David Stremme posts the top rookie performance in Indy despite some unfriendly challenges INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 4, 2003) -- Busch Series Rookie of the Year contender David Stremme posted the race's top rookie finish at Saturday night's Kroger...
David Stremme posts the top rookie performance in Indy despite some unfriendly challenges
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 4, 2003) -- Busch Series Rookie of the Year contender David Stremme posted the race's top rookie finish at Saturday night's Kroger 200 race at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP). But that's not new; Stremme has been the top finishing rookie in 8 of the 10 races this season where he's piloted the #1 Dodge.
What was new was a one-day "show" (practice, qualifying, and the race all took place Saturday), a limited opportunity to make pre-race adjustments, and a short track race with minimal cautions. The result was an ill-handling car with few chances for the team to make improvements and a 17th place finish.
The day started out well for the team, with a strong morning practice and a seventh place qualifying effort. In the evening however, the car was extremely tight, and there were not any early cautions for the team to work on the car. Stremme did the best he could but quickly fell back to 20th position and went a lap down.
A caution did finally come out on lap 111 of the 200-lap race, giving the team a chance to work on the #1 Dodge. After the restart though, Stremme reported that the air pressure adjustment was not enough; the car was still tight. When another caution quickly followed on lap 127, air pressure and track bar adjustments helped, and Stremme was able to battle with other cars a lap down to finish 17th. Brian Vickers won the race, Jason Keller came in second, and Stacy Compton finished third.
Car chief Jon Wolfe commented, "This race typically has a lot of cautions, which gives the teams plenty of time to work on the cars. Tonight that just didn't happen. We really needed a caution early on to help David (Stremme) out."
While Stremme didn't consider the finish too friendly, he did encounter a number of friendly and excited fans wearing the new "Yellow Racing Making Friends Tour 2003" t-shirts. Stremme signed autographs for the the fans at the Yellow Transportation souvenir trailer before the race.
Saturday's finish dropped Phoenix Racing to seventh in the owner's points race, but will likely move Stremme past Joey Clanton to take over third place in the rookie standings. Elsewhere in Indianapolis, Jamie McMurray, the other team driver, capped a successful Winston Cup weekend with a 3rd place finish in the Brickyard 400 on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
The NASCAR Busch Series will be off next weekend, but will return the following week to Michigan International Speedway for the Cabela's 250 on Saturday, August 16; Jamie McMurray will be behind the wheel. The race will air live on TNT and be broadcast on MRN beginning at 1:30 p.m. EDT. Qualifying for the event will take place Friday, August 15 at 1:30 p.m. EDT and will be aired on the Speed Channel.