Loudon: Joe Nemechek race report

LOUDON, N.H. (July 25, 2004) - Joe Nemechek knew he didn't have a racecar to mount a charge so he did what most savvy veterans would do -- stay out of trouble and get the most out of what was available. The U.S. Army driver delicately ...

LOUDON, N.H. (July 25, 2004) - Joe Nemechek knew he didn't have a racecar to mount a charge so he did what most savvy veterans would do -- stay out of trouble and get the most out of what was available.

The U.S. Army driver delicately accomplished that mission by finishing on the lead lap with a 20th-place result in Sunday's Siemens 300 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

"We just never could get a hold of the track," said Nemechek. "Actually, we started out too good - I passed a bunch of cars right away and I knew then that I was in trouble because when that normally happens you're going to burn up the right front. Sure enough that's what happened. We kept trying to fix it but could never really get the problem corrected. We could make the backend slide, but the front wouldn't grip."

Nemechek did say the setup changes that he and crew chief Ryan Pemberton made to the U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet before the race didn't respond the way they had anticipated.

"Today the sun came out after two days of being overcast and we knew that we needed to make some changes because the hotter temperature was going to have an effect on the track surface," explained Nemechek. "We changed four springs and a couple of shock absorbers and those were things we thought we needed to do. But it just didn't give us what we thought we were going to get out of the adjustments."

Though he was disappointed with the final result after two consecutive top-10 finishes (Daytona and Chicago), Nemechek felt the end result could have been worse.

"We've had better cars in the past with worst finishes," said Nemechek. "The key is that we hung in there, avoided the wrecks and eventually took the checkered flag with all of the fenders on the car. When things aren't working right, you have to approach the race with a different mindset. I guess a 20th-place finish for a bad day is not that terrible. We'll keep digging."

Nemechek and the U.S. Army team will head to Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. for next Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek