FAST CAR NOT ENOUGH TO OFFSET BAD LUCK FOR NEMECHEK LOUDON, N.H. (July 17, 2005) -- Ryan Pemberton, crew chief of the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, was quite explicit in summing up the team's performance in Sunday's New England 300. "The way...
FAST CAR NOT ENOUGH TO OFFSET BAD LUCK FOR NEMECHEK
LOUDON, N.H. (July 17, 2005) -- Ryan Pemberton, crew chief of the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet, was quite explicit in summing up the team's performance in Sunday's New England 300.
"The way the car ran and the way Joe (Nemechek) drove -- the 18th-place finish was an injustice," said Pemberton. "It seemed like every time we were set to make a move something out of our control would happen to stall the momentum. I honestly feel we had an easy top-10 car today or even a top five. It was a very frustrating day."
Pemberton, always a straight shooter in answering post-race questions -- whether good or bad --was on the mark in giving an overall assessment of the 01 team's performance at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Nemechek, who has a history of running strong at the New England facility, was equally frustrated with the team's final result.
"We got boxed in while leaving the pits on three different occasions, and on another pit stop, our right-front fender got clipped by the No. 97 car (Kurt Busch)," explained Nemechek. "Each incident sent us to the back -- track position was a definite handicap for us today. It was an unfortunate result for the entire team because we were fast and passed a lot of cars."
While the day got more frustrating as the 300-lap event wore on for Nemechek, he was still poised to make a late charge to the front during the final green flag run. But once again his efforts were curtailed when the No. 77 car (Travis Kvapil) made contact with the Army Chevy, causing more damage to the right-front fender.
"That was the crowning blow," said Nemechek. "We were fast and looking for a strong finish, but when the (No.) 77 got into me that pretty much left us with a crippled car and no chance of getting to the front of field where we belonged today. One of these days we're going to have a clean race and have the finish that will make the courageous men and women in uniform proud of their 01 Army car."
That result could come sooner than later for Nemechek and the Army of One Nextel Cup team. The next race -- Sunday, July 24 -- will be at Pocono Raceway where Nemechek posted a third-place finish in June.