David Stremme Earns Career-First Pork Pole at Pocono

David Stremme Earns Career-First Pork Pole at Pocono
LONG POND PA (6-9-06)—While David Stremme may be a familiar face in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series, he used Friday to prove he could make himself quite comfortable in the ARCA RE/MAX Series as well. 

Stremme, in a No. 40 Coors Light Dodge, earned his career first ARCA RE/MAX Series Pork Pole award Friday with a speed of 163.660 mph around the tricky 2.5-mile Pocono Raceway triangle. 

“We’re running the ARCA race and having a lot of fun,” said Stremme.  “I think that a lot of people obviously know why were doing it--because of NASCAR testing. They put a limit on it so we came here to get some experience at Pocono.” 

Official Starting Grid

As a result of Stremme’s lap, which was more than two miles per hour faster than second place qualifier Mario Gosselin, the South Bend, Indiana native will start on the pole for Saturday’s ARCA RE/MAX Series Pocono 200 event. 

“Its a lot of fun, running this ARCA RE/MAX Series,” said Stremme. “I enjoy everybody in the garage area, it’s more relaxed. Kimmel and Gosselin and all of those guys, they’re pretty tough. They know what they’re doing. But I get to run here next week, too. I’m going to be at Michigan with Rusty Wallace, Inc. You know, Steve (Wallace) has a commitment with the Busch Series so they asked me to drive the car.” 

However, a pair of 2006 appearances in the ARCA RE/MAX Series is not Stremme’s first go-around in the 54-year-old sanctioning body. He finished 21st at an ARCA RE/MAX Series race at Talladega in 2003. 

“I think my car is pretty good but I think those guys have pretty good cars, too,” said Stremme, referring to some of his veteran ARCA RE/MAX Series competitors. “If I don’t win I’ll probably be in big trouble. And it’s not taking anything away from those guys that run in the ARCA series, but I’m running my cup car, we just put a bigger blade on it and some Hoosier tires. I mean, I talked to my teammate Reed Sorenson about it and he is unable to do this because he can’t work around his Busch Schedule, but I was feeding him and his team pointers from my ARCA practice to apply to their Cup team.” 

St. Marie, Quebec, Canada native Mario Gosselin, in a No. 12 DGM Racing Chevrolet, will start second after posting a speed of 161.591 mph. 

“It’s hard to compete with that Cup stuff,” said Gosselin. “I left fluid on the table, but I didn’t leave that much! It’s nice to be disappointed with second, I guess.” 

Rookie-of-the-Year contender Justin Allgaier, in the No. 16 Hoosier Tire Midwest-Trashman-USAF Chevrolet, posted a speed of 161.126 mph, good enough to start third in Saturday’s Pocono 200, while Dexter Bean was fourth with a speed of 161.080 mph.  

“I’m beginning to like Pocono,” said Allgaier. “We had some pretty fast practice times and we were able to back it up in qualifying.  We had a couple things against us while we were out there.  The car came out of gear going into one (turn) and it took until I was off of turn two to get it into third (gear).  We got a bit wiggley coming out of turn four but we recovered.  We’re happy where we have our car starting and hope to keep up front for the entire race.” 

Seven-time and defending ARCA RE/MAX Series champion Frank Kimmel, who had posted the quickest time of the day in a practice session Friday morning, qualified fifth fastest, with a speed of 160.789 mph. 

“We thought we had a pretty decent lap going and thought we had a run for the Pork Pole,” said Kimmel. “We shifted through all the turns and were a bit surprised at the outcome.  I know Bill (Kimmel, crew chief) and this Pork Team will have a top-notch car for the race.  We’re looking at the long term and the battle for the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship.” 

Friday’s Pork Pole qualifying session did not go without problems, however, as Chase Miller, in the No. 4 Dodge Motorsports Dodge, spun during his qualifying run. He was uninjured and will start 34th in Saturday’s race thanks to a provisional and a back-up car. 

The Pocono 200, event No. 7 of the 23-race ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule, rolls off at 1:00 pm Saturday. The event will be broadcast LIVE on SPEED. 

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