Fontana: Joe Nemechek preview

NEMECHEK SAYS HE'S OVERDUE IN CALIFORNIA FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek feels it's time to seal the deal at California Speedway. "Since joining the Army team I've flirted with glory in California couple of times, but wasn't...

NEMECHEK SAYS HE'S OVERDUE IN CALIFORNIA

FONTANA, Calif. (Feb. 21, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek feels it's time to seal the deal at California Speedway.

"Since joining the Army team I've flirted with glory in California couple of times, but wasn't able to complete the job," said Nemechek. "I think it's time to change all of that."

Nemechek will have another opportunity to reverse the California karma Sunday when the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series makes a stop at the two-mile oval.

The most notable disappointment for the U.S. Army Chevrolet team at California Speedway came at last year's race in February. Nemechek was dominating the event until his engine expired with 70 laps remaining. The engine malfunction dropped him back to a 39th-place finish, despite leading the most laps (63).The year before, Nemechek was on another strong run, but saw a top-10 or better performance shattered when his 01 car surprisingly ran out of fuel with two laps remaining. He finished 28th.

There were other problems at California for Nemechek even when he posted 10th and 12th-place finishes the past two years.

"This is a sister track to Michigan and we should do well and be there at the end challenging for a win," offered Nemechek, who claimed the first Cup pole at California Speedway in 1997.

Nemechek and the Army team aren't exactly going into California with a steam of good fortune. The "tough luck Joe" syndrome that plagued the team last year, struck again in last week's Daytona 500 season opener.

One lap wasn't even completed when a piece of tire from Jeff Green's car slammed into the front of the Army Chevy, causing extensive aerodynamic damage that eventually resulted in a 33rd-place finish.

"You talk about your worst nightmare -- that was it," said Nemechek referring to the first lap incident at Daytona.

But like the soldiers he represents, Nemechek puts adversity aside and only has positive thoughts about his next mission.

"I really feel we're going to be good in California again," noted Nemechek. "The car we're bringing is the same one we tested in Last Vegas earlier in the month. We had a good test session and we'll be ready for anything come Sunday, even a trip to Victory Lane. We're overdue."

-mb2m-

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Jeff Green