NEMECHEK TO PRETEND IT'S KANSAS, NOT CHICAGOLAND
JOLIET, Ill. (July 5, 2005) -- Joe Nemechek isn't going to click his heels, he will just pretend that he is in Kansas. To be more specific -- at Kansas Speedway -- a twin track to Chicagoland Speedway where the Nextel Cup circuit stops this weekend for the USG Sheetrock 400.
Though Nemechek hasflirted with successat the 1.5-mile Chicagoland Speedway,it was at Kansas Speedway last October where he enjoyed his most memorable weekend, becoming the first driver in NASCAR history to claimthe trifecta of winning theCup pole, the Busch race and the Cup race.
"They're not quite identical twins, but very similar," said Nemechek about Kansas Speedway and Chicagoland. "For the Army teamthat's obviously good news and I will keep telling myself this weekend that I am in Kansas."
"The banking is a little different between the two tracks," Nemechek continued. "But you still have the same challenges and that's to get the car to work onboth the bottom and top grooves."
Actually, Nemechek could tell himself that he is at any one of the 1.5- to 2.0-mile facilities becausethese are the size tracks where he and hisU.S. Army Chevrolet have excelled.
At the last race on a 1.5-mile track, Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte, Nemechek was eight laps shy ofwinning the Memorial Day weekend race. A flat tire cost him a trip to Victory Lane.
At his last 2.0-mile track, Michigan International Speedway on June 19, Nemechek posted an eighth- place finish.
Nemechek also had strong performing carsthis year at the two-mile California Speedway and the mile-and-a-half tracks in Las Vegas and Atlanta.He was in position to win at all three tracks, but late-race mechanical problems thwarted the effort.
"We've run so well on the big tracks this year that we're overdue for something special to happen," said Nemechek. "We're taking the same Army Chevy to Chicago that we had in Michigan. That car drove really well and we're looking for good things this weekend and trying to get our season to take off on a high note. The team is pumped and I am up for the challenge."
Regarding Chicagoland, Nemechek finished eighth in last year's event and has the distinction of having the best starting average (10.25) of all of the drivers who have competed in the track's first four Cup races.
Nemechek will also be running his No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet in Saturday's USG Durock 300 Busch Series race.
"The odds are always high to win two NASCAR races in one weekend, but it is possible to do it again," said Nemechek.