Charlotte: Joe Nemechek preview

IT'S MORE THAN JUST A 600-MILE RACE FOR NEMECHEK CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 2005) -- Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will take on an added meaning for Joe Nemechek. As the driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet, the Memorial Day ...

IT'S MORE THAN JUST A 600-MILE RACE FOR NEMECHEK

CONCORD, N.C. (May 24, 2005) -- Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 at Lowe's Motor Speedway will take on an added meaning for Joe Nemechek.

As the driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet, the Memorial Day weekend classic has Nemechek feeling both proud and reflective about whom he represents on the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit.

"I have learned so much about our military since I took over this ride," said Nemechek. "It's both an awesome feeling and an awesome responsibility to drive the U. S. Army car and represent our troops here and abroad.

"It is only fitting that I dedicate this Memorial Day weekend race to the soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for protecting freedom and to the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line for us everyday. I want nothing more than to make our troops proud of the 01 Army team and put their car in Victory Lane."

A special decal -- National Moment of Remembrance Memorial Day 3 p.m. -- will be placed on Nemechek's 01 Army Chevrolet for Sunday's race. All citizens at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day are asked to pause for a moment of reflection to honor America's fallen heroes.

The National Moment of Remembrance was established by Congress and is sponsored by the White House Commission on Remembrance.

As Nemechek prepares for the NASCAR's longest race of the season, his first goal is to make Lowe's Motor Speedway president and general manager Humpy Wheeler look good. Wheeler, who is known as NASCAR's seer, picked Nemechek to claim the pole in Thursday night's qualifying session at the 1.5-mile oval.

"I would love to make Humpy look good," said Nemechek. "I am actually honored that he picked me -- and let's not forget -- he has a pretty good record as a predictor."

Nemechek's run for the pole will be in a new MB2 Motorsports-built car.

"We were really pleased with the new car during our test session at Lowe's a few weeks ago," said Nemechek. "We had two good cars, but lost one in last week's all-star race."

Nemechek's Army car was collected in a nine-car wreck that occurred during the first of three segments in Saturday night's Nextel All-Star Challenge.

"What happened last week is forgotten about," said Nemechek. "Our racing focus is solely on the Coca-Cola 600."

In his last points race at Lowe's Motor Speedway (in October), Nemechek posted a fifth-place result. At last year's Coca-Cola 600, he finished 14th.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek