Nemechek Wants To Keep On Rolling HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2004) -- With the final race approaching in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season -- the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- Joe Nemechek is upbeat about his No. 01 U.S.
Nemechek Wants To Keep On Rolling
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (Nov. 17, 2004) -- With the final race approaching in the 2004 NASCAR Nextel Cup season -- the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway -- Joe Nemechek is upbeat about his No. 01 U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet producing another strong result.
"There are three reasons why I feel good about the Homestead race," explained Nemechek. "First, we're bringing the same car that we won with in Kansas. Second, we're on a roll and carrying plenty of momentum with us. The final reason is simply that I've had success at Homestead."
In the first five Cup races at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Nemechek has the best qualifying average of 11.4 among drivers who have started in every race. And in laps led on the 1.5-mile oval, he ranks fourth with 111.
Nemechek's best Homestead finish in a Cup race was second in 2002. In the Busch Series, he has owned the south Florida track, winning three times (1997, 1999, & 2001) and recording two other top-five finishes of third in 2002 and fourth in 1996.
The only bad news for Nemechek as he continues to enjoy the best streak of his 11-year NASCAR Cup career is that after Sunday, the off-season begins. Though the grueling 2004 campaign started with testing 11 months ago and has since consumed a better part of 40 seven-day weeks, Nemechek is like that battery -- he wants to keep on going.
"Why rest when you're hot," said Nemechek. "I feel charged and want to keep on going. We're dialed in and the results are showing it. The past two months have been an absolute blast, the most fun I've had in my Cup career."
Nemechek's late-season surge started nine races ago, Sept. 19 in New Hampshire, which is also the same race where the Chase for the Nextel Cup began. During this stretch, Nemechek has accomplished the following:
* One win, three top fives, six top 10s, two poles and one outside pole.
* Produced the biggest gain in Nextel Cup driver standings -- moving from 25th to 18th.
* Ranks seventh in driver points earned during the last nine races -- 18 points fewer than sixth-ranked Dale Earnhardt Jr. and 90 points more than eighth-ranked Tony Stewart.
* Only non-Chase driver to win an event during the first nine races of NASCAR's new championship format. Nemechek won at Kansas, Oct. 10.
* Speaking of Kansas, Nemechek became the first driver in NASCAR history to accomplish the weekend trifecta by winning the Cup pole on Friday, Busch race on Saturday and Cup race on Sunday.
"Good people and good results is the best combination for any racer, and I have both. I feel fortunate that I'm with a great organization in MB2 Motorsports and having the best sponsor in the garage in the U.S. Army."