Pocono II: Joe Nemechek preview

Despite Recent Finish, Nemechek Feeling Upbeat LONG POND, Pa. (July 19, 2006) -- It might seem odd to the casual observer of Nextel Cup racing. The positive vibes that Joe Nemechek is currently feeling have surfaced after the U.S. Army driver ...

Despite Recent Finish, Nemechek Feeling Upbeat

LONG POND, Pa. (July 19, 2006) -- It might seem odd to the casual observer of Nextel Cup racing. The positive vibes that Joe Nemechek is currently feeling have surfaced after the U.S. Army driver posted a 41st-place finish.

That's right -- 41st -- two positions from finishing last in Sunday's Cup race at New Hampshire International Speedway.

So why are Nemechek and the 01 Army team feeling more confident as they head to Pocono Raceway for this weekend's Pennsylvania 500.

"The answer is simple -- performance, performance and more performance," said Nemechek. "We had our best performance of the season in New Hampshire and it sure felt good to be running up front. If it weren't for the accident that sidelined us, we would have had a strong finish. We've struggled this year, but can now sense that we are coming out of the slump."

When Nemechek got hit from behind on Lap 201 of 300 at New Hampshire he was cruising along in sixth place.

The incident sent Nemechek's Army Chevy crashing into the retaining wall. After the smoke cleared, the back of the 01 car was severely caved in. Though Nemechek was able to drive the car to the garage, the damage was not repairable and the car was prematurely loaded in the team's hauler.

"Everything just felt good in New Hampshire," noted Nemechek. "It seemed like we were running in the top 10 for a long time. It's been a while since we ran this well. The finish was very disappointing, but the performance has gotten all of us excited."

Nemechek attributed the team's turnaround to last week's test session in Indianapolis.

"We've been searching for a solution for a long time," said Nemechek. "But it was the Indy test that we started to learn more about what is needed. Everything we learned at Indy transferred to our setup in New Hampshire."

"We need to keep it going and continue to learn," continued Nemechek. "I've always felt that we have the talent for the Army Chevy to run up front week in and week out."

Regarding Pocono, Nemechek feels it's a track where he and the Army team can excel.

"We had a shot of winning both races in Pocono last year," recalled Nemechek. "I like the track and if we can hit on another setup then the Army Chevy will be one of the challengers. This is our soldiers' car and I want to make them as proud of us as we are of them."

-mb2m

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek