SOOTHING THE LOWE'S STING IS NEMECHEK'S PRIORITY
CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 11, 2005) --By no means has Joe Nemechek forgotten his last race at Lowe's Motor Speedway. In one of the most prestigious Nextel Cup events of the season, Nemechek's U.S. Army Chevrolet was only a few minutes away from claiming victory in the May 29th Coca-Cola 600.
While enjoying a comfortable lead on the 1.5-mile oval, disaster struck the Army team with only eight laps remaining in NASCAR's longest race of the season. Nemechek ran over debris on the track, resulting in his right-rear tire going flat. Instead of champagne and confetti in Victory Lane,Nemechek settled for an undeserving 18th-place finish.
"It hurt then and it hurts now," offered Nemechek. "Victories are precious in this business and to see one slip away like that carries an empty feeling, especially at one of the biggest races of the year."
While some say time is the best healer, Nemechek feels there's a quicker way to forget the "Horror of May."
"A victory Saturday night at Lowe's will make that May race a distant memory," said Nemechek. "Time is running out and we need to grab a win before the season ends. We'll never quit, we carry the Army pride and won't let adversity stand in our way"
Nemechek's 01 machine for Saturday's UAW-GM Quality 500will be the same Army Chevy that he drove last month in Dover.
"We had a good car in Dover -- I really liked it," explained Nemechek. "The finish wasn't great there (17th), but that was because we got clipped a couple of times. I'm pumped about our chances this weekend. I've always had a special liking for the 1.5-mile tracks."
With six Nextel Cup races remaining, Nemechek is holding the 15th spot in the point standings and is within a realistic shot of 11th, the highest finishing position for a non-Chase driver.
"Unlike this time last year, we haven't put together a positive streak," said Nemechek. "The Army cars have been good enough at the recent races, but we just can't shake those gremlins. If we can accomplish what we're capable of achieving in the closing races, we'll be there fighting for 11th at the final event of the year in Homestead."