NEMECHEK FEELS IT'S TIME FOR BRISTOL TO SHOW MORE COMPASSION BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 29, 2005) -- After 20 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway all Joe Nemechek is asking for is a little reciprocity from the half-mile bullring. "My career at...
NEMECHEK FEELS IT'S TIME FOR BRISTOL TO SHOW MORE COMPASSION
BRISTOL, Tenn. (March 29, 2005) -- After 20 career starts at Bristol Motor Speedway all Joe Nemechek is asking for is a little reciprocity from the half-mile bullring.
"My career at Bristol hasn't been a give-and-take -- the track has been doing all of the taking and it's time to change that," said Nemechek, who will drive the No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet at this weekend's Food City 500.
Nemechek's best finish in a Cup race on the high-banked short trackis 16th, which he did twice -- in April of 1994 and August of 1995.
"Bristol is no different than restrictor-plate racing -- ifsomeone makes a bad move it can cause a big wreck that can pile up a whole bunch of cars in a short period of time," explained Nemechek. "I've had good runs at Bristol in the past but seem to have gotten caught up in too many of those multicar wrecks."
While Nemechek has had a number ofmisfortunesat Bristol Motor Speedway, none was more painful than his last visit to thehalf-mile track.
In the August under-the-lights race at BMS, Nemechek's ArmyChevrolet got clipped early (Lap 33 of 500) and took arace-endinghit in the Turn 1 wall.
The driver's-side impact causedNemechekto sufferleft-side bruises to his foot and knee.The knee injury resulted in Nemechek having arthroscopic surgery in the off-season to repair a torn cartilage.
"Hopefully the Bristol jinx has run its course," said Nemechek. "We had a great test session there last week and if we can stay out of trouble we will have a very good day on Sunday. We are overdue for a strong finish. Our results so far this season have by no means reflected ourperformances."
After finishing 13th in the season-opening Daytona 500, Nemechek has seen strong performances fade away in the late stages of the last three races.The culprits were an engine failure in California (Feb. 27), a set of tires in Las Vegas (March 13) and a punctured radiator in Atlanta (March 20).
"Being 9th in points would appear to the casual observer that we need to get our act together," offered Nemechek. "But to be perfectly candid, that is not the case with this U.S. Army team. It's just a shame we're not in the top 10 in points because that's where we belong right now.
"We have challenged for the win in each of the last three races but because of circumstancesbeyond our control we got relegated to the back. We just have to keep knocking at the door. It will eventually open for us, and whenit does, my gut tells me that it will stay open for a long time."