Flat Tire Drops Nemechek to 28th-Place Result at Darlington
DARLINGTON, S. C. (May 13, 2007)-- Despite a slow start to Sunday's rain-delayed Nextel Cup event at Darlington Raceway, Joe Nemechek looked to be closing in on a solid finish before a flat tire on Lap 177 of 367 relegated the No. 13 Haier team to a 28th-place finish.
"We were going to end up with a good finish today, I just know it," said Nemechek. "It's so frustrating when things like this happen. We struggled pretty bad on an early set of tires, but we'd gotten things turned around and were looking for a strong result."
Nemechek started from the 35th spot and quickly fell through the field when the green-flag waved, dropping as far back as 41st by Lap 50.
But after the No. 13 Ginn Racing crew gave the blue, white and yellow Haier Chevy a fresh set of tires, Nemechek found himself running competitive lap times and working his way through the field and back to the lead lap.
"We were clicking off some good times," said Nemechek. "But when we were in position to get the lucky dog, the tire went flat."
As Nemechek entered Turn 3 on the 1.366-mile egg-shaped oval, he felt the front-left tire on his Chevy go flat and immediately made his way to pit road.
"It was a tough break," explained Nemechek. "Instead of getting our lap back like we should have, we ended up losing another one because of making repairs in the pits. Once you're two laps down, it's pretty tough to get a decent finish."
"I wish we could've had a better day with our Haier Chevy," continued Nemechek. "But that's the way it goes. We'll keep plugging away and look for a better finish next week."