Daytona II: Joe Nemechek race report

Nemechek Battles Back in Daytona; Vice President Cheney Pays Visit to U.S. Army Team DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2006) -- After qualifying fifth and having a private prerace visit with Vice President Dick Cheney, Joe Nemechek was feeling...

Nemechek Battles Back in Daytona; Vice President Cheney Pays Visit to U.S. Army Team

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 1, 2006) -- After qualifying fifth and having a private prerace visit with Vice President Dick Cheney, Joe Nemechek was feeling buoyant entering Saturday night's Pepsi 400 Nextel Cup race.

The U.S. Army driver kept the pace early in the 160-lap event, but a slippery racecar slowed the 01 Chevrolet to a 19th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway.

"The biggest issue we dealt with tonight was when I got real close to another car because that would take the air off the nose and overwork the right-front tire," explained Nemechek. "And when that happened the Army Chevy would slide."

With 35 laps remaining at the 2.5-mile tri-oval, Nemechek was positioned in 29th place. He avoided a couple of nasty accidents and fought his way to a top-20 finish in a race that was contested in sweltering tropical heat.

"With the vice president being here on the Fourth of July weekend race I was really fired up to go out there and run up front," said Nemechek. "We didn't get the finish that we had anticipated, but we stayed patient and battled back, just like our brave soldiers do week in and week out to defend our freedom."

Before the summer classic at the World Center of Racing, Vice President Cheney paid a visit to the U.S. Army team and was given a tour of the team's transporter by Nemechek, Ryan Pemberton (crew chief) and Jay Frye (general manager).

"It was an honor to meet the vice president and Mrs. Cheney," said Nemechek. "He came into our hauler and I think he was impressed with what it takes to run a race team. It was special -- you're sitting there having a pleasant conversation about racing with the vice president of the United States. Another huge thrill that I have been honored with as the driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet."

-mb2m

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek