Midpoint Collision Spoils Nemechek's Strong Run in Richmond RICHMOND, Va. (May 15, 2004) -- Joe Nemechek said he had an awesome car and it was time for him to lead the race. But as he was moving into second place at the midway point of the ...
Midpoint Collision Spoils Nemechek's Strong Run in Richmond
RICHMOND, Va. (May 15, 2004) -- Joe Nemechek said he had an awesome car and it was time for him to lead the race. But as he was moving into second place at the midway point of the event, he and Jamie McMurray got tangled, sending both of the cars crashing into the wall.
The end result for Nemechek was a frustrating 36th-place finish in Friday's night's Chevy American Revolution 400 here at Richmond International Raceway.
Nemechek, who started from the eighth position in the 400-lap race, had a solid run going in his No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet. But on lap 201, those demons that had cost him top-10 finishes at the past four NASCAR Nextel Cup races, resurfaced as he was in the process of passing McMurray between Turns 1 and 2.
As the black and gold 01 car was ready to take over sole possession of second, Nemechek and McMurray collided, ending any hopes for Nemechek to defend his title that he claimed here one year ago.
"The U.S. Army/USG Chevy was awesome and it was time for me to go to the front," explained Nemechek. "I got up underneath him (McMurray) fair and square. And from my perspective I went down to the yellow line and he came down on me. Heck, when you're all the way underneath somebody you're not supposed to chop him. I did not anticipate him coming down.
"If I wanted to be overly cautious, I would have backed up, let him go and worked on him again. But heck, I had a fast car and it was ready to lead the race. I guess it was one of those racing deals.
"I was giving guys tons of room all night. If they were getting underneath me I gave them the room -- it was too early in the race to do anything crazy. It's really frustrating because we had the equipment. And as I said, it was time for me to go up there and lead the race, but I didn't finish the job."
Following the incident, Nemechek drove his crippled racecar to the garage where the Army of One crew worked for 40 minutes to repair the damages. Nemechek returned to the track on lap 297.
"This (bad luck) is getting to be awfully redundant and quite frankly very aggravating," said Nemechek. "Why this is happening to us I do not know. But I do know that this U.S. Army/USG team is very good and we will prove that. You can take that to the bank."
The next race for Nemechek is Saturday night (May 22), the NASCAR NEXTEL All-Star Challenge at Lowe's Motor Speedway in Charlotte. The next points race is May 30, the Coca-Cola 600, also at Lowe's Motor Speedway.