Brush With Wall Halts Strong Performance For Army Chevy BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 20, 2006) -- "It's a shame to have a top-10 car and finish 26th," said Joe Nemechek following Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. Nemechek...
Brush With Wall Halts Strong Performance For Army Chevy
BROOKLYN, Mich. (Aug. 20, 2006) -- "It's a shame to have a top-10 car and finish 26th," said Joe Nemechek following Sunday's Nextel Cup race at Michigan International Speedway.
Nemechek was referring to how the performance of his U.S. Army Chevrolet went from a strong running racecar to an aerodynamically handicapped machine.
The cause of the problem was Nemechek's brush with the wall when he dueled for track position with Jeff Gordon on Lap 150 of 200. The incident knocked in the right-front fender and from that point on the 01 Army Chevy was never the same.
"It was my fault," said a candid Nemechek. "I was racing Jeff pretty hard and he kind of ran me up a little in the corner and then I got too high coming off the turn and got into the fence."
After scraping the wall the 01 machine got tight and Nemechek lost valuable track position on the 2.0-mile oval. At the next caution (Lap 159) the Army crew pulled out the fender, but when Nemechek returned to action, his car got way too loose.
"There's really a fine line with the chassis and we needed one more pit stop, but the caution never came," noted Nemechek. "Earlier in the race when we were too loose and then we tightened up the car and it took off. It's hard to go when the car is loose."
Nemechek, who qualified 13th, had a good car from the get go as he steadily ran in the top 15 and top 10 prior to brushing the wall.
"What's frustrating is that we didn't take advantage of a strong performance today," said Nemechek. "I hate where we finished, but I think we made some big gains today. It will pay off. We're soldiers and we'll never give up."