Pocono: Joe Nemechek race report

ARMY BIRTHDAY SPURS NEMECHEK TO BEST FINISH OF SEASON LONG POND, Pa. (June 12, 2005) -- On the weekend the U.S. Army celebrated its 230th birthday, Joe Nemechek produced his best finish of the season, claiming a third-place result in Sunday's ...

ARMY BIRTHDAY SPURS NEMECHEK TO BEST FINISH OF SEASON

LONG POND, Pa. (June 12, 2005) -- On the weekend the U.S. Army celebrated its 230th birthday, Joe Nemechek produced his best finish of the season, claiming a third-place result in Sunday's Pocono 500.

"The goal today was to win one for all of our soldiers, but finishing third after the way we started was a pretty good day's work," said Nemechek, driver of the 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "We let some wins get away from us earlier, but today's finish showed the character and potential of this U.S. Army team."

Nemechek started the Pocono 500 18th and when the first caution flag waved on Lap 29 of 200, he was back in 31st place on the 2.5-mile triangular oval.

"We just didn't have the right setup in the beginning -- the car was real tight," explained Nemechek. "But at every pit stop we kept on making adjustments and when it started to click the Army Chevy was fast. Ryan (Pemberton, crew chief) made great calls and the pit stops by the Army of One crew were exceptional. We passed a lot of cars today because of the great pit stops -- a soldier-type effort by all."

Nemechek, who was driving a specially designed camouflage car resembling the new Army Combat Uniform, moved into the top 10 on Lap 107. And when the Nextel Cup cars sped off for the final green-white-checkered restart on Lap 198, Nemechek was running fifth and picked up two positions in one lap to post his first top-five finish of the season.

"That's incredible -- our first top five -- the way we have run this year we should have had a lot more," observed Nemechek. "Hopefully the demons are gone and this is the kick start we needed to go on a successful streak."

Nemechek and the Army team plan on continuing their success at next week's NASCAR Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.

-mb2m-

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Series NASCAR-CUP