Ashley Stremme, wife of NASCAR driver David Stremme, started on the pole and led nearly every lap en route to her win Friday in the third annual Better Half Dash at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Despite all the laps led, her win didn't come easy.

Stremme was stalked by Heidi Stoddard, wife of crew chief Frank Stoddard, who waited patiently to make her move. Stoddard finally saw an opening on lap 22, taking over the lead just as Amy Gordon spun to bring out the caution.

But Stoddard was slow to get up to speed on the restart, allowing Stremme to reclaim her spot in front. In the ensuing laps, Kristen Yeley also slid by, relegating Stoddard to third place.

"I just screwed up the restart," said Stoddard, who earned $10,000 for charity. "That was a little frustrating and disappointing, but I didn't wreck and I didn't disappoint my husband, so it was a good night."

It was also a good night for Stremme, who was competing in the 25-lap charity race for the first time.

"All of us are here because someone we love is in this sport," Stremme said. "But for us to be out here and be the ones in the cars, to do something we all love and to do it for charity… that's even better."

David Stremme agreed that the real winner Thursday night was the charities.

"It was cool seeing her win, but what I think is even neater is the true reason for this race, and how much money they can raise," Stremme said. "But she did a great job; I'm really proud of all of them, to tell you the truth."

Stremme wasn't allowed to spot for his wife (her choice), but he had given her plenty of advice beforehand.

"I told her before the race she couldn't give up the bottom, and she did," Stremme said. "But she got it back. It was a great race. I think every year the women get more competitive."

That was definitely true for Yeley, who was competing in her third event.

"It was a lot more fun this year, starting up front a little bit more," Yeley said. "I was stuck in third a long time, but when we had that last caution, I was like, 'Great, this is my opportunity.' I made it up to second, but I didn't quite have the laps to pass (Ashley). Maybe, if I'd had two more."

Final Results

  1. Ashley Stremme
  2. Kristen Yeley
  3. Heidi Stoddard
  4. Wendy Venturini
  5. Amy Gordon
  6. Jessica Park
  7. Melanie Self
  8. Lyn-Z Pastrana
  9. Gina Cope
  10. Michelle Gilliland