Daytona 500: Joe Nemechek race report

Nemechek Rebounds to Finish 9th in the Daytona 500 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2007) -- For a good portion of Sunday's Daytona 500 Joe Nemechek battled a number of problems, including the loss of power steering to his CertainTeed Chevrolet....

Nemechek Rebounds to Finish 9th in the Daytona 500

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Feb. 18, 2007) -- For a good portion of Sunday's Daytona 500 Joe Nemechek battled a number of problems, including the loss of power steering to his CertainTeed Chevrolet. His track position was at the back of the pack and he never really found himself in the lead draft on the 2.5-mile oval.

But late in the 500-mile Nextel Cup race, the problems that plagued the No. 13 team were fixed, and Nemechek's blue and white machine started to move to the front. And when the checkered flag waved, as cars were crashing coming out of Turn 4, Nemechek crossed the line in ninth place, posting his second top-10 performance in the past four years at NASCAR's biggest race.

"Once we took care of our problems, the CertainTeed Chevy was pretty good," said Nemechek. "I started feeling something wrong with the car and the problem turned out to be a faulty power steering pump. We were struggling with poor track position. It was all I could do to drive the car without power steering -- every time I hit a bump it would pull the wheel out of my hand."

A strategic call by crew chief Peter Sospenzo to take two tires instead of four following a caution on Lap 174 of 200 shot Nemechek to 17th place when the race was restarted five laps later. That call put Nemechek in position to work the draft and gain in track position for the remainder of the race, which went into a two-lap overtime with a green-white-checkered restart.

"We just got way behind from the power steering problem," noted Nemechek. "And by the time we figured it out and corrected the power steering issue we started to be competitive. This team showed plenty of pride and spirit today. We hung in there and pulled off a pretty good finish. I'll take a top-10 after all we've been through during Speedweeks."

"This was a good way to start the year," added Nemechek. "And it was also a good day for Ginn Racing with Mark (Martin) coming so close to winning and Sterling (Marlin) hanging in there with a solid finish (17th). A great day for the company."

The Nextel Cup Series continues next Sunday (Feb. 25) with the Auto Club 500 at California Speedway in Fontana.

-credit: ginn racing

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek