'Front Row Joe' Nemechek Wins Pole For EAS/GNC Live Well 300 DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 14, 2002) -- Joe Nemechek once again lived up to his nickname "Front Row Joe" on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway as the Lakeland Fla., native ...
'Front Row Joe' Nemechek Wins Pole For EAS/GNC Live Well 300
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Feb. 14, 2002) -- Joe Nemechek once again lived up to his nickname "Front Row Joe" on Thursday at Daytona International Speedway as the Lakeland Fla., native captured the pole position for Saturday's EAS/GNC Live Well 300.
Nemechek, the owner and driver of the No. 87 Cellular One Pontiac, posted a lap of 186.254 mph to win the Bud Pole for the second straight year in the 300-mile, 120-lap season opener for the Busch Series.
It was a good day all around for Nemechek, who had his teammate and three-time defending race winner Randy LaJoie take the third starting position with a lap of 185.552 in the No. 7 Kleenex/Nortel Networks Chevrolet. Another Nemechek entry, the No. 88 Chevrolet of Jeff Fuller, took the fifth starting position with a speed of 185.510.
"Today's run, it's all about the guys back in the shop," Nemechek said. "(Nemechek crew chief) Brian Pattie and (LaJoie crew chief) Wally Rogers and all the guys on the teams all worked together building these cars. The cars were pretty darn equal out there. Getting three Nemco cars in the top five is pretty cool. We had awesome motors. That's what it's all about -- motors and aerodynamics."
Said LaJoie: "We build a new Chevrolet, last year we sat on the outside pole with a Pontiac. We came back with a brand new Chevrolet Monte Carlo and we're best in class. We're gong to start third and throw the hammer down."
David Green, driving the No. 6 Volaris Online Dodge for Tommy Baldwin Racing, took the outside pole with a lap of 185.762 mph. Like Nemechek, he credits the crew for the qualifying effort.
"This is a picture of what the guys at the shop do," Green said. Dale Earnhardt Jr., wheeling the No. 3 Oreo Chevrolet in a joint effort for Richard Childress and Dale Earnhardt Inc., took the fourth starting position with a speed of 185.525 mph. Earnhardt Jr. won two Busch Series championships in the No. 3 back in 1998 and 1999 and will compete in a couple of races this season.
"That was a good lap," Earnhardt Jr. said. "I'm pretty happy about it."
Earnhardt Jr.'s older brother Kerry Earnhardt will start 27th in the No. 12 Supercuts Chevrolet for FitzBradshaw Racing with a speed of 182.545.
The 43-car field has been finalized and among the drivers missing the field for the EAS/GNC Live Well 300 included Daytona Beach, Fla., native Dan Pardus in the No. 32 Outdoor Channel Chevrolet.
Tickets for any of the Speedweeks events are available by calling the Speedway ticket office at (386) 253-7223.