David Stremme Finishes Third in the NASCAR Showdown The No.12 Penske Dodge Charger and driver David Stremme had 40 laps to race their way into the main NASCAR All-Star event Saturday night and the team came very close to reaching its goal.
David Stremme Finishes Third in the NASCAR Showdown
The No.12 Penske Dodge Charger and driver David Stremme had 40 laps to race their way into the main NASCAR All-Star event Saturday night and the team came very close to reaching its goal. Only the top two finishers in the NASCAR Showdown advanced to the main event and Stremme and the Penske Dodge proved to be one of the strongest in the field, leading 25 laps and earning a third-place finish to just miss qualifying for the All-Star race.
Stremme started the 40-lap sprint from the pole because the polesitter, Kirk Shelmerdine, was sent to the rear of the field because of an engine change. Once the green flag flew, the No.12 car took off and led all 20 laps in the first segment. Stremme called into his team to explain the car was tight in the center of the corners, but felt as if the Penske Dodge would be really strong for the final segment of the event.
Crew chief Roy McCauley elected to stay on the track during the caution period between segments knowing how important track position was for the final sprint to the finish. Stremme restarted on the inside of the front row and raced into turn 1, demonstrating the car's power. Stremme raced with his teammate Sam Hornish, Jr. for the lead. The duo battled side-by-side for a handful of laps, swapping the top spot between them. Hornish prevailed in the end and Stremme fell into the clutches of the No. 26 car of Jamie McMurray to finish third. Stremme battled for the last seven laps trying to get back into the transfer spot, but his tight-handling car hampered his ability to reclaim second place.
"Man, we had a great Penske Dodge tonight," said Stremme. "We just didn't need that last caution because we were so good on long runs. You come here to make the (All-Star Race) and not to finish in third place, so it's disappointing. We were close, we just came up short."
The team will move on to the longest race of the year in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway next Sunday afternoon. The race will be televised live on Sunday, May 24 beginning at 5 pm on the FOX network. The event can also be heard live on PRN Radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 128.