2007 Ride: No. 40 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge
2007 Primary Sponsor: Coors Light
2007 Owner: Chip Ganassi
2007 Crew Chief: Steve Lane
2007 Stats: 36 starts, 0 wins, 0 top fives, 3 top 10s, 24th in points
High Point: Early on in 2007, it was Stremme, not Clint Bowyer, who looked like he’d be the series’ breakout sophomore. A litany of solid early season runs peaked with a solid 10th-place finish at Texas; finishing on the lead lap, it was the driver’s highest career finish to date. That left Stremme 12th in points, the most unlikely of Chase contenders; two weeks later, he scored an eighth-place run at Talladega, leading a lap while establishing himself as a driver to be reckoned with.
Low Point: Unfortunately, Stremme’s success was short-lived. Shortly after his Talladega success, he bottomed out into the same type of inconsistency that plagued his rookie season; in a stretch that lasted from Dover in June through Michigan in August, he failed to score a single top-20 finish.
Summary: Stremme started the year optimistic – after a reasonable finish to 2006, the 30-year-old expected significant improvement in his second season. But it wasn’t to be; chemistry with crew chief Steve Lane fizzled and the team suffered from the loss of sponsor Lone Star Steakhouse before the first race of the season got underway. In May, Stremme traded barbs publicly with Kasey Kahne following a race at Richmond where both wrecked out of the race; but while Kahne was in the wrong, it was Stremme who lost the most momentum from the incident, failing to score a top-10 finish again until Charlotte in October.
Dropping out of Chase contention, that midseason slump left Stremme struggling to stay within the top 25 in driver points, and when Dario Franchitti came available after winning the IRL championship, owner Chip Ganassi wasted no time in picking him up for 2008 – leaving his 2007 driver of the No. 40 out in the cold.
A “lame-duck” driver from September onward, Stremme fought the good fight, but didn’t do himself any favors as a free agent-to-be – he crashed out of three of the final five races with his team.
2008 Outlook: Currently, Stremme is without a full-time ride in the Cup series, although he has been signed to a 20-race deal to run a Nationwide Series car for Rusty Wallace Inc. Driving the No. 64 car, Stremme is expected to mentor diversity driver Chase Austin while attempting to rebuild his career.
2006 Frontstretch Grade: C-
2007 Grade: C-
About the author
The author of Did You Notice? (Wednesdays) Tom spends his time overseeing Frontstretch’s 40+ staff members as its majority owner and Editor-in-Chief. Based outside Philadelphia, Bowles is a two-time Emmy winner in NASCAR television and has worked in racing production with FOX, TNT, and ESPN while appearing on-air for SIRIUS XM Radio and FOX Sports 1's former show, the Crowd Goes Wild. He most recently consulted with SRX Racing, helping manage cutting-edge technology and graphics that appeared on their CBS broadcasts during 2021 and 2022.
You can find Tom’s writing here, at CBSSports.com and Athlonsports.com, where he’s been an editorial consultant for the annual racing magazine for 15 years.