All-Star: Joe Nemechek preview

Nemechek Not Holding Back for All Star Weekend CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2007) -- The task facing Joe Nemechek is quite simple. He will need to win the 30-lap preliminary race to gain a berth in the ensuing big show -- the Nextel All Star ...

Nemechek Not Holding Back for All Star Weekend

CONCORD, N.C. (May 16, 2007) -- The task facing Joe Nemechek is quite simple. He will need to win the 30-lap preliminary race to gain a berth in the ensuing big show -- the Nextel All Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

The name for Saturday night's qualifying race -- the Nextel Open -- doesn't have the right "kick" to it, according to Nemechek, who will drive the No. 13 Haier Chevrolet.

"Nextel Open is way too blah for what it actually is," said Nemechek. "If they called it the no-holds-barred, go-for-broke Nextel Open, then that would be more accurate. This is an all or nothing sprint race that gets very dicey and very interesting. It's fun to drive in since only the winner advances -- there are no points for second place."

Nemechek doesn't like to predict, but the racing veteran from Lakeland, Fla., knows he's going to a track where he has had recent success.

"I am always encouraged about going to Lowe's," said Nemechek. "But I am even more optimistic after the success the Ginn Racing cars had there during last week's test. I am ready to let it all hang out. I want to be in the All Star race. There's a lot of money to be made along with the prestige of being part of the big dance."

For the record, Nemechek has claimed three top 10s and two top fives in his last five races at the 1.5-mile oval, located on the outskirts of Charlotte.

And one of the non top-10 finishes was a race that Nemechek almost won. In the 2005 Coca-Cola 600, he had a comfortable lead with eight laps remaining before a cut tire sent him back to an 18th-place finish.

"I've come close at Lowe's a few times," recalled Nemechek. "One of these days it's all going to come together. I am more than ready for that to happen this weekend in our Haier Chevy. But first things first -- we need to win the no-holds-barred Nextel Open. And then go on to win the All Star race and collect all that money and prestige. You need to think positive."

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek