DESPITE GETTING CLIPPED TWICE, NEMECHEK SOLDIERS ON TO FINISH 17TH IN DOVER DOVER, Del. (Sept. 25, 2005) -- The disappointment showed on Joe Nemechek's face after finishing 17th in Sunday's MBNA RacePoints 400. "Our Army Chevrolet was much ...
DESPITE GETTING CLIPPED TWICE, NEMECHEK SOLDIERS ON TO FINISH 17TH IN DOVER
DOVER, Del. (Sept. 25, 2005) -- The disappointment showed on Joe Nemechek's face after finishing 17th in Sunday's MBNA RacePoints 400.
"Our Army Chevrolet was much better than the result," offered Nemechek as he was leaving Dover International Speedway. "This was the best car we had here in a long time and it's too bad we couldn't get at least a top-10 finish.
Nemechek had good reason to feel frustrated.
After starting 11th in the 404-lap, 404-mile overtime race, Nemechek was running easily in the top 10 for a good portion of the event. But following a caution on Lap 269 his right-front fender got knocked in as he was leaving his pit stall. The incident forced Nemechek to make an unscheduled pit stop and dropped him back to 20th in track position.
"We had a smooth run going," said Nemechek. "But that pit road incident really hurt. It forced us to play catchup the rest of the race."
Nemechek battled back to 14th place, but with five laps remaining in regulation he got turned around by the No. 31 car (Jeff Burton) as he was exiting Turn 4. Nemechek hit the inside wall and was forced again to make an unscheduled pit stop.
"That last incident not only cost us a few positions, but it also damaged a good racecar," said Nemechek. "All I can say is -- 'give us a clean race and we'll be running and finishing up front.' When you carry the Army colors on your car you only charge forward and never throw in the towel."
In the point standings, Nemechek remained 16th. He is six points behind 15th-place Dale Jarrett and fewer than 100 points out of 13th. There are eight Nextel Cup races remaining. The next event is Sunday (Oct. 2) at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.