Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stremme Gets the Heave Ho


Katy's Corner: 
NASCAR fans had to see this one coming from a mile away. You've got a driver with no top 10's and an average finish of 25th vacating a seat at the end of the season for a driver who is considered to be NASCAR's next golden boy. Did you seriously think Stremme would end the season behind the wheel of the 12? Looks like Roger Penske had other ideas. 


Beginning at Texas David Stremme will no longer be the driver of the #12. Instead Brad Keselowski, who will drive for Penske full time in 2010, will take over. Keselowski has one Sprint Cup Series win and six career wins in the Nationwide Series. He's the driver Hendrick originally slated to drive the #5 before Mark Martin decided to add two more years to his contract. Keselowski is the driver who Dale Earnhardt Jr. took under his wing. According to many Keselowski is the face of the future of NASCAR. 


What's the big rush to get Keselowski behind the wheel of the #12? Are they that annoyed with Stremme that they can't stick it out three more races with him or are they just anxious to get a head start on 2010? Actually, it's just business. Keselowski can perform, he's a driver a lot of people love, he's also a driver a lot of people hate. He's a guy that's not afraid to speak his mind to the media and he's gotten a lot of attention for his battles on and off the track with other drivers this season. People actually talk about Keselowski. On the other hand a driver like David Stremme doesn't have much going for him in terms of popularity. He's not a solid finisher, he's never been able to grow a fan base because he has bounced around so much, and the only time anyone ever pays attention to him on the track is when they are blaming him for an accident (a popular tag on Twitter is #blamestremme). 


There's a lot of pressure on Keselowski to perform well once he becomes the full time driver of the 12. He's planning on running full time in both Sprint Cup and Nationwide in 2010 and while some drivers have been able to successfully do it don't expect him to have a breakout season. 2010 marks only the second year Penske will compete full time in the Nationwide Series and the first year they will field a second team. Some people are expecting him to burst onto the track in both series in 2010, but the more realistic people know it's going to take some time to get everything lined up right if he wants to compete for the title in either series. 


Keselowski might prove us wrong and take 2010 by storm. Or he might just be another of those drivers who had a lot of potential but tried to do too much too quickly. Only time will tell.

For now all we can say is goodbye David Stremme, been nice knowing you. See you around sometime, maybe.
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The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer and not the group as a whole. Katy Lindamood can be contacted via Twitter or email.
Photo via: YtseJam





5 comments :

With the way Brad has been driving so aggressively the last few races, I'd rather see them keep Stremme in the #12 car, but I understand they want to get a driver in that car who will possibly do better than Stremme. Hopefully, Brad will do better in 2010 than he has this year when it comes to knowing when to be aggressive and knowing how aggressive he should be.

I don't think the switch is being made now for instant results, but rather to get Brad and the team in sync for next year. As much as I feel for Stremme, it is a smart thing to do.

As much as I dislike both of them, maybe it was for the best. David hasn't really give Penske the best of results this season, just getting into drivers and taking his ownself out of the race. So maybe it maybe for the best for Brad to come in and get started early. It's rather starting now rather then later. But he has a lot of learning to do in this season, he needs to ditch the attitude and his aggressive ways and just race.

Great blog Katy! I understand why Penske would put Keselowski in the No. 12 for the remainder of the season: he has proven he can perform competitively in the Cup and Nationwide series. He's not afraid to go out there and show what he can do. But there is a fine line between being impatient, aggressive and reckless. I'm really looking forward to what he can do for the rest of the year in the 12, and next season.

I agree that it's the smart thing to do. Like I said it's all about business and Stremme just isn't cutting it.

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