The Renegades of Dirt North Carolina Modified Nationals at Friendship Speedway (NC) kicks off Friday night live on 51 TV, and one of the drivers looking to simply qualify his way into the race is NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver David Stremme.
“I’ll be happy just making the feature,” Stremme told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I say that every time I go to these big dirt races. All of these guys are really good. I still don’t have the experience that a lot of these guys do. We’re still learning a lot.”
Stremme has only run a total of about 50 dirt races during his racing career, but the results indicate that he is a quick learner. The South Bend, Indiana native registered a win and a second-place finish during the Renegades of Dirt season-opening event at Screven Motor Speedway back in February.
But despite his success, one thing Stremme has learned thus far during his career racing on dirt is that nothing comes easy.
“I don’t know if anything has been easy,” Stremme said with a laugh. “I just got used to pulling tearoffs not too long ago.”
Stremme joked that one of the hardest things about dirt racing so far has been driving to the track itself because they all seem to be in the middle of nowhere. Then, on a more serious note, he admitted that the transition from asphalt to dirt has been one that has required a lot of adjustments to his driving style.
“On asphalt you roll out of the gas then you get on the brakes,” he said. “But on dirt sometimes you run with the gas and the brakes at the same time. I have a very hard time doing that. It’s just because of my background of not being able to go and change that from the 20-plus years I’ve been running the asphalt side.”
The plan for Friday evening, according to Stremme, is to just learn the track and his race car, since it’ll be the first time that he’s going to drive on the high-banked Friendship Speedway oval.
Learning his race car is more important than learning the track in this case, because Stremme is working with a brand new Lethal Chassis machine this weekend. Of course, he already knows a good amount about the car since he is the owner of the Lethal Chassis company.
“I think we have four cars that will be at the Modified Nationals that haven’t been run yet,” he said. “(Our customers) have done some testing with them and they’re really happy. It’s interesting to get their feedback and help them anyway I can.”
Stremme just recently started Lethal Chassis, and he only did so because he felt he could run a company that had better customer service than anyone else in the industry.
“Basically I was dealing with another manufacturer and I couldn’t get parts on time,” said Stremme. “I felt like I couldn’t get help. So I decided I’d build my own car. Then Kyle Strickler wanted a car so I built him one. Now there’s a lot of people interested in running them. We really try to meet our demands and deadlines and then when a car is done we need to be able to service them as best we can and give technical help. The main thing is answering our phone. That’s the problem I always had before. When I tried talking to people it was hard.”
His company is already firing on all cylinders. Stremme himself had a great run at Screven, and Strickler grabbed a big win at Volusia Speedway Park (FL) as well.
The only thing that could make this season even better for Stremme as a driver and as a businessman would be to experience a lot of success this weekend at Friendship.
“It would be huge,” Stremme said when asked about what a win in this race would mean. “I’d be happy if one of our guys wins from the business side of things. But from a personal side it would be huge.”
What makes this race even bigger than just the $10,000 check that will be awarded to the winner is that it can also be seen by anybody in the world on 51 TV, and that is something that has Stremme excited as well.
“I’m just really excited about Modified racing and Speed51 TV has come on board to bring that out to fans that are not able to make the show,” Stremme said. “I know a lot of fans of mine in Indiana and the midwest will be watching. And I think that says a lot about dirt racing and that it’s really growing.”
To watch Stremme and his Lethal Chassis team chase the $10,000-to-win North Carolina Modified Nationals, purchase your 51 TV pay-per-view package by clicking here.
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor -Twitter:@RobBlount
-Photo credit: Matt Sullivan/Getty Images for NASCAR