Stremme Posts 38th-place Finish in Lifelock 400 at Michigan BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009) - David Stremme drove the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger to a 38th-place finish in Sunday's LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Stremme ran in...
Stremme Posts 38th-place Finish in Lifelock 400 at Michigan
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 14, 2009) - David Stremme drove the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger to a 38th-place finish in Sunday's LifeLock 400 at Michigan International Speedway. Stremme ran in the top-28 most of the day until a spin on lap 150 sent him to the Infield Care Center for a check-up and sent the Penske Dodge to the garage for repairs.
Shortly after taking the green flag from the 26th starting position, Stremme radioed crew chief Roy McCauley to tell him the No. 12 Dodge had a loose-handling condition. McCauley encouraged his driver to drive through it and the team would make changes as soon as the car was in position to visit pit lane.
Stremme requested a wedge adjustment and he later asked for more changes as the car's handling continued to plague his efforts. Stremme said he was unable to get back in the gas coming off the turns due to the handling issues.
While battling his car on lap 13, Stremme's Dodge Charger was pinched up high by a rookie contender and it received a donut on the door from contact with the rookie's tire. The No. 12 suffered no other damage during the contact.
On lap 39, Stremme was posted in the 24th position when he brought his car to the attention of the Penske Dodge pit crew. The team made the wedge adjustment, put on four tires and filled the fuel tank before Stremme returned to the racing groove.
Shortly after taking to the track with the changes in place, Stremme reported that the car's handling was worse. It had reacted poorly to the wedge adjustment.
Despite the ill-handling car, Stremme was posting lap times that were comparable with the cars immediately in front and behind the No. 12. On lap 57, the driver and crew chief discussed additional adjustments in an attempt to tighten the car's handling.
Five laps later, the race leaders got by Stremme and the Penske Dodge went one lap down.
On lap 72, the No. 12 team caught a break when the yellow caution flag was displayed for debris in Turn 3. Stremme was posted in the 32nd position and McCauley called his driver to pit road for fuel, tires and adjustments.
Stremme entered pit lane and the Penske crew made some significant wedge changes to both the right and left rear of the car. Stremme returned to the track and was posted 30th for the race restart on lap 78.
Despite the team's efforts, Stremme said the car was still loose getting into the corners and through the center of the turns. On lap 116, Stremme once again came down pit road for service and adjustments. He received four tires and fuel as well as another wedge adjustment and a track bar change. He re-entered the race posted in the 31st position.
The yellow flag was once again displayed to the field on lap 121. Stremme told the team something was wrong in the right front of the Penske Dodge. Fearing the worst, McCauley called for shock specialist Chris Hill.
Hill had a shock on stand-by. Stremme brought his Charger down pit road for service and once his fuel cell was topped off and he had four fresh tires, the team swiftly replaced the right front shock.
Stremme was posted in the 28th position when the green flag flew to restart the race on lap 125 and he continued to battle the loose-handling condition. On lap 150, Stremme's Dodge broke loose into a spin and hit the water barrels at the entrance to pit road. The front right side received heavy damage and the car was taken to the garage area so the No. 12 Penske Dodge crew could make repairs.
Stremme was transported to the Infield Care Center and released immediately after a brief check-up with the medical staff on hand.
After being checked out, Stremme returned to the garage where repairs were already underway. He put his helmet on and climbed back behind the wheel of his Dodge Charger. On lap 181, Stremme returned to the track in an effort to score valuable points.
On lap 193, McCauley radioed Stremme to end the day. With no more positions to be gained or lost on the track, Stremme pulled his Dodge into the paddock area and drove straight to the truck.
"I don't know what happened," said Stremme after the race. "We had a great practice session on Friday, the car handled great and the weather was very similar to today. The car was just loose from the beginning. It was loose all day and no matter what changes we made after that first one, we were just chasing it."
Now 32nd in the driver point standings, Stremme and the No. 12 team return to NASCAR Cup Series action next Sunday, June 21 in the Toyota/SaveMart 350 from Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.