Pocono II: Joe Nemechek preview

Nemechek/Pemberton Cautious in Preparing For Second Pocono Race LONG POND, Pa. (July 27, 2004) -- Heading to Pocono Raceway for the second race of the season on the 2.5-mile superspeedway, U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek and the team's crew...

Nemechek/Pemberton Cautious in Preparing For Second Pocono Race

LONG POND, Pa. (July 27, 2004) -- Heading to Pocono Raceway for the second race of the season on the 2.5-mile superspeedway, U.S. Army driver Joe Nemechek and the team's crew chief Ryan Pemberton are both being vigilant in their approach to Sunday's Pennsylvania 500.

The two analytical minds who have leadership roles with the U.S. Army/MB2 operation share the same opinion when it comes to tuning the car for the Pocono event.

"What took place at Pocono during the first race (in early June) is sometimes not applicable for the car setup at the second race," said Pemberton.

Nemechek concurred.

"There are too many variables to think that if you had the perfect setup in the first race that all you have to do is put everything back the same," explained Nemechek. "I wish it was that easy, but that's not the case. For starters, the track surface will be different - the weather will have plenty to say about its condition."

If the Xs and Os were that easy to prepare for a second go around at a Nextel Cup venue, then the Nemechek/Pemberton-led U.S. Army team would enjoy a pretty good advantage at the northeastern Pennsylvania oval.

In Pocono's first race of 2004 (June 13), Nemechek qualified the Army/USG Chevrolet third. The veteran driver charged to the front early, leading the first 10 laps. His 01 black and gold machine was a contender until a transmission failure on Lap 86 of 200 spoiled any chance of visiting Victory Lane on the day the Army was celebrating its 229th birthday.

"Don't get me wrong, based on what we did in Pocono in early June does give us a boost of confidence," offered Nemechek. "Though conditions will most likely be different, we do have a solid baseline to work from. This is not an easy track to get around. All three turns are different and you need a durable motor and a great handling car. The whole package has to work right at this place."

"I have some fond memories of Pocono, like winning my second career Cup pole (July 20, 1997)," continued Nemechek. "We're bringing the same Army car that we competed with at the June race -- I like that car and we should be in good shape this weekend."

For the record, Nemechek finished 18th in the June race at Pocono. He was running up front until the transmission broke, leaving him with only third gear for the final 114 laps of the race.

The Pennsylvania 500 will be broadcast on TNT and is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. EDT.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek