Michigan II: David Stremme race report

Stremme Posts Career-Best Michigan Result of 13th Place BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 16, 2009) - Penske Racing's David Stremme enjoyed a career-best performance on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), recording a hard-earned 13th-place ...

Stremme Posts Career-Best Michigan Result of 13th Place

BROOKLYN, Mich. (August 16, 2009) - Penske Racing's David Stremme enjoyed a career-best performance on Sunday at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), recording a hard-earned 13th-place finish in the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger. Stremme ran inside the top-20 for most of the Carfax 400 and he and the Penske Dodge team recovered nicely after an accident with just under 50 laps to go. Closing with a flourish after the incident, Stremme posted his seventh top-20 result of the season and earned his best-ever finish at the two-mile oval located in the Irish Hills of Michigan.

"It was a good day overall for the Penske Dodge team, especially considering how the last quarter of the race developed for us," said Stremme after the 200-lap event. "We were running a pretty strong race and then we got spun and had to go to the back of the field. But the team really hung in there and did a good job and we got back in it. It was a solid result and I think we're headed back in the right direction."

After wet weather postponed the last two events on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule, none of the competitors were happy to see a few raindrops hit the track on the parade laps before taking the green flag on Sunday afternoon at MIS. Stremme enjoyed a strong start to the race, moving from his starting position of 20th to 13th by the fifth lap.

The rain started to come down a little harder and officials had to red flag the race for a brief time after lap 6 as the clouds quickly moved out of the area and sunny skies and hot, humid conditions helped the track dry quickly. When the race restarted, Stremme continued to run well, holding his position inside the top-15 .

The No. 12 team welcomed the Penske Dodge to pit lane under the green flag on lap 40 as the crew took on four fresh tires and fuel. Trackbar and air pressure adjustments were also made to the car in an effort to loosen up its handling through the turns.

The team continued to work to improve the Penske Dodge on its next pit stop, making trackbar and wedge adjustments - while also changing four tires and adding fuel - as the field was under caution on lap 53. Stremme reclaimed 15th place after the race restart on lap 58.

Following another stop on lap 94 for four new Goodyear tires and racing fuel, Stremme and the Penske Dodge were running in 19th place at the midpoint of the race. Stremme was posting top-10 lap times when another caution flag waved on lap 114. He brought the No. 12 back down pit lane two laps later for tires and fuel and Stremme once again claimed 15th place after taking the green flag to restart the race on lap 120.

Continuing to maintain his position inside the top-25 through two more pit stops under caution, Stremme faced his biggest challenge of the race on lap 157. The Penske Dodge spun out after contact from the No. 33 car driven by Clint Bowyer. The No. 12 machine suffered just four flat tires in the incident as Stremme did a good job avoiding any further damage to the Penske Dodge. Stremme brought the car to pit lane and the No. 12 crew replaced all four tires. The car returned to the pits the following lap to top off with fuel and the crew had one more look at the No. 12 to make sure there was no further damage.

The two efficient stops kept the Penske Dodge running on the lead lap and though Stremme fell to 33rd in the running order, he and the team were focused on regaining track position over the final 40 laps of the race. As several cars tried to conserve fuel to make it to the end of the race, Stremme knew that he didn't need to worry about his car's fuel supply. Crew chief Roy McCauley radioed his driver to tell him to keep pushing and Stremme didn't let up. By lap 184, Stremme cracked the top-20 and he continued to gain positions as several more cars were forced to pit to take on fuel. Stremme picked up six positions over the final seven laps and took the checkered flag in 13th place. Stremme remained 31st in the Cup Series driver rankings, but after solid results over the last few weeks, he is excited about the Penske Dodge team's outlook for remainder of the season.

"Let's keep going," said Stremme. "We go to Bristol this week and that's one of my favorite tracks. We're going to try to keep our momentum going."

Next weekend, Stremme and the No. 12 Penske Dodge team will compete at Bristol Motor Speedway.

-credit: pr

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers David Stremme , Clint Bowyer
Teams Team Penske