It is the first Sprint Showdown last-place finish for both Stremme and the #33 Circle Sport team.
Following his abrupt termination from Swan Racing just before last year’s Chase, ending a relationship that began with the team’s founding in 2011, Stremme found his way to Circle Sport racing in 2014 as one of the drivers of Joe Falk’s #33 Chevrolet. Stremme made his season debut last month at Martinsville, where he finished 39th. After failing to qualify at Texas, he has made steady progress in his other two starts at Darlington and Richmond, where he finished 36th and 35th, respectively.
Circle Sport came into Charlotte after a successful weekend in Talladega. Brian Scott, whose handful of runs in the #33 use Childress equipment, won the pole for the race and co-driver Landon Cassill finished 11th in the Hillman Racing #40, officially listed as a team car to the #33. Stremme had some success in the Sprint Showdown, finishing 3rd during his run for Penske in 2009 and 6th during his rookie season for Chip Ganassi.
However, speed proved elusive at the Charlotte track. Stremme timed in just 22nd-fastest of the 23 entrants in practice, then qualified at the tail end of the field when his loose car put up a lap of just 177.731 mph.
At the start of Friday’s race, Blake Koch looked to be on his way to giving the #32 FAS Lane Racing team its second consecutive last-place run in the event. Koch and his Supportmilitary.org Ford anchored the field for much of the first 20-lap segment. However, the entire field remained on the track and on the lead lap at the halftime break. Just after the restart, however, Stremme pulled behind the wall as the race’s only retiree.
The remainder of the Bottom Five completed the race’s entire distance. Koch held onto 22nd, followed by Reed Sorenson’s Tommy Baldwin Racing entry in 21st, the Xxxtreme Motorsports #44 of J.J. Yeley, and the #83 of Kansas last-place finisher Ryan Truex.
*This is the first time the #33 has finished last in the Showdown since 1996, when Andy Hillenburg, driving in relief of Robert Pressley in the Skoal Chevrolet, crashed after five laps. Hillenburg and Trevor Boys remain the only two drivers with more than one last-place finish in this event.
*This is the first last-place finish for Chevrolet in the Showdown since 2005, when Scott Riggs and his #10 Valvoline Chevrolet crashed after 2 laps.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
23) #33-David Stremme / 25 laps / vibration
22) #32-Blake Koch / 40 laps / running
21) #36-Reed Sorenson / 40 laps / running
20) #44-J.J. Yeley / 40 laps / running
19) #83-Ryan Truex / 40 laps / running
LASTCAR SPRINT SHOWDOWN RANKINGS
1st) Trevor Boys, Andy Hillenburg (2)
2nd) Geoffrey Bodine, Todd Bodine, Gary Brooks, Jeff Burton, Patrick Carpentier, Pancho Carter, Stacy Comption, Derrike Cope, Phillip Duffie, David Green, Timmy Hill, Frank Kimmel, Carl Long, Mark Martin, Jeremy Mayfield, Casey Mears, Patty Moise, Joe Nemechek, Scott Riggs, Mike Skinner, David Stremme, Bill Venturini, Jon Wood, J.J. Yeley (1)