No.12 Car Finishes 22nd in Martinsville Martinsville, Va. (March 29 , 2009) Driver David Stremme and the No.12 Penske Dodge team scored its fifth consecutive top-25 NASCAR Cup Series result Sunday, surviving the half-mile Martinsville ...
No.12 Car Finishes 22nd in Martinsville
Martinsville, Va. (March 29 , 2009) Driver David Stremme and the No.12 Penske Dodge team scored its fifth consecutive top-25 NASCAR Cup Series result Sunday, surviving the half-mile Martinsville Speedway to earn a 22nd-place finish.
Stremme entered Sundays 500-lap Goodys Fast Pain Relief 500 facing several unknowns. The team had limited practice time during the weekend due to bad weather, but the No. 12 crew was confident they had a car that would be competitive come Sunday afternoon.
Stremme rolled off for the start of the event in the 22nd position. After 67 laps, he radioed to his team explaining his machine was handling tight in the center and loose off of the turns. Crew chief Roy McCauley worked with the team to come up with a game plan that included some changes to the chassis for the first stop of the day.
When the caution flag was displayed to the field on lap 69, the team prepared to welcome Stremme and the Penske Dodge Charger to pit lane. The No.12 hit pit road two laps later for service. The team changed four tires and filled the car with racing fuel. The crew also made both wedge and trackbar adjustments to the machine hoping to improve its handling through the corners.
The red and black No.12 car restarted the race in the 30th spot, but Stremme was quickly on a tear back through the field. The car seemed to be reacting well to the changes made by McCauley and the team on pit road. By lap 100, Stremme had his Dodge running all the way up in the 11th position.
Knowing he had to be smart and take care of his car to last all 500 laps, Stremme was patient with the Penske Dodge. At the halfway point of the race, the No. 12 car was in the 22nd spot. Stremme radioed the team on lap 303 explaining the car was still running tight in the corners, but producing good forward bite out of the turns. The tight condition did not hinder the NASCAR Cup Series star from ticking off the fastest laps on the track. Stremme was consistently posting fast laps around the half-mile speedway. He took his time passing competitors, setting them up on entry of the turns and getting by them coming off the corners.
The team made its final pit stop of the day on lap 469. The team changed four tires and filled the car with enough fuel to get the No. 12 car to the end of the event. Small chassis and air pressure adjustments to the car also set Stremme up for the final 30-lap shootout.
Stremme battled through a late-race caution to bring the Penske Dodge Charger home in the 22nd spot. His Penske Racing teammates Kurt Busch and Sam Hornish Jr. finished 18th and 34th, respectively. Stremme now sits 25th in NASCAR Cup Series points.
Next week, Stremme and the No. 12 team will head to the Lone Star state for the running of the Samsung 500 on Sunday, April 5 at Texas Motor Speedway.