Harrowing Past Upgrades Nemechek's Respect for Monster Mile DOVER, Del. (May 31, 2006) -- After a couple of harrowing experiences at Dover International Speedway, Joe Nemechek will emphatically tell anyone who cares to listen that the Monster...
Harrowing Past Upgrades Nemechek's Respect for Monster Mile
DOVER, Del. (May 31, 2006) -- After a couple of harrowing experiences at Dover International Speedway, Joe Nemechek will emphatically tell anyone who cares to listen that the Monster Mile does indeed demand respect, and plenty of it.
"I don't care how many times you've raced at Dover, you better have a load of respect for the track," offered Nemechek, driver of the U.S. Army Chevrolet. "If you think otherwise,you'll be in the wall pretty quickly and I can tell you firsthand it's not a fun place to be."
If Nemechek sounds a little conciliatory to the all-concrete track, which will host this weekend's Next el Cup race, it's because he has had his share of mishaps there, including one that nearly ended his racing career.
While conducting a test session in his Busch car at Dover in May 2001, Nemechek cut a right-front tire and crashed into the Turn 4 wall. The impact was so severe that Nemechek suffered fractures to his right-side shoulder blade, ribs and elbow. The injuries forced him to miss five Cup races.
"That one hurt, really hurt," recalled Nemechek. "I was on the mend for a long time and feel fortunate that I am here to talk about it."
Nemechek took another hard blow at Dover -- this time it was in a Cup car at the 2003 fall race.
Driving the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports entry, Nemechek was involved in a fiery accident as he crashed into the Turn 1 wall due to aflat tire. Though he came away injury free, the incident put the race under caution for 27 laps while track workers repaired the crack in the wall.
"I guess you can say we either run well or crash hard at Dover," noted Nemechek. "For all of the trouble I've had at the track, I still like it, it's a fun place to race. I know that might sound odd, considering what has happened to me, but that's the way I feel."
Because of the type of season he's had in the first 12 Nextel Cup races, Nemechek is looking for a problem-free race in Sunday's Neighborhood Excellence 400. .
"Since our cars are so sensitive I am not sure if you can really have a problem-free race," said Nemechek. "It sure would be nice to have one, especially after what our Army team has been through this year. However, if we do get hit with a misfortune in Dover, we'll continue to battle on and follow our soldiers' creed of never giving up."