Chicagoland: Stremme - Dodge Friday interview

DAVID STREMME (No. 40 TUMS Dodge Charger) ARE YOU HAPPY TO BE IN CHICAGOLAND? "It's always nice to get back to the Midwest. We get to see a lot of friends and family. I grew up about an hour and thirty minutes from here. This is actually...

DAVID STREMME (No. 40 TUMS Dodge Charger)

ARE YOU HAPPY TO BE IN CHICAGOLAND? "It's always nice to get back to the Midwest. We get to see a lot of friends and family. I grew up about an hour and thirty minutes from here. This is actually probably the closes track we run to home. It's always nice. I came up last week for TUMS and went to the Taste of Chicago which was really cool. We did a lot of things with them and got to hang out. It was amazing just the following of the NASCAR fans and just how big it's getting in Chicago. When you come to Chicago you always think of the Cubs or the Bears, or the Bulls when Michael Jordan was playing, but now NASCAR comes to town and everybody recognizes us too."

ON THE TUMS PAINT SCHEME - "Earlier this year it was announced that TUMS was going to sponsor the car here and obviously the fit with the Taste of Chicago that went on here last week. It is just a big event. When you think of Chicago you think of Pizza. A lot of other things went on with the food and that so it's pretty exciting to have them on board. Hopefully all the fans will be able to use it after their food intake from around the race track."

WHAT IS YOUR TAKE ON TEAMMATES? "We got sat down after Mexico City and all of us in the Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates kind of got explained teammates. I have never had a problem with any of my teammates. Reed and I have known each other since before any of us ever even came on the NASCAR scene and hung out and got along with each other. With Juan Pablo coming in he and I get along really well on and off the track. We are very forward in helping one another. All of us have the outlook of for one of us to succeed we need the others to succeed also. That is why last year where my team was at it was terrible at how we started our season. We got better throughout the year and it helped us as an organization too. It's pretty important to be able to help out one another. Last week drafting there were guy I was helping throughout the race and then I got hung out at the end. I was a little surprised at that but even non-teammates, people that I would consider to be a good friend, but you just have that. We're all here to try and win and we are all very competitive."

IS THERE ANY CARRY OVER FROM WEEK TO WEEK AS A RESULT OF HELPING PEOPLE OUT AND NOT GETTING HELPED IN RETURN? "I don't think unless you got blatantly wrecked that you might have a little tally mark up. For the most part Daytona is way different than Chicago here. You don't want to run into anybody here and tear up your fenders here because aerodynamics are very important here. The other thing that I learned throughout last year and this year is that we are all racing with each other for 36 times throughout the year. You have to get along. There are a couple of guys that I don't really care for because they don't show a lot of respect for other drivers, but you race and we are all out there to try and perform. I try to keep that to myself. For the most part everybody get along and we are all out here to try and put on a good show. We are entertainers and that is what we are here to do."

ARE YOU HAPPY FOR YOUR FORMER TEAMMATES WHEN THEY WIN RACES? "Both Casey Mears and Jamie McMurray have won races this year and it's cool. Casey I went to see him in Victory Lane in Charlotte and congratulated him, because I know how hard both of them have worked. It's neat. Where we are at with our organization we are getting a lot closer to being competitive each week. We have just had stupid problems the last four or five races that we need to get better as an organization. It is really cool. I didn't even know who won the race until after I got out. A lot of times it's kind of sad to say it's like that racing and going on. We were put in position where we had a car that could win and then we got wrecked on pit road. Then we were a lap down and trying to get back and get positions and the best finish we could. Then I was like, "alright who won?" and they told me and I was like that is cool. It's definitely neat to see different winners throughout the season.

ON JAMIE MCMURRAY - "I called him this week and left him a message. I mean obviously he is busy, but Jamie about the time that I had come over to the NEXTEL Cup side. Casey on the other hand was there all year last year and we have remained really good friends. I went to victory lane to see him and thought that was really cool. I know how hard he has worked to try and get a win."

YOU HAVE KNOCKED ON THE DOOR OF A VICTORY. WHEN DOES THAT DOOR OPEN FOR YOU? "I think you have got to do all the simple things right. I think a lot of guys that win two or three times a year are consistent throughout the year and their teams are real strong. I feel like my Coors Light team has progressed greatly from last year to this year and we have to put the whole package together. We were sitting really good in points until the COT races and as a company we weren't ready. We weren't as prepared I should say as we should have been. When we look at going to Loudon we were a lot more competitive there, but we still had some issue that happened throughout the race, so there is a lot of things that we have to continue to improve on. I'll take a win any way you can get it -- a fuel mile race or whatever. It is a team effort. About 20 cars a week can win a race but its just track position and getting up there. That is what I think makes our sport really cool compared to say football or baseball or anything else. There no matter what you have a fifty percent chance of winning and here the chances are slim. I keep trying and keep going but you look at some days and have a 25th place car and finish 10t. I mean I feel really good about it. It's hard to look at that. I look at other series like IRL, I was watching the race not too long ago and a bunch of cars wrecked out and a guy went out and he finished 10th after fixing his car, whereas I couldn't feel good about that. I think that is really cool about our sport, we have 43 of the best teams and drivers and that makes it tough."

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT GOING TO THE CAR OF TOMORROW FOR ALL OF NEXT SEASON? "It's cool. I mean I love to race. It's different because I see guys that are like, "I have this car" or "I don't like it" but then they will go run a modified or late model or whatever. We are here to race. I think it is very fortunate for what we get to do traveling around the country and put on a show. Obviously they don't drive very good but I know my team is working hard. From when I first got in it until when we got to Loudon it drove a lot better. I always use the analogy that we drive Mercedes right now and it's like driving a Dodge Neon going to a COT car. Now it's like we are in a Dodge Charger and getting better.

-credit: dodge motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Jamie McMurray , Chip Ganassi , Felix Sabates