BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 20, 2004) - With 27 laps remaining and solidly running in the top five, the engine in Joe Nemechek's car broke, leaving the U.S. Army driver with a frustrating 35th-place finish in Sunday's DHL 400 at Michigan International...
BROOKLYN, Mich. (June 20, 2004) - With 27 laps remaining and solidly running in the top five, the engine in Joe Nemechek's car broke, leaving the U.S. Army driver with a frustrating 35th-place finish in Sunday's DHL 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
"I don't know what to say," remarked Nemechek after he drove his car to the garage to be prematurely loaded in the transporter. "We had a great run going, the pit stops were awesome and we were having a lot of fun out there. But then the hammer came down on us again. We've had great cars recently but can't seem to shake those gremlins."
Nemechek started the 200-lap, 400-mile race from the 16th position. He dropped to 20th, but after the second pit stop on lap 34 the U.S. Army/USG Chevy started to pick up steam.
On the ensuing green-flag run, Nemechek gained eight spots and kept on moving to the front. He took over second place on Lap 123. When the engine broke in the 01 car Nemechek was comfortably running in fifth place.
"They knew we were here today," said Nemechek. "When you can drive from the middle of the pack to the front and almost take the lead it tells you what kind of effort we had going. We just need a little bit of luck to go along with our great racecars. We'll just regroup and go on to next week."
The next stop for the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series will be Sunday (June 27) at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., the first of two road races of the season.