Nemechek Finishes 12th in California FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2004) -- Joe Nemechek posted a 12th-place finish in Sunday's Pop Secret 500 here at California Speedway. Though the final result was his best career finish in eight previous races at...
Nemechek Finishes 12th in California
FONTANA, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2004) -- Joe Nemechek posted a 12th-place finish in Sunday's Pop Secret 500 here at California Speedway. Though the final result was his best career finish in eight previous races at the Southern California track, Nemechek could not find any solace in the statistic.
"We were one adjustment away from having a much better result," said Nemechek, who was running in eighth place when the race was restarted for the final time with 10 laps remaining. "We got as high as seventh, but the car got real tight and I lost five positions in the last six laps.
"Anytime you finish 12th it's not that bad of a day, but this team is disappointed right now because we know the potential was there for a top-five. However, I was impressed with this team on how we came back from a so-so happy hour practice Saturday. The U.S. Army/USG Chevy ran solid for the majority of the race."
After 100 of 250 laps Nemechek was fifth, but then fell back with a loose-handling car. While running in 20th place, the U.S. Army driver came into the pits for a major adjustment on Lap 169. When he returned to the two-mile oval, his black and gold car was one of the fastest on the track. He picked up eight positions by the time the next caution flew on Lap 218.
From that point of the race, Nemechek was running upfront and flirted with a top-five finish.
"I guess it was one of those good news, bad news days," commented Nemechek. "The good news was that we got the car hauling pretty good during the second half of the race. The bad news was that we led it slip away at the end."
The 500-mile event started at 4:30 p.m. local time under sunny skies with temperatures hovering in the mid 90s. It ended under-the-lights, approximately four hours later.
"When you go from day to night, it makes for a difficult situation to have the right setup in the car for the entire race," explained Nemechek. "But I thought we did a pretty good job -- my hats off to (crew chief) Ryan Pemberton and the entire Army of One crew."
The next stop for the NASCAR Nextel Cup circuit will be Saturday night at Richmond (Va.) International Raceway.