Martinsville: Joe Nemechek preview

NEMECHEK TO MAKE 400TH CAREER CUP START IN MARTINSVILLE MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 28, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek will reach another career milestone when the green flag drops for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. It will be...

NEMECHEK TO MAKE 400TH CAREER CUP START IN MARTINSVILLE

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 28, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek will reach another career milestone when the green flag drops for Sunday's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway. It will be his 400th career Cup start.

Nemechek was not aware of the upcoming milestone. When he was informed of how many races he has competed in, he paused and said, "Wow, that's a lot of races and a lot of miles. I hope to do 400 more."

Nemechek's first start was July 11, 1993 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon. He started 15th and finished 36th in a family-owned Chevrolet sponsored by Dentyne. Since then, the U.S. Army Chevy driver has carved an impressive career leading up to his 400th start.

"I've been in a racecar for a good portion of my life and I have loved every minute of it," offered Nemechek, who won the Busch Series season championship in 1992. "My drive, enthusiasm and confidence have never waned. Each year, the thirst to win and the hunger to compete keep on getting stronger and stronger. I really mean it when I say I want to drive in 400 more races."

When asked about some of the major differences -- good or bad -- in his Cup career since 1993, Nemechek said, "It's been mostly good. The money, competition, safety, venues, equipment and popularity are all better -- much better and I am happy to have been a part of the sport's rapid growth.

Speaking about money, Nemechek earned $9,650 for finishing 36th in his first Cup race. Last Sunday in Bristol he finished 28th and earned $109,255. "That's almost $100,000 more -- I like that kind of inflation," said a smiling Nemechek.

During his Cup career, Nemechek was given one of NASCAR's most famous nicknames -- Front Row Joe. The moniker originated due to his qualifying prowess, which includes a pole-winning lap at Martinsville's half-mile track in October, 1999.

"I've been blessed and am very much appreciative of all of the support I received," said Nemechek, a four-time winner in the Cup series. "I've been associated with many great teams and outstanding individuals. But what I have right now with MB2 Motorsports and the U.S. Army sponsorship is one of the best situations I've been in. Every week I go into a race feeling we can win. We're competitive and have a great spirit. Working with Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton), his crew and Jay Frye (general manager) is as good as it gets."

"Driving the Army car and representing the brave soldiers here and abroad are awesome responsibilities," continued Nemechek. "I've said it many times, I have the best sponsor in the garage."

-mb2m

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Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek