WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME: NEMECHEK SEES ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE SLIP AWAY U.S. Army Driver Finishes 15th at Chicagoland JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2005) -- For the second straight week, Joe Nemechek's U.S. Army Chevrolet was a magnet for debris...
WRONG PLACE, WRONG TIME: NEMECHEK SEES ANOTHER STRONG PERFORMANCE SLIP
U.S. Army Driver Finishes 15th at Chicagoland
JOLIET, Ill. (July 10, 2005) -- For the second straight week, Joe Nemechek's U.S. Army Chevrolet was a magnet for debris and spinning cars.
Last week in Daytona it was Michael Waltrip's out-of-control machine that clobbered the right side of Nemechek's car, which handicapped its performance for the remainder of the superspeedway race.
Sunday at Chicagoland Speedway, Nemechek was dealt another blow after Carl Edwards crashed into the wall on Lap 80 of 267. A brake rotor off of Edwards' wrecked car hit Nemechek's front-end, causing aerodynamic damage to the 01 Chevy. Nemechek was running eighth at the time of the incident, but fell back to 29th-place after repairs were made on pit road.
Though the Army of One crew pounded out the caved-in front-end, the Army car was never the same as Nemechek battled his way to a 15th-place finish in the USG SHEETROCK 400, the same result he posted last week.
"As we did in Daytona, we started off today's race with a really fast car," said Nemechek. "But the performance quickly faded after we got hit with debris from Edwards' car. The nose was shoved in and that caused the handling to get tight. Because we were at such an aerodynamic disadvantage, we really couldn't get the car to free up."
Nemechek said it is frustrating that the team's recent performances are not translating into strong finishes.
"We're doing everything we can to achieve success," said Nemechek. "The performance has been there all year, but we can't shake being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Though I am disappointed that we aren't delivering the finishes we deserve, I am also very proud of this team for how we have come back with injured equipment the past two weeks to finish a respectable 15th. As long we continue the fight and remain positive, those results will eventually fall in our favor. We will soldier on and get the job done."
Nemechek remained 18th in the Nextel Cup driver point standings, fewer than 100 points from the top 13.
The Nextel Cup Series begins the second half of the season next week (July 17) with the running of the New England 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway in Loudon.