Stremme Finishes 38th at Richmond International Raceway

May 3, 2009

RICHMOND, Va. (May, 2, 2009) – For the second consecutive week, Penske Racing driver David Stremme and the No. 12 team saw a solid finish slip away as a result of being collected in a late-race accident. On Saturday night, Stremme was running inside the top-10 in the No. 12 Star Trek Dodge with less than 100 laps remaining in the Crown Royal 400 at Richmond International Raceway when he was involved in a multi-car accident in turn 4. The damage to the Dodge Charger was too severe to continue and the team was relegated to a 38th-place finish.

The 400-lap NASCAR Cup Series race was started under cloudy skies and the teams were not sure if they would be able to run the entire race distance because of threatening weather in the area. No. 12 team crew chief Roy McCauley knew he would have to keep an eye on the weather as well as the other competitors on the .75-mile track throughout the night. 

Starting from 11th-place after tying his best qualifying effort of the season, the 31-year-old Stremme called into his team on lap 38 to let them know that the car had a tight-handling condition. Stremme went on to explain that the Star Trek Dodge had no forward bite coming off the corners. The tight condition didn’t appear to hamper Stremme on the speed chart as he was running lap times as good as the race leaders.

By lap 75, Stremme had the Penske Racing No. 12 running in the 15th position and was reeling in the top-10.  The team made its first pit stop of the night 23 laps later. The Star Trek Dodge crew bolted on four fresh Goodyear tires and filled the car with fuel. The team also made both air pressure and chassis adjustments to the car, hoping to free up its handling for the next run.

Stremme radioed back to McCauley explaining the car was better, but was still a tick tight in the corners.  Stremme battled through the next segment to keep his machine in the top-20. Searching both the low and middle grooves on the banked Virginia short track, Stremme tried to find a line which was comfortable and fast. 

By the halfway point of the race, Stremme found himself in the 16th spot and still on the lead lap. The caution flag was displayed to the field 11 laps later and the team prepared to see the Star Trek Dodge on pit lane.  Stremme rolled into his stall on lap 213 for service. The team changed four tires and filled the car with fuel.  The crew also made a slight air pressure adjustment to its machine. The lightning-quick stop allowed the No. 12 team to pick up three valuable spots on pit road.

With less than 100 laps remaining, the Star Trek Dodge was in a great position. The team had enough fuel to get to the end of the event and was running inside the top-five. On lap 324, Stremme drove his car into turn 4 and was hit by a lapped machine, sending the No. 12 into the outside wall. The hit caused severe damage to both the front and rear of the Dodge Charger, ending the team’s night.  Stremme was credited with a 38th-place finish in Richmond. With the result, Stremme and the team now sit 27th in the NASCAR Cup Series point standings.

“Despite what the finish says, it was a real solid night for the Star Trek Dodge,” commented driver David Stremme.  “We had a good race car, but had some problems on pit road and then got hit in the back and just got wrecked to put us out of the race. We had a top-15 car, probably a top-10 car and just got taken out.”

The No.12 team now heads south to Darlington, South Carolina and the famed Darlington Raceway for another Saturday night showdown. The Southern 500 presented by will be seen live on Saturday, May 9 on the FOX television network. Race coverage will begin at 7 pm ET. The event can also be heard live on MRN Radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio, channel 128.

David Stremme Crown Royal 400 Statistics
Start: 11
Finish: 38  
Laps: 324/400
Laps Led: 0
Status: Accident