By admin | August 11, 2009
By Richard Allen
The last two weeks have been filled with run-ins and roughed up sheet metal for David Stremme. The driver has been involved in incidents during each of the last two races and has drown the ire of multiple drivers.
In Pocono, it was Robby Gordon who ran afoul of the #12 Penske Racing South Dodge. On lap 149 of the Pennsylvania 500 the two drivers tangled, but it wasn’t over there. Gordon promised revenge over his in-car radio.
A few laps later the two came together again. Gordon began banging the back of Stremme’s car as the two roared down the back stretch of the triangular track. Gordon was in position to spin his rival but apparently decided not to do so. Then, Stremme moved aside, as if to let Gordon pass. As the #7 Toyota moved by on the outside, Stremme’s car moved up the track and clipped Gordon in the left rear, sending him for a wild ride.
Both drivers were ultimately penalized five laps for their antics. Stremme was disciplined for spinning Gordon under green while Gordon was docked for retaliating under caution.
In Watkins Glen, Stremme again upset fellow competitors. One of those upset also happened to be named Gordon.
On lap 22 of the Heluva Good at the Glen, Stremme lost control as he ran through the grass in the portion of the track often referred to as ‘the bus stop’ during an attempted pass of Brian Vickers. His car spun at the exit of that turn collecting Jeff Gordon and Kevin Harvick. Just prior to that, Stremme had spun the #55 car being driven by Patrick Carpentier.
Like Robby Gordon in Pocono, Carpentier saw fit to retaliate by slamming into the side of the #12 under caution later on.
Jeff Gordon and Harvick were particularly displeased with Stremme. “That’s two guys who are in way over their heads,” Gordon declared over his team radio, referring to Stremme and Vickers.
Harvick was even more candid in his comments as he waited for his car to be repaired in the garage. “It’s obvious he doesn’t have the skill set he needs to run the pace he needs lap after lap,” he said, also referring to Stremme.
Rumors have abounded that Stremme may well lose his ride to another driver. Perhaps he is pressing in the hopes of impressing. Unfortunately, he is not winning races or friends.
Richard Allen is a member of the National Motorsports Press Association. His weekly column appears in The Mountain Press every Wednesday.
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