Charlotte: Joe Nemechek race report

Never-Give-Up Army Team Makes Strong Comeback CONCORD, N.C. (May 30, 2004) - Joe Nemechek struggled early, but fought back hard with a workmanlike performance to finish 14th in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 here at Lowe's Motor Speedway. By the...

Never-Give-Up Army Team Makes Strong Comeback

CONCORD, N.C. (May 30, 2004) - Joe Nemechek struggled early, but fought back hard with a workmanlike performance to finish 14th in Sunday's Coca-Cola 600 here at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

By the time the first caution waved on Lap 161 of 400, Nemechek's U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet was two laps down and in 26th place. It appeared it was going to be a long night for the 01 team in NASCAR's longest race (600 miles) of the season.

"We missed the setup early and that put us in a deep hole," said Nemechek. "Our problem was compounded because (race winner) Jimmie Johnson had a rocket for a car and there weren't any cautions.

"But I am so proud of this Army team on how we came back to finish 14th. The car was loose in the beginning, but Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton) and the guys made some good calls as the race went on. And in the end, the Army Chevy was really hauling. Today showed the kind of character and talent we have on this team."

Though Nemechek and the Army of One team came into the race with higher expectations, they left with an upbeat feeling.

"Considering the bad luck we've had recently it was sure nice to finish a race and get a decent result," explained Nemechek. "We know we're better, but when you're in a slump you take 14th and go to the next race with more enthusiasm and confidence."

Nemechek gained two positions in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup driver standings, moving from 25th to 23rd.

Nemechek's 01 car had a special paint scheme in honor of Memorial Day. The hood of his car was adorned with the Dec. 29, 2003 TIME Magazine cover that honored the American Soldier as the Person of the Year.

The next race for the Army team is Sunday (June 6) - the MBNA 400 at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

-mb2m-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek