Nemechek Lights Up When Talking About Darlington Raceway DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2006) -- When asked about his favorite track, Joe Nemechek doesn't hesitate. He is quick to respond with a standard answer, "It's the track that I am currently ...
Nemechek Lights Up When Talking About Darlington Raceway
DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 9, 2006) -- When asked about his favorite track, Joe Nemechek doesn't hesitate. He is quick to respond with a standard answer, "It's the track that I am currently competing at."
Though it's a politically correct answer, especially if you have superstitions, Nemechek still has his personal favorites.
And at the top of the list is Darlington Raceway, the daunting egg-shaped oval, which has produced some of NASCAR's most exciting races in the 55-year history of the South Carolina facility.
Nemechek is expecting more of the same in Saturday night's Nextel Cup race at Darlington, the only stop of the season at the historic 1.366-mile track.
"When it comes to personality, design and degree of difficulty, Darlington stands alone," explained Nemechek, driver of the 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. "There is nothing like it -- it's a classic racetrack that demands 110 percent attention on every lap and every corner."
"You take your licks at Darlington, but you come away still liking the facility whether you have a good finish or not," continued Nemechek."It's a driver's track -- no question about that."
And for the record, Nemechek has put a few of the infamous stripes on Darlington's concrete walls.
"I don't know of any racer who hasn't brushed the wall a few times at Darlington," noted Nemechek. "You're literally talking inches of space between the car and wall. That's why the track is so much fun to compete at. But if you don't have the right setup and proper tire management, Darlington can be a beast."
Nemechek's performance at Darlington has pretty much run the gamut. But the good news for the Army team is that Nemechek has had strong finishes of eighth and 11th in his last two Darlington appearances.
"Actually we had a top-five run going at Darlington last year, but a late pit stop shuffled the field because of some teams taking two or four tires,"offered Nemechek. "We've been strong in Darlington the past two years and feel like we can go there again and come away with another solid finish."
Regarding his recent record, Nemechek said, "We're in a slump, but we'll get out of it. Right now, Darlington is the track that can get us going in the right direction. We're good soldiers and we will complete the mission."