Richmond: Joe Memechek preview

RICHMOND, Va. (May 2, 2007) -- The last time Joe Nemechek and his Ginn Racing crew chief Peter Sospenzo were on the same team for the spring race at Richmond International Raceway, the result was a victory at the three-quarter-mile track. The...

RICHMOND, Va. (May 2, 2007) -- The last time Joe Nemechek and his Ginn Racing crew chief Peter Sospenzo were on the same team for the spring race at Richmond International Raceway, the result was a victory at the three-quarter-mile track. The date was May 3, 2003 when Nemechek and Sospenzo were members of the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports operation.

With Sospenzo calling the shots on the pit box, Nemechek started second and led a race-high 156 laps before NASCAR officials called the race with seven laps remaining due to rain. It was the third of four career Cup wins for Nemechek.

Nemechek left the Hendrick team late in the 2003 season to join MB2 Motorsports (now Ginn Racing). He was reunited with his former crew chief when Sospenzo joined Ginn Racing late last year to direct the new No. 13 team in 2007.

"When you go back to a track where you had success it does boost the confidence level," said Nemechek, who will drive the No. 13 CertainTeed Chevrolet in Saturday night's Nextel Cup race in Richmond. "Wins are tough to come by in this business so I do remember that night as if it were yesterday. We had a great car all weekend. It was a special evening of racing -- one that I will always remember. I am sure Peter feels the same way."

When asked about that victory, Sospenzo said, "That was a pretty awesome night. The best car won the race, we were strong from the get go. However, this weekend is a different deal with the Car of Tomorrow (COT). We had a good COT test in Richmond last month and also had a pretty good COT race in Phoenix two weeks ago. We're progressing with the COT and would like to win again, but being a realist -- a top-10 finish would be great."

Nemechek was going for another victory the following spring at Richmond. But as he was moving into second place at the midpoint of the 2004 race, he and Jamie McMurray got tangled, sending both cars into the concrete wall with race-ending damage.

"It's obvious I like the Richmond track, it's fun to race at because you can pass and make things happen on your own," offered Nemechek. "We're looking for a good weekend in the CertainTeed Chevy."

Though Nemechek has a fondness for the Richmond track and has run well there, he has not had good fortune since his win. In the ensuing seven races his average finish has been 26.8.

"We've had our share of troubles on the track in Richmond -- seems like we've been in the wrong place at the wrong time on too many occasions," explained Nemechek. "Good and bad luck are cyclical. Hopefully our good-luck cycle will return this weekend."

-credit: gr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek , Jamie McMurray
Teams Hendrick Motorsports