KANSAS CITY, Kan. (October 4, 2009) – Penske Racing driver David Stremme battled a tight race car Sunday afternoon at Kansas Speedway but worked hard in the closing laps of the Price Chopper 400 to capture a 25th-place result in the No. 12 Penske Dodge Charger.
Stremme took the green flag on Sunday afternoon under almost perfect fall conditions at the 1.5-mile speedway. The 32-year old driver radioed crew chief Roy McCauley early on in the 267-lap event to explain that the car was handling extremely tight in the center of the corners, which hurt the car’s ability to generate straightaway speed. McCauley and the team went to work to determine what changes needed to made to the car during the first pit stop of the night.
Stremme rolled down pit lane on lap 55 for a green flag stop. The team changed all four tires and filled the car with racing fuel. The No. 12 crew also made a trackbar adjustment to the right side of the car hoping to free up its handling in the corners.
The changes made by the team improved the performance of the Penske Dodge as Stremme started to maneuver through the field. By lap 100, the South Bend, Ind. native had the No. 12 car positioned inside the top-15 and he was posting lap times as quick as the lead pack.
The caution flag was again displayed to the field on lap 147 and Stremme prepared to return to pit road for service. The team again changed all four tires and fueled its machine. The crew also made both an air pressure adjustment to the right side tires, as well as a small chassis change, as Stremme tried to continue his march to the front.
The field restarted the race on lap 151 and Stremme found himself in the 15th spot. He immediately radioed his crew to report that the changes hurt the car’s ability to turn in the corners and Stremme was struggling at both ends of the speedway. The tight-handling condition hurt Stremme’s lap times and he began to fall back in the field. By lap 200, Stremme was 20th in the running order, positioned one lap down to the leaders.
Stremme remained focused and searched different lines at Kansas Speedway to try and find some speed. He battled for the remaining 40 laps to bring the No.12 Penske Dodge home in the 25th position.
With the top-25 result, Stremme moved up two spots in the season long point standings. He improved to 29th place with seven races remaining on the 2009 NASCAR Cup Series schedule.
“We fought a tight car all day,” commented Stremme after the 400-mile event. “We struggled to find the balance on the car. [Crew chief] Roy [McCauley] did a great job working on the car all day. We never gave up and made the best of what we had. We really did not know what to expect going into today’s race, but we showed some speed. We just couldn’t find the right combination of air pressure and wedge adjustments to get us to the front. I am really excited to get back to Auto Club Speedway next week. We had a really good run there in the spring and I feel like we are a much better race team now. Hopefully, we can get another strong result.”
Stremme and the No. 12 team return to racing action next Sunday at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. The Pepsi 500 will be seen on Sunday, October 11 live on ABC-TV with coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. ET. The event will also be heard live on MRN radio as well as Sirius Satellite Radio channel 128.
David Stremme Price Chopper 400 Statistics
Laps Led: 0