Nemechek Looking For More Watkins Glen Success WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek has had most of his road-racing success at Watkins Glen International, site of this weekend's Nextel Cup event -- AMD at The Glen. Nemechek, who...
Nemechek Looking For More Watkins Glen Success
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 8, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek has had most of his road-racing success at Watkins Glen International, site of this weekend's Nextel Cup event -- AMD at The Glen.
Nemechek, who grew up thinking that he would be a sports car racer, has claimed four top-10 finishes at Watkins Glen, including a ninth-place result in last year's race at the upstate New York 2.45-mile road course. Two years ago at the Glen, Nemechek was running in the top five late in the race before his transmission malfunctioned.
"Growing up in Lakeland (Florida), I spent a lot of time working with sports car teams at Sebring (International Raceway in Florida)," said Nemechek. "I always had a special interest in sports cars and felt one day that I would be a sports car racer."
Nemechek has indeed raced on road courses, but his main gig turned out to be a stock car driver in NASCAR's premier series. Since joining the Cup circuit full-time in 1994, the U.S. Army Chevrolet driver competed in the two annual road races at Sonoma, Calif. and Watkins Glen.
"Road course racing is a nice break from what we do week in and week out on the ovals," offered Nemechek. "I know there are some Cup drivers not too enthralled about the road courses, but for me, I love it and can't wait to get on the track and turn both left and right."
"There's something about the Glen that I like," added Nemechek. "The course isn't as tight as Infineon Raceway (in Sonoma) and there's more room to pass. With these big stocks cars that we drive you need a little more space and Watkins Glen offers that. As a rule, you'll see cars spin at the Glen, but not as much as you normally see at Infineon."
While Nemechek is going to a track that he likes and has had past success, he is also hoping to break a mini jinx.
"It's been pretty well documented that we've been in a slump all year," noted Nemechek. "But the past three races our performance level has been so much better. And since the Army team has been running stronger, we're having those gremlin problems -- like last week in Indy when I got clipped on the second lap. But we will soldier on and if we can stay clean at Watkins Glen, we're going to post a good finish.