Talladega: Joe Nemechek race report

Nemechek's 'Dega Crash Ruins Strong Run, Snaps Finishing Streak TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 1, 2006) -- It seemed everything was going according to plan for U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek in Monday's rain-delayed Nextel Cup race at Talladega ...

Nemechek's 'Dega Crash Ruins Strong Run, Snaps Finishing Streak

TALLADEGA, Ala. (May 1, 2006) -- It seemed everything was going according to plan for U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek in Monday's rain-delayed Nextel Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.

But with 14 laps remaining on the ultra-fast 2.66-mile oval, Nemechek's hopes for a solid finish went up in smoke when his 01 Chevrolet got collected in a seven-car accident on Lap 174 of 188.

"We had an awesome car with plenty of power today," said Nemechek, who qualified sixth. "I have no idea what happened in that accident. I saw the 61 car (Kevin Lepage) on the inside of me and everything broke lose. For a second, I thought I had it cleared, but the 61 car got me pretty good."

Nemechek's heavily-damaged Army Chevy was towed to the garage where it was loaded into the team's hauler. The 27th-place result halted Nemechek's streak of running at the finish at 40 consecutive races. It was the longest active streak for finishing races in the Nextel Cup Series.

"It's too bad about the streak, but I am more upset about not getting a good finish," offered Nemechek. "We (MB2 Motorsports) have a great restrictor-plate program and were looking to make up some ground. But that wreck really hurt because it has us way behind right now. But we will soldier on and get back to having finishes that we're capable of."

Speaking of running up front -- that's where Nemechek was positioned early in the race as he led five laps.

"The Army car was good all day," said Nemechek, who is 29th in points. "We were in good position to make a move at the end. But some of the guys were driving stupid by brake checking and doing everything they could do to cause a wreck."

The next race for the 01 team will be Saturday night at Richmond International Raceway.

-mb2m-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Kevin Lepage