Rockingham II: Joe Nemechek preview

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2003) -- When Joe Nemechek gets to North Carolina Speedway for this weekend'sNASCAR Winston Cup race, the United States Army driver will most likely spend time reflecting about the historic race track, which will be...

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. (Nov. 4, 2003) -- When Joe Nemechek gets to North Carolina Speedway for this weekend'sNASCAR Winston Cup race, the United States Army driver will most likely spend time reflecting about the historic race track, which will be losing the fall race, beginning in 2004.

"You hate to see Rockingham lose one of its races," said Nemechek. "It's a cool track and there have been so many good races contested there. It's a track like Darlington where you can have exciting side-by-side racing. The groove is from the bottom to the top and you can go anywhere you want to. It's just a good race track. I will miss racing there twice a year."

One of Nemechek's greatest highlights took place at Rockingham when he captured the 2001 fall race.

"That was aspecial win," offered Nemechek. "It was a difficult year -- I got hurt very bad in a test session in Dover and it was also the last year of our Oakwood Homes sponsorship with Andy Petree Racing. It seemed like everything was coming to a halt and then we won in Rockingham. It was fantastic -- a special feeling of pride to rebound the way we did."

Nemechek feels the No. 01 U.S. Army Pontiac team is just as capable of pulling off a victory at the 38-year-old facility.

"No question, this Army team has the potential of getting into winner's circle," commented Nemechek. "Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton), myself and the rest of the crew have established good communications in a short time.

"We have the ingredients, and to win at Rockingham, you need luck on your side and a car that handles very well. Tire wear is also critical because Rockingham is an abrasive track that likes to chew up the tires. But handling is premium when you race at the Rock."

Nemechek enters the Rockingham race in 24th place in the Winston Cup driver's point standings. The point differential from 24th to 27th is only 19. "It is very important to me to finish in the top 25," said Nemechek. "I am very encouraged with the potential of the Army team -- everything is upbeat."

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek