Despite Harrowing Incidents, Nemechek Still Fond of Dover DOVER, Del. (May 30, 2007) -- Someone needs to tell Joe Nemechek that he might want to reconsider his feelings about Dover International Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Nextel...
Despite Harrowing Incidents, Nemechek Still Fond of Dover
DOVER, Del. (May 30, 2007) -- Someone needs to tell Joe Nemechek that he might want to reconsider his feelings about Dover International Speedway, site of this weekend's NASCAR Nextel Cup race.
Though Nemechek raves about the all-concrete one-mile surface, there hasn't been much reciprocity in recent years. You name a racing incident and there's a good chance the Ginn Racing driver has encountered it at the high-banked Monster Mile.
"I've had some harrowing experiences at Dover, but I still love the track," said Nemechek, who will pilot the No 13 Haier Chevrolet in the Autism Speaks 400.
Nemechek's history at Dover since the turn of the century has been anything but a love affair. It's been mainly a story of crashes, fire and blown engines.
Nemechek's scariest incident at Dover came in May 2001 when he was testing his Busch car. He cut a right-front tire and crashed hard into the wall. He suffered fractures to his right scapula (shoulder blade), ribs and elbow. The injuries forced him to miss five Cup races.
The veteran driver took another hard blow at Dover when he slammed into the wall in the 2003 fall race. The fiery accident, caused by another cut tire, damaged a portion of the wall. The incident put the race under caution for 27 laps while track workers repaired the crack in the wall.
A hit from behind in the 2004 spring race sent Nemechek spinning into the wall, causing race-ending damage to his car. And in the fall race of the same year, a radiator issue eventually caused Nemechek's engine to expire.
There's more, including a pit road incident with another car in the 2005 fall race which spoiled an easy top-10 run for Nemechek. Last year wasn't any better for Front Row Joe with finishes of 35 and 26.
"I didn't know it was that bad," said Nemechek, when he was reminded about his recent troubles at Dover. "The good news is that I am due to have that luck cycle turn in our favor. I have an enormous amount of respect for the Dover track."
Hopefully for Nemechek, the track will share the same feelings when his Haier Chevy takes the green flag for Sunday's 400-lap event.
"What has happened in the past has no bearing on how I feel going into this race," offered Nemechek. "And I repeat, I like the Dover track -- it's a great facility. Our day will come."