Nemechek Cruises To Eighth-Place Finish in Darlington DARLINGTON, S.C. (Nov. 14, 2004) -- When Joe Nemechek moved into the top 10 on Lap 19 of Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500, he never looked back and went on to take the checkered flag with a...
Nemechek Cruises To Eighth-Place Finish in Darlington
DARLINGTON, S.C. (Nov. 14, 2004) -- When Joe Nemechek moved into the top 10 on Lap 19 of Sunday's Mountain Dew Southern 500, he never looked back and went on to take the checkered flag with a solid eighth-place finish at Darlington Raceway.
Driving the No. 01 USG Sheetrock Brand Chevrolet, Nemechek ran a consistently strong 367-lap, 500-mile race that saw him post his first top-10 result at "The Track Too Tough Too Tame" since a sixth-place finish in 1999.
"To finish eighth at Darlington is great, especially compared to the way we ended up here earlier in the year," said Nemechek, who finished 20th in Darlington's spring race. "The USG Sheetrock/U.S. Army Chevy was good all day and the guys did an awesome job in the pits."
Speaking of momentum -- since the Chase for the Nextel Cup began nine races ago in New Hampshire (Sept. 19), Nemechek continues to be one of the hottest drivers with one win, three top-five and six top-10 finishes.
"This team has been running so well lately and today's finish just adds to our momentum," offered Nemechek.
Nemechek started the historic Southern 500q8th after Friday's qualifying session was rained out and the 43-car starting field was set by owner points. When the green-flag fell to signal the beginning of the competition, Nemechek easily drove his way toward the front, planting himself in the fifth position by lap 40.
"We were flying at the beginning of the race," explained Nemechek. "The car was incredible that first run and we were able to drive right up to the front. The USG Sheetrock/U.S. Army Chevy was really good all day. We went through a short spell where we got too loose then too tight, but by in large I had a fast race car underneath me all afternoon."
Nemechek, who never fell below 12th, was knocking on the door of a top-five finish before a caution flag flew with 9 laps remaining.
"We had a shot at a top-five finish but didn't quite get there," Nemecheck said. "But a top 10 at Darlington is pretty solid. This team is ready for Homestead and we're taking plenty of momentum with us."
The final stop in the 2004 Nextel Cup Series season will be Sunday (Nov. 21) -- the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.