NEXTEL CUP REGULAR DAVID STREMME TO RUN HANTZ GROUP 200 AT MIS ON JUNE 16 STREMME TAKES LAPS AT MIS IN NO. 61 RWI NU SOUTH LEMONADE-HANTZ GROUP DODGE BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 23, 2006) -- "Racing's racing," says David Stremme, who will be at ...
NEXTEL CUP REGULAR DAVID STREMME TO RUN HANTZ GROUP 200 AT MIS ON JUNE 16
STREMME TAKES LAPS AT MIS IN NO. 61 RWI NU SOUTH LEMONADE-HANTZ GROUP DODGE
BROOKLYN, Mich. (May 23, 2006) -- "Racing's racing," says David Stremme, who will be at Michigan International Speedway for the June 16-18 race weekend.
However, this time he will not only race his No. 40 Lone Star Steakhouse/Coors Light Dodge in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series 3M Performance 400 presented by Post-it Picture Paper, but also in the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200, taking over the wheel of the No. 61 RWI Nu South Lemonade-Hantz Group Dodge from Steve Wallace.
Stremme, along with 12 other ARCA RE/MAX Series drivers, took laps Tuesday in an open test session in preparation for the June 16 Hantz Group 200 at MIS.
Wallace, the son of NASCAR legend Rusty Wallace and the newly-minted youngest winner in MIS history, is unable to compete in the ARCA series at MIS in June because of his commitments to the NASCAR Busch Series event in Kentucky, so Stremme will fill in for the young Wallace and make just the second ARCA start of his career.
Though the NEXTEL Cup road has been tough for Stremme so far in his rookie season, the 28-year-old native of South Bend, Indiana is not discouraged. Despite a 2006 repertoire that includes a high finish of 21st (at Texas in April), Stremme remains excited about being behind the wheel.
"Rusty asked me (to substitute) when we were at Talladega," said Stremme. "They had a conflict with Steve running the Busch race and he asked if I wanted to race, so I agreed. Racing's racing, you know. Rusty's got a really good team with some nice equipment, and also, you get to drive for Rusty Wallace, so that's pretty cool as well. It's cool coming up here anyways, since I'm from this part of the country."
Though an elusive win in NASCAR's highest series stays higher on Stremme's priority list, he admits that winning an ARCA race would be encouraging.
"Winning anything is good," he said. "The thing is just to help Rusty and his team out. Sponsors can be hard to come by, so I'll do whatever I can to help them out. I like to go out and represent them."
The admiration is mutual. The Wallace's believe that Stremme can represent them well. Steve Wallace considers Stremme a close friend, and his confidence in him is plentiful.
"Stremme's going to run (the June race), and he's run really well too so it should definitely be a good weekend for him and our car," said Wallace, who attended the test session but did not get behind the wheel. "I know him well. We live about a quarter-mile apart and we go out on the lake every weekend together, so I've known David for a while. We're pretty good friends."
Though he'll be busy running the Busch Series in June, Wallace will make his return to MIS in August for double-duty where he will try to defend the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200 title he earned on the day after his 18th birthday in 2005. He'll also attempt to qualify for the NASCAR Busch Series Carfax 250 on August 19. He admits that a repeat of his birthday party in Gatorade Victory Lane would be a very solid finish to his weekend at Michigan.
"It's a very cool race track to come back to," he said. "Dad's got some victories here, and I've got a victory here. Whenever you win, it's a big deal, and especially here, since Michigan's the home of all the car manufacturers. You get a lot of respect, a lot of attention.
An MIS sweep in 2006 by the No. Hantz Group Dodge 61 car would not be too far-fetched. Though he has just one ARCA start under his belt, Stremme was the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year and has already raced in two Busch events at Michigan. Wallace, aside from winning at Michigan last season, has enjoyed success already this season after entering two ARCA RE/MAX Series races. In his two races, he has won two poles, and at Kentucky, he set a track qualifying record and earned a victory.
"It's definitely been a good year. We had a good car at Nashville, but we lost first, second, and third gear. All we had was fourth gear so we had trouble on the restarts and wound up finishing 10th. I think we could have won that race too, but overall, everything's going good," said Wallace.
Stremme is undoubtedly looking forward to his double dip at MIS in June. Though success in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series might bring him more fame, he thoroughly enjoys any type of racing and relishes the chance to drive for a legend such as Rusty Wallace.
"You have to and want to race against the very best, so its good experience for everyone," said Stremme. "We're here to race. You shouldn't be penalized and not be allowed to run certain series. It's fun and we'd race seven days a week if we could."
With an attitude like that, the future is bright for Stremme and if his love for racing translates to track success, it could be a solid summer for the No. 61 Hantz Group Dodge in Michigan.
Tickets for the ARCA RE/MAX Series Hantz Group 200, along with seats to both NEXTEL Cup Series races at MIS, the June 18 3M Performance 400 presented by Post-it® Picture Paper and the August 20 GFS Marketplace 400, are currently on sale at MIS' official website, www.MISpeedway.com, or by calling the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010. Tickets to all other events, which include the IRL IndyCar Series, NASCAR Busch Series, and the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series are also now available.
For tickets and information regarding events at MIS, log on to www.MISpeedway.com, or call the MIS ticket hotline at 1-800-354-1010.