David Stremme Finishes 26th at the Chicagoland Speedway JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2009) -- Penske Racing driver David Stremme battled a loose race car Saturday night but fought hard in the closing laps of the LifeLock.com 400 to capture a...
David Stremme Finishes 26th at the Chicagoland Speedway
JOLIET, Ill. (July 11, 2009) -- Penske Racing driver David Stremme battled a loose race car Saturday night but fought hard in the closing laps of the LifeLock.com 400 to capture a 26th-place result in the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger.
Stremme, saw the green flag on Saturday night under almost perfect summer conditions at Chicagoland Speedway. The 32-year old driver struggled with a loose race car during the early portion of the 267-lap event. He called into crew chief Roy McCauley to explain that the car was handling extremely loose under power, which hurt his ability to generate straightaway speed. McCauley and the team went to work to determine what changes the crew would make to the car during the first pit stop of the night.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 38, the No.12 Penske Dodge Charger team prepared to see its machine on pit lane. Stremme came into his pit stall on lap 40 for service. The team went to work changing four tires and filling the car with fuel. The crew also made a trackbar adjustment to the machine hoping to stabilize its handling in the corners.
The 43-car field again restarted the race on lap 43 and Stremme found himself in the 33rd spot. He immediately radioed to his crew saying the changes helped, but now his car was a tick tight coming off the corners. the tight-handling car was hurting Stremme's times and he began to fall back in the field. By lap 80, Stremme was 37th in the running order, one lap down to the leaders.
The team made its second pit stop of the evening under the green flag. Stremme rolled down pit lane on lap 93 for service. The team changed four tires and filled the car with fuel. The crew also made air pressure and chassis adjustments to the Penske Dodge, trying to keep pace with the changing track conditions.
The No.12 car seemed to respond well to the changes made by the team. Stremme's lap times were improving and he was starting to again make a charge to the front. By lap 150, Stremme had made up into the top-30. He called into his crew to explain that the car was loose coming off the corners, but he could really be aggressive on his entry into the turns.
With only 67 laps remaining in the event, Stremme found himself in the 30th spot. The team needed to see a caution flag to try and work on their machine to try and dial it in for the final segment. The No.12 Penske Dodge Charger's prayers were answered when the yellow flag was displayed to the field on lap 213. The team took the caution period to come down the pit lane for service. The No.12 crew changed four tires and filled the car with enough fuel to get to the end of the 267-lap event. Another chassis adjustment was also made to the car in an effort to tighten it up for the remaining laps.
The green flag flew to restart the race on lap 215 and Stremme had his Penske Dodge slotted in the 31st position. The changes McCauley made to the car really helped Stremme roll through the corners and in the last 40 laps he drove all the way up into the 26th spot.
"We fought a loose car all day," commented Stremme after the 400-mile event. "We struggled to find the balance on the car. [Crew chief] Roy [McCauley] did a great job working on the car all night. We never gave up and made the best of what we had. I am looking forward to having a week off and then going to Indy [Indianapolis Motor Speedway]. We tested there for Goodyear last month and I think we have a really strong car."
Stremme remains 32nd in the Cup Series driver point standings after 19 of 36 races. The No.12 Penske Dodge team will have a well deserved week off before returning to action at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, July 26th. The Allstate 400 at The Brickyard will be seen live on ABC-TV.