Stremme's arrival at Rusty Wallace Racing good news for Steve Wallace
David Stremme's arrival at Rusty Wallace Racing has been a win-win situation. Stremme is a solid 10th in Nationwide points, and the young driver he's mentoring -- Steve Wallace -- is breathing down his neck.
Updated: May 20, 2008, 2:52 PM ETBy Mark Ashenfelter | ESPN.com
AP Photo/Mark HumphreyDavid Stremme, right front, has brought experience and a good rapport with his young teammate Steve Wallace to Rusty Wallace Racing.
DARLINGTON, S.C. -- During an offseason filled with changes at Rusty Wallace Racing, David Stremme seemed to fall somewhere under the radar. Sure he was going to drive the team's second car in a majority of the Nationwide Series events this year, but that really didn't seem like a big deal.Most observers were focused on whether Steve Wallace, the owner's son, would start to settle in during his second full season, or whether he'd continue to struggle, with wrecks often the result. Others wondered how Chase Austin, once hailed as a prime candidate to help diversify the sport, would fare the times he was in the No. 64 Chevrolet.Stremme, meanwhile, was a driver in need of a ride after the 30-year-old was released by Chip Ganassi Racing's Sprint Cup team after two seasons that yielded just three top-10 finishes. Stremme, though, seems determined not to get lost in the shadows and is helping to pull RWR into the limelight for the right reasons and not only because veteran drivers are chastising the 20-year-old Wallace.The offseason saw RWR make the switch to Chevrolets, while veteran crew chief Harold Holly was hired to work with Wallace. Stremme, who'd been friends with Wallace for several years, is someone who can offer guidance to Wallace, and the two appear to mesh well off the track.The results are starting to show as well. Despite giving way to road racer Max Papis at Mexico City, Stremme sits 10th in points with two top-5 and seven top-10 finishes in 11 starts. Wallace, meanwhile, has two top-5s, three top-10s and sits 11th in points. He's also finished all but the races at Daytona and Talladega, where he was swept up in accidents.
Mark Ashenfelter is an associate editor at ESPN.