David Stremme Finishes 18th At Las Vegas Motor Speedway The No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger and driver David Stremme had a top-10 run going at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, before a late-race caution flag helped relegate the team to an ...
David Stremme Finishes 18th At Las Vegas Motor Speedway
The No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger and driver David Stremme had a top-10 run going at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Sunday, before a late-race caution flag helped relegate the team to an 18th-place finish.
Stremme took the green flag for the NASCAR Cup Series Shelby 427 on a perfect afternoon in Las Vegas. The 31-year-old South Bend, Indiana native knew the Penske Racing team had given him a hot rod capable of running up front and it did not take long for the car to show its strength. After starting 11th, it took just one lap for Stremme to improve six positions and he was immediately running in the top-five. He called into crew chief Roy McCauley to explain the car was handling a tick too tight, but Stremme felt like it would improve over the long haul.
By lap 50, the No. 12 Penske Dodge had locked down fifth place and was battling with Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick for the fourth and third positions on track. On the next lap, Stremme brought his Dodge Charger down pit lane for a green flag pit stop. The team went to work changing four tires and filling the machine with fuel. The No. 12 crew also made a chassis adjustment to the rear of the car in hopes of freeing it up for the next run.
On lap 93, Stremme came over the radio to explain that the car was now handling a bit too freely and it was really edgy getting into the corners. McCauley knew the track was getting looser as the race progressed and he felt the team needed to make a couple of adjustments to the car to keep up with the track. Two laps later, Stremme was racing three-wide through turns 1 and 2 when the car snapped loose. The experienced NASCAR driver did a great job keeping his machine off both the inside and outside walls, escaping the incident without damage to the Penske Dodge.
By the halfway point of the race, the No.12 team put itself in position for another strong result. Stremme was still battling a loose race car, but his lap times were competitive with the race leaders. He was methodically picking off his competitors and making his way to the front of the field.
On lap 219, Stremme brought the No. 12 to the pits for another green flag stop. The team changed four tires and filled its car up with racing fuel. The crew also made an air pressure and wedge adjustment to the car hoping to tighten it up for the final run. Just two laps later, the caution flag was displayed to the field for debris on the front stretch putting the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger two laps down to the leaders.
The team did not give up, knowing it had a car capable of running in the top-five. Stremme battled for the remainder of the event and picked up his second consecutive top-20 finish, coming home in 18th place. With the strong run, the team and Stremme moved up one spot into the 23rd position in the championship driver point standings.
"It was a tough day for us," commented Stremme after the 427-mile event. "We had a strong car, but luck did not go our way. We made a green flag stop and then the caution flag came out. We had a top-10 car all day. Roy [McCauley] did a great job all weekend making the right adjustments. We battled a loose race car all day, but on every stop we seemed to make some improvements, which as a driver you want. I am looking forward to getting home for a couple of days before we head to Atlanta."
Stremme and the No. 12 Penske Dodge team return to racing action next Sunday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.