Watkins Glen: Joe Nemechek race report

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2004) - Joe Nemechek saw a strong run spoiled Sunday at Watkins Glen International when a transmission failure struck the U.S. Army Chevrolet with seven laps remaining in the SIRIUS at The Glen. The mechanical ...

WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 15, 2004) - Joe Nemechek saw a strong run spoiled Sunday at Watkins Glen International when a transmission failure struck the U.S. Army Chevrolet with seven laps remaining in the SIRIUS at The Glen.

The mechanical malfunction on Lap 83 of 90 wiped out any chance of a possible top-10 result for Nemechek, who was credited with a 22nd-place finish in the second and final Nextel Cup road race of the season.

Nemechek, who ran upfront for a good portion of the race, including as high as second, was in 14th position when the transmission broke.

"I was charging in the end and felt we could pick up a few more positions, but something broke in the transmission and I was stuck in overdrive," explained Nemechek. "I don't know why this is happening, but we need to get it fixed. The U.S. Army/USG Chevy was humming today, but we didn't capitalize on the performance. That's what is really frustrating."

Nemechek started the race 25th, but quickly gained on the field, picking off positions on the 2.45-mile circuit. He was running fifth by lap 30th and then bolted all the way to second at the midway point of the race. Nemechek maintained a top-five position until he came in for his final pit stop on Lap 55 when the race was under green. The decision to pit at the time was based on having enough fuel for the remaining 35 laps.

"That was a difficult decision, but we stuck with our team strategy," said Nemechek. "We lost track position, but felt we could have made it up in the late stages of the race. But when the transmission broke I just hung on and did the best I could in the remaining laps."

The next stop for the Army team will be Sunday (Aug. 22) at Michigan International Speedway.

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Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek