09 March 2012
NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Star Used Lettow’s Tutelage to Make it to the Top
MILWAUKEE, WI (March 9, 2012) – Every Sunday when David Stremme straps into his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series machine at tracks across the country, fresh on his mind are lessons taught to him at a very young age by Howie Lettow. Stremme was a standout Late Model driver in his native Indiana as a youngster when Lettow selected him as his driver in the American Speed Association in 2001. Together, Lettow and Stremme earned two ASA wins and the 2002 ASA Rookie of the Year title.
From there, Stremme moved into the NASCAR National Series ranks, but never lost contact with Lettow. The two remained close until Lettow passed away in 2010.
Now, by competing in the ASA Midwest Tour’s tribute event, the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by raceteamgear.com at the Milwaukee Mile on Tuesday, June 12th, Stremme has a chance to honor his mentor on the track – the place where the two made so many memories over the years.
“There’s some good reasons to go up there and one of the biggest is to honor Howard and his memory,” said Stremme. “He was a really, really good friend of mine and meant a lot to my career.
“I also lived up there (in the Milwaukee area) for a year and a half and got to know so many people. There are a lot of die-hard short track racers up there. I’m very close to short track racing, but it’s not about if we can afford to go up there. It’s not about if it’s smart because of our busy (NASCAR) schedule. It’s because I want to do it in remembrance of him. He meant a lot to me and we had a lot of fun together.”
Stremme is the first of many NASCAR drivers and personalities who have stepped up to support the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by raceteamgear.com, which benefits the MACC Fund, a pediatric cancer and blood disorder research charity.
“We have been working on this event for almost two years and when I approached David, he was the first one to raise his hand and say, ‘Count me in,'” said Stephen Einhaus, Vice President of the ASA Midwest Tour. “I know how much Howie meant to David and he is supporting the event with a lot of passion. He’s been so helpful in trying to help us secure other drivers to support the event and raise a great amount of money for charity on behalf of Howie. I’ve always respected him for who he is and he’s one of the first guys in racing that wants to help keep short track racing alive. You wait and see. He’ll be there at the end of the race looking for that trophy.”
The Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by raceteamgear.com is a chance for fans and racers like Stremme to honor Lettow through the intense Late Model event at one of racing’s most historic venues, the Milwaukee Mile.
“The Milwaukee race used to be a big, big race for ASA and Einhaus and his guys are trying to get it back the way ASA used to be. They’re trying to travel as a group and work hard together on a promoting side.
“I’ve never run an ASA Midwest race before, but I want to do it. Those people up there love racing. They’ll turn out if there’s the right amount of advertising and the right amount of people to show up. It’ll be a great crowd and a great show.”
Stremme is one of many drivers such as five-time Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, former ASA National Champion Tony Raines, Ted Musgrave and Stephen Leicht that all were taken under Lettow’s wing during over the years.
“I still miss him a lot,” added Stremme. “I talked to him at least once or twice a month and then when he got sick, we talked even more. I miss those conversations. He was very, very sharp. I think that people don’t really know how much of an impact he had on short track racing. All of the drivers that he worked with is amazing. Just to be in that talented pool of people is very special to me.”
v> As Stremme formed his Inception Motorsports team as an underdog and independent NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team in 2011, he utilized many of Lettow’s lessons.
“He made me a smarter racer just because he didn’t cheat – he just worked hard. He made sure what you were working on and what you had going on was solidified as right. It was all really basic stuff and not to out-think yourself. He was very detailed in his setups, how to go through a car and everything else. That’s what he really taught me. His personality was great. He never really got fired up or into the controversies. If he didn’t agree with something, he’d tell someone and then took the time to a decision. It was amazing for him to be able to do what he loved to do for so long and make a pretty good living at it and work with the people he worked with.”
The Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by raceteamgear.com on Tuesday, June 12th will feature the cars and stars of the ASA Midwest Tour plus several special guests such as Stremme and additional drivers to be announced in the coming weeks. The event will kick off with an open practice at the Milwaukee Mile on Monday, June 11th, followed by a post-practice radio show featuring many drivers and racing personalities.
Tickets for the Swiss Colony Howie Lettow Memorial 150 presented by raceteamgear.com are just $20, with a portion of all ticket sales benefiting the MACC Fund. Tickets will be available for advanced online purchase soon viawww.asamidwesttour.com. In addition to the 150-lap ASA Midwest Tour event, the Big 8 Series Limited Late Models and the ASA Midwest SCAG Trucks will be a part of the festivities at the historic one-mile oval. > > A limited number of special VIP passes will be available for companies and fans. VIP ticket holders will enjoy a special dinner, private question and answer session with the night’s stars and a special autograph session. Further VIP information will be announced soon. > > To learn more about the American Speed Association® Midwest Tour, log on to asamidwesttour.com. For questions call the ASA Midwest Tour office at (630) 212-6022 or Tim Olson at (612) 327-5831 or e-mail Tim Olson at [email protected] or Steve Einhaus at [email protected] > > To learn more about the MACC Fund, please visit www.maccfund.org.
To learn more about the Daytona Beach, Florida-based Racing Speed Associates or the American Speed Association® Racing Member Track program, call (386) 258-2221 or send an e-mail to [email protected] For news and information from racetracks and regional tours involved in the American Speed Association®, visit www.asaracing.com.