NEMECHEK SURVIVES WILD RIDE AT MARTINSVILLE MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 2, 2006) -- A few bumps plus a few spins plus a loss of brakes added up to a 23rd-place finish for Joe Nemechek in Sunday's DIRECTV 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville ...
NEMECHEK SURVIVES WILD RIDE AT MARTINSVILLE
MARTINSVILLE, Va. (April 2, 2006) -- A few bumps plus a few spins plus a loss of brakes added up to a 23rd-place finish for Joe Nemechek in Sunday's DIRECTV 500 Nextel Cup race at Martinsville Speedway.
"It was a wild ride out there," said Nemechek. "We took our licks, but nobody knocked us out -- we fought like our soldiers right to the end. There is never any quit when you represent the Army."
Nemechek's tenacity paid off once again as he stretched his series-leading consecutive streak of finishing races to 38.
"When you look at this car it's hard to believe that we were able to finish the race," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "The Army Chevy is pretty well mangled -- it took a beating today. After the No. 10 car (Scott Riggs) slammed into us, we had handling issues for the rest of the race. Joe did a great job just to finish the race."
When Riggs performed a controversial bump-and-pass on Nemechek (Lap 288-500), the Army car took a spin and hit the concrete retaining wall, suffering external and internal damage.
"I don't understand why he (Riggs) did what he did -- that was a low blow," said Nemechek.
As Nemechek proceeded to drive the injured racecar, he took a few more spins, the last one coming with 14 laps remaining on the half-mile flat track.
"That last spin nearly killed the car, " said Nemechek, who moved from 26th to 25th in the driver point standings. "I lost my brakes going into (turn) one and all I could do was delicately slide the car up the track and hit sideways so I wouldn't hurt the engine. A direct hit would have put us out of the race."
"What's frustrating is that our pit stops the last three races have been excellent, but we haven't put ourselves in position to take advantage of those quick stops," continued Nemechek. "The hard work will eventually pay off -- I just know it will."