Martinsville: Joe Nemechek preview

Qualifying Pressure Off, Nemechek Ready to Unleash in Martinsville MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 27, 2007) -- Miserable, disappointed, lost and frustrated. Those would be accurate adjectives to describe how Joe Nemechek felt on Sunday after not ...

Qualifying Pressure Off, Nemechek Ready to Unleash in Martinsville

MARTINSVILLE, Va. (March 27, 2007) -- Miserable, disappointed, lost and frustrated. Those would be accurate adjectives to describe how Joe Nemechek felt on Sunday after not qualifying for the Nextel Cup race atBristol Motor Speedway.

"I could hardly watch the race on television, and when I did, it hurt not to be there," saidNemechek, whose qualifying streak of 175 races, dating back toApril 2002, wassnapped in Bristol.

The good news for Nemechek and his No. 13 Ginn Racing team is thatthey won't have to feel that "hurt" this weekendat Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.

Though Nemechekmissed the Bristol race,he accrued enough points in the first four racesto make the coveted top 35 in the ownerstandings, which grants anautomatic qualifying berth to each of those 35 teams.

Automatic qualifying positions in thefirst five raceswere based on 2006 owner points. Since Nemechek is with a new Ginn team, he had to race his way into the starting field each week.

Entering Martinsville, the Ginn Racing No. 13 team is 26th in owner points and Nemechek is ranked 28th in driver points.

"It's going to be nice going to Martinsville without the heavy baggage of pressure that Ifelt since the beginning of the season," offered Nemechek. "Now, we can spend more time working on our race-trim setup when we get to the track."

Nemechek, who was ranked 19th in the driver standings prior to Bristol, feels that his No. 13 team has plenty of potential to crack the contender list for the Chase.

"The qualifying issue hanging over our head and the time it consumed in practice put us behind eachweek," said Nemechek. "We're ready tounleash and I truly feel that we're going to surprise a bunch of peoplethis season."

Nemechek will also get to compete in the NASCAR's Car of Tomorrow for the first time. He will drive the No. 13 Ginn Resorts Chevrolet Impala SS.

"I'm looking forward to driving the COT in the race," said Nemechek. "No need to complain about the car, we just need to get used to it and make it work."

Nemechek's best careerfinish at the half-mile Martinsville flat track was 10th in April, 2005.

"Only one top-10 at Martinsville might not look good on paper, but what I do know is thatI had a number of strong runs there," recalled Nemechek. "Either a mechanical failure or being taken out on the track were reasons for ruining a lot of quality performances."

-credit: gr

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek