can't be controlled. A top-15 finish isn't a bad way to end the night, it's consistency that makes us championship material."
Car chief Jon Wolfe said, "We fought a great battle tonight, I'm really proud of this team and what we accomplished. Some people might make the mistake of not being happy with a finish like ours, but we overcame many obstacles tonight and our perseverance paid off. We worked our tails off, and it paid off in the end."
The NASCAR Busch Series is not running next weekend, but will return to the track for The Stacker 200 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, September 20. Dover is the facility where driver David Stremme began his "Making Friends Tour", and he is looking forward to his return to The Monster Mile.
"When we ran at Dover earlier this year, we had an incident on the track that ended our day early," Stremme said. "I'm looking forward to returning, and this time having a strong finish. Hopefully this time around the friends we make on track will be helping us not hurting us!"
The race will air live on TNT and be broadcast on MRN beginning at 1:00 p.m. EDT. Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, September 19 at 1:10 p.m. EDT and will be aired on the Speed Channel.