Nemechek Takes Positives Out of Chicagoland Finish

JOLIET, III. (July 9, 2006) -- Though Joe Nemechek was both disappointed and frustrated with a 33rd-place finish in Sunday's Nextel Cup race, he did leave Chicagoland Speedway with some positive feelings.

"The U.S. Army Chevy was bad, bad loose in the beginning and we lost a lot of spots," said Nemechek. "As we kept on making adjustments we started to hit on some good setups and we were running lap times close to the leaders at the end. We still have a lot of work to do, but we're learning."

Nemechek started the USG SHEETROCK 400 17th, but when he made his first pit stop on Lap 60 of 270, he fell back to 31st place and was a lap down. He eventually went down another lap, but he and the Army team kept on plugging away with different combinations.

"We made plenty of changes and did make some huge gains," offered Nemechek. "When you're struggling you don't throw in the towel, you soldier on, work harder and learn from what doesn't work and from what does work. I have a gut feeling that today was a good learning day."

Sunday's race marked the halfway point in the 36-race Nextel Cup schedule.

"Let's just say the first 18 races have been a struggle," noted Nemechek. "However, this team has spirit and we've come back strong before during the second half of the year. I am confident we can do it again. We're fighters and we will never quit, just like our soldiers."

The first stop for the second half of the season will be Sunday (July 16) at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.