Nemechek Reflects on Five-Year Anniversary of First Cup Win New England Facility Continues To Be Special Venue For U.S. Army Driver LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2004) - Joe Nemechek has carried a special feeling about New Hampshire International...
Nemechek Reflects on Five-Year Anniversary of First Cup Win
New England Facility Continues To Be Special Venue For U.S. Army Driver
LOUDON, N.H. (Sept. 14, 2004) - Joe Nemechek has carried a special feeling about New Hampshire International Speedway (NHIS) for many years. The New England facility was the site of two early developments in his NASCAR career - a classic Busch victory over the late Dale Earnhardt in 1992 and his first Cup start - July 11, 1993.
And when the green flag drops for Sunday's (Sept. 19) Sylvania 300 the significance of the 1.058-mile oval will be even greater for Nemechek, who will be celebrating the five-year anniversary to the exact date and location of his first Cup victory.
It was Sept. 19, 1999 at NHIS when Nemechek led the field to the checkered flag for the first time in his Cup career.
"There's something about this track -- it sure has been a magical place for me," said Nemechek, who will be driving the No. 01 USG Sheetrock Brand Chevrolet this weekend. "That first victory five years ago - I can see it as if it happened yesterday."
For the record, Nemechek, who was driving the No. 42 Chevy for Felix Sabates, took the lead on that fall Sunday in 1999 after a two-tire change on his final pit stop and then led the final 70 laps. He held off a late challenge from Tony Stewart before winning under caution.
"I had a pretty good starting spot (11th) and was running upfront most of the day," recalled Nemechek. "I had (Tony) Stewart right behind me and it was getting tense. There were a couple of cautions in the final 10 laps with the last one coming out with a few laps to go. I would have liked to have won it under green, but at that point I really didn't care. The checkered flag was a beautiful sight.
"I have to be honest, each time I roll into the New Hampshire track, I do get a flashback of that wonderful moment of winning my first Cup race and jumping out of the car in Victory Lane. You work hard for so many years for something like this to happen, and when it does, it's an exhilarating feeling that is hard to explain."
Nemechek also had a runner-up finish at NHIS in the 2000 summer race and was third at last year's fall event.
"I think it's time to get back upfront," said Nemechek. "Hopefully New Hampshire will have some more magic for me."
This will be the third of four races in 2004 that Nemechek's car will have a primary sponsorship from USG Sheetrock Brand. At the other 32 Nextel Cup races, the primary sponosor on Nemechek's car is the U.S. Army, which is an associate sponsor during the four USG races.