Stremme Earns Another Top-Five Finish in First Darlington Start DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 20, 2004) -- Team TRIMSPA driver David Stremme posted his second top-five finish of the 2004 Busch Series season in only his first start at Darlington...
Stremme Earns Another Top-Five Finish in First Darlington Start
DARLINGTON, S.C. (March 20, 2004) -- Team TRIMSPA driver David Stremme posted his second top-five finish of the 2004 Busch Series season in only his first start at Darlington Raceway. The strong run was the result of veteran-like driving from the young driver and strong pit stops from an all-new over-the-wall Team TRIMSPA pit crew.
"To come out of a track like Darlington with a top five finish is awesome," explained Stremme, driver of the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge. "It says a lot about the strength of our TRIMSPA Braun Racing program which is only nine weeks old at this point. Darlington is notorious for being difficult on rookie drivers. I was just focusing on racing the racetrack and driving a smart race."
Stremme, who qualified 16th for the race, received his official "Darlington Stripe" in the final minutes of Friday's Happy Hour, as the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge scraped the wall exiting Turn 2. The TRIMSPA Team then sprung into action staying late into the night to mend the flattened side. By race time, Stremme's Dodge was as good as new.
"We knew I would scrape the wall sometime this weekend, everyone does it. But this was especially bad because I was about to pull the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge back in the garage for the day," said Stremme. "I told the guys that if they could fix it to where we didn't have to use our backup car, then I wouldn't hit the wall on raceday."
During the 147-lap race, Stremme climbed steadily through the field, breaking into the Top 10 by Lap 58. The TRIMSPA pit crew, which recently added new tire changers and carriers from Jamie McMurray's No. 30 Braun Racing Busch Team, gained Stremme ten positions in the pits during three pits stops under caution. Crew Chief Todd Lohse called for only slight air pressure adjustments on the X32 TRIMSPA Dodge during the day's three pit stops as the car was handling to Stremme's liking. Stremme responded to his crew's efforts by running a smart and patient race, working closely with spotter Lorin Raneir to find the best line around the abrasive Darlington Raceway. Stremme's car was strongest on the long runs as he climbed into the fourth position by Lap 90.
The final pit stop of the day fell on Lap 102 under caution. The TRIMSPA crew completed a four-tire stop in 14.5 seconds to gain Stremme three positions on pit road. Over the final 40 laps Stremme ran as high as third. However in the closing five laps his tires began to wear. Stremme held on to finish fifth for the day, raising him two spots in the Busch Series points to a career best eighth place.
"This is an especially good day in the points for the TRIMSPA Team," said Stremme. "I can't say enough about this crew for their great pit stops during the race and repair work on the car after Happy Hour. They are what makes me look good."
Stremme and the X32 TRIMSPA Team will look to continue their points' ascent when they visit Bristol Motor Speedway for the Sharpie Professional 250. The race will be televised live, March 27, at 1 p.m. eastern time on FOX, and broadcast nationally on radio stations affiliated with Performance Racing Network.