Charlotte II: Joe Nemechek - NASCAR spotlight

Marching forward -- "Front-Row Joe" pacing the field Two victories in 24 hours can spawn forgivable giddiness, but there's nothing silly about Joe Nemechek's (No. 01 GI Joe/U.S. Army Chevrolet) will to win. Fresh off last week's back-to-back...

Marching forward -- "Front-Row Joe" pacing the field

Two victories in 24 hours can spawn forgivable giddiness, but there's nothing silly about Joe Nemechek's (No. 01 GI Joe/U.S. Army Chevrolet) will to win.

Fresh off last week's back-to-back triumphs in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series at Kansas, Nemechek is aiming for a third consecutive NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series pole and second consecutive win this weekend at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.

"We're on a roll and I'm not one bit surprised about it," Nemechek said. "Deep in my heart I knew I was with a talented group of guys and it was only a matter of time before I would drive the U.S. Army car into Victory Lane."

This week, he'll drive a namesake car. His Chevrolet's paint scheme will celebrate the 40th anniversary of action figure GI Joe, plus Nemechek will race in his backyard; Lowe's is the "home" track for most Charlotte, N.C.-based teams.

And while he admits GI Joe was a favorite childhood toy, Nemechek is equally enthused about his MB2 Motorsports team. He's scored three top-10 finishes in his last four races, plus jumped four spots in the point standings to 21st. The mechanical and accident woes that plagued him earlier this year seem muted now.

"It's a great feeling to know that you can be right up there competing with the leaders," Nemechek said. "We're not moving out of anyone's way -- we're on the offensive. I've been saying all year, this team has the potential but never could get the finishes to go along with our performances. Hopefully we're past the malfunction stage and ready for more good things."

Nemechek's not the only one who's noticed. Among last week's Victory Lane well-wishers were second-place finisher Ricky Rudd (No. 21 Motorcraft Ford), third-place finisher Greg Biffle (No. 16 National Guard Ford) and Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick, whose engine department supplies MB2 Motorsports' engines.

"It's great to win -- no question about it," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton, who earned his first NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series win. "But the better feeling is that we believed in each other and persevered together. But you can't dwell on last weekend -- it's over. Charlotte is where our minds are at now and I think we'll be good there. We're bringing one of the best cars in the MB2 stable."

-nascar-

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Greg Biffle