Nemechek Says the 01 Team is Overdue in Daytona Daytona Beach, Fla. (June 28, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek is pretty well convinced that if he can keep his U.S. Army Chevrolet undamaged during Saturday night's Pepsi 400, he could be in position to post...
Nemechek Says the 01 Team is Overdue in Daytona
Daytona Beach, Fla. (June 28, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek is pretty well convinced that if he can keep his U.S. Army Chevrolet undamaged during Saturday night's Pepsi 400, he could be in position to post career finish at Daytona International Speedway.
Nemechek's best result at the storied 2.5-mile oval was sixth during the 2004 Daytona 500. He felt he had the equipment to better that mark at the last two Daytona Nextel Cup events, but incidents beyond his control left him with only a "what if" account of each race.
In last year's summer race, Nemechek was cruising in the top five with a fast MB2 Motorsports-built car. But near the midpoint of the race, his 01 Chevy got clipped by Michael Waltrip's spinning car. From that point on it was survival for the Army team as Nemechek fought back with a damaged car to finish 15th.
At this year's season-opening Daytona 500, Nemechek was ripe for another strong run in the biggest race of the year. But the event wasn't even one-lap old when the front-end of his car got aerodynamically damaged from flying tire thread that came off of Jeff Green's car. Later in the race, Nemechek got collected in a multicar accident, ending any hope of a strong finish.
"We are overdue in Daytona, no question about that," said Nemechek. "We just had horrible luck there the past two races. We're always confident heading into Daytona. The MB2 fabrication department has always built top notch superspeedway cars and we have Hendrick power under the hood. That's a potent combination."
There's not a better place than Daytona for Nemechek to strut his stuff. He not only grew up in nearby Lakeland, Fla., he is the only native Floridian actively competing in NASCAR's premier series.
"We're getting close to the midway point of the season and we need to start clicking off some good finishes," said Nemechek. "The competition is fierce, but we, at MB2, feel that we're close in putting it all together. Daytona is our kind of track and I look for a strong showing Saturday night. It's the Fourth of July weekend, and this would be an opportune time to showcase the Army car to all of the brave soldiers who are fighting the global war on terrorism."
Nemechek's car for Saturday's under-the-lights race will be the same Army Chevy that he drove in Talladega in May.
"That was a great car in Talladega, we led laps and were in the thick of the draft," noted Nemechek. "But once again, our car got torn up due to a multicar wreck. As I keep on saying, give us a clean race on the big superspeedways, we'll come away with a pretty good finish."