Darlington: Joe Nemechek race report

NEMECHEK PLACES 11TH IN DARLINGTONJ DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2005) --Despite running in the sixth position with fewer than five laps remaining in Saturday night's Dodge Charger 500, U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek fell to an 11th place...

NEMECHEK PLACES 11TH IN DARLINGTONJ

DARLINGTON, S.C. (May 7, 2005) --Despite running in the sixth position with fewer than five laps remaining in Saturday night's Dodge Charger 500, U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek fell to an 11th place finish aftera caution in the final laps forced a green-white-checkered restart at Darlington Raceway.

Nemechek started the 500-mile race 27th and fought a tight, then loose-handling racecar throughout the event. However with justunder 100 laps to go in the 367-laprace the U.S. Army Chevrolet burst into the top 10 and fought for a top-five finish the remainder of the competition.

"We had a car today that could've finished in the top five," said Nemechek, who jumped from 24th to 20th in Nextel Cup driver point standings. "Early in the race we were a little snug and thenI found myself a little free. But this U.S. Army team did a great jobgetting me fixed up where I could take the 01 Chevy to the front."

With just three laps remaining in the race, fifth-place running Mark Martin lost control of his race machine and spun on the frontstretch of the 1.366-mile track, moving Nemechek fromseventh to sixthand bringing out the final yellow flag.

"We had a decision to make during that last caution period and we chose to comein and take four fresh tires," offered Nemechek. "Someguys only took two (tires)and a couple even stayed out. When we went back for that green-white-checkered finish we were able to pick up several spots but just couldn't makeup the track position.It didn't work out for us as well as we'd hoped."

"We had a strong car today. Coming toDarlington and finishing 11th isn't bad all-in-all," he continued. "We picked up four spots in points and feel confident heading to Richmond next week.Our goal week in and week out is to put a smile on the faces of our troops. They're out there protecting our freedom and they deserve to have a car to be proud of."

The Nextel Cup Series' next stop isSaturday night (May 14) at Richmond International Raceway.

-mb2m-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek