Stremme out of Swan car after Richmond
September 06, 2013, David Caraviello, NASCAR.com
Driver, team owner Brandon Davis don't share similar vision
RICHMOND, Va. -- Swan Racing is making a change behind the wheel, one team owner Brandon Davis said is due to a difference in vision with current driver David Stremme.
“He has an idea and I have an idea, and they don’t add up. More than anything, that’s what it is,” Davis said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. “… As far as this race team goes, he doesn’t exactly agree with everything I want to do and I don’t agree with everything he wants to do, so it’s the best situation for both of us to do what we’re doing.”
The single-car organization will put Cole Whitt behind the wheel of the No. 30 in five of the remaining races this season, beginning next weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Whitt will also wheel the vehicle at Kansas, Charlotte, Talladega and Phoenix, and Swan will fill out the schedule using as many as two other drivers still to be determined.
The odd man out is Stremme, who partly owned the organization that became Swan Racing, and has driven the No. 30 car in every event this season except the Daytona 500. Michael Waltrip piloted the car in that race, where the vehicle featured a new number (26) and a paint scheme in support of Newtown, Conn. Davis said he and Stremme had been discussing a potential split for weeks.
“I want to build a race team for the long haul. David and I talked about that when we started all this last year, and he knew what my vision was, and he had his. As we’ve gone along, I’ve gone more toward wanting to go faster faster, I guess for a lack of a better way of saying it,” he said. “And we’re not exactly on the same page with that. David’s a great guy. I’d do anything for him, and he’d do anything for me. But what we’re doing and the way things are coming together, and the people we’re talking to and the sponsorship we’re working on -- all of that revolved around something different.”
Stremme’s best finish this season was 12th at Talladega, and he also placed 17th two weeks ago at Bristol. The vehicle is 33rd in owners’ points. Next week the car will belong to Whitt, who finished seventh in the final Nationwide Series standings with JR Motorsports in 2012, but has been without a regular ride since. He’s made seven career starts in the Sprint Cup Series, most of them in cars that were not competitive.
Davis, who runs an oil and gas production company and lives primarily in Denver, bought and renamed the former Inception Motorsports prior to this season. Former professional football player Bill Romanowski came aboard as a minority partner earlier this year. Stremme was part owner of Inception, and played a key role in the transition to Swan. Davis said Stremme wasn’t a part owner of Swan, but did have a profit share -- which was moot since the team has yet to turn a profit.
Moving forward, Davis said he’d prefer to put a young driver in the No. 30 car who can grow along with the team. “I’m not looking for someone who can bring me money. I’m looking for somebody who can drive. That’s the priority,” he said.
“A young driver is what we’re looking for. We want someone we can grow with over a period of time. … I would like to bring someone in and work with someone that is in their youth as we grow as a team. I’m 34, and if I’m going to have a driver, I’d like him to be younger than me for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is the marketability of our race team, and what we’re all about. We want to do things a little differently, and we want to get better. So it’s a combination of all those things.”
Swan is also looking to align itself with a larger organization. “I would like to get tied in with someone who has good equipment, who has technology we can use. At the current point, we don’t have that,” Davis said. “We’re working to improve our program, and the only way we can do that is by doing something different than we’re doing right now.”
Davis added that Swan is in talks with other teams about a technical alliance. The organization will also have to find a new shop, since Stremme owns the one Swan is housed in now.
“At the end of the day, he wants to see me succeed,” Davis said, “and we just don’t see eye to eye on exactly how we’re going to do that going forward.”