The No. 12 Penske Dodge Finishes 19th at Bristol BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 22, 2009) -- Driver David Stremme and the No.12 Penske Dodge team battled back from a cut tire late in the running of Sunday's Food City 500 to bring home a solid top-20 ...
The No. 12 Penske Dodge Finishes 19th at Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 22, 2009) -- Driver David Stremme and the No.12 Penske Dodge team battled back from a cut tire late in the running of Sunday's Food City 500 to bring home a solid top-20 result.
Stremme entered Sunday's race at Bristol Motor Speedway eager to find his way to the front of the field. The South Bend, Indiana native has called Thunder Valley one of his favorite tracks in the NASCAR Cup Series and he was looking to add to his success at the half-mile, high-banked oval.
The No.12 Penske Dodge Charger lined up in the 30th spot for the drop of the green flag. Stremme radioed to his crew early in the event his Dodge was handling a bit loose at both ends of the track. Crew chief Roy McCauley assured his driver they would make a couple of adjustments to the car on the first round of pit stops.
On lap 59, Stremme was a victim of circumstance when he was caught in the middle of an incident on the front stretch, which brought out the caution flag. The 31-year-old NASCAR star brought his machine down pit lane and the team feverishly went to work repairing the left rear quarter panel of the Penske Dodge, damaged in the incident. Stremme made multiple stops to repair the car as the crew worked its magic to keep the No. 12 Dodge running on the lead lap.
Stremme did not let the damage hinder him from again charging to the front. He restarted the race deep in the field and by the midpoint of the event he had made it all the way up to the 20th position. Stremme told his team the car was running tight from the center through the exit of the corners, but he was still passing cars on both the high and low side of the track. The No. 12 was consistently one of the fastest cars on the speedway.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 318, the Penske Dodge Charger team elected to come to pit road for service. Stremme brought his car into the pits one lap later. The team went to work changing four tires and filling its Dodge with racing fuel. The crew also made chassis and air pressure adjustments to the car hoping to free it up for the next green flag run.
It looked like Stremme was prepared to capture his first top-10 finish of the season until contact with the No. 83 car of Brian Vickers caused the right front tire to go flat with less than 50 laps to go in the event. Due to the flat tire, the No. 12 spun coming out of turn four, bringing out the caution flag. Stremme managed to get his car onto pit road for repairs, but lost a lap to the leaders in the process.
He fought to make up ground over the final 30 laps and took the checkered flag in the 19th spot. With his top-20 performance, Stremme picked up three positions in the driver point standings. He now sits in the 22nd spot, just 44 points out of 15th place. Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 11th and 31st, respectively, on Sunday.
Next week, Stremme and the No. 12 team will head to Martinsville Speedway for the running of the Goody's Fast Relief 500 on Sunday, March 29, 2009.