Sears Point: Joe Nemechek preview

Unlike Some Veterans, Nemechek Would Take a Road Course Over a Root Canal SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2006) -- You will never hear Joe Nemechek complain about a road-course venue. In fact, the U.S. Army driver not only welcomes the challenge of...

Unlike Some Veterans, Nemechek Would Take a Road Course Over a Root Canal

SONOMA, Calif. (June 21, 2006) -- You will never hear Joe Nemechek complain about a road-course venue. In fact, the U.S. Army driver not only welcomes the challenge of making both left and right-hand turns, but he also has fun doing it.

In the past, some NASCAR drivers -- if given a choice -- would have taken a root canal over a road course event. It wasn't a driving experience that the majority of oval-racing diehards looked forward to.

But for Nemechek, the attitude about the twist and turn circuits was different.

Growing up in Lakeland, Fla., not far from one of the most famous sports car races in the world -- 12 Hours of Sebring -- Nemechek always had a yearning to drive on road courses.

"I love all forms of motorsports," said Nemechek, who started out as motocross racer at age 13. "And road course racing is a lot of fun, it's a nice break from the weekly ovals we drive on. I have always looked forward to the two road races each season."

"We are due for a good finish on Sunday at Infineon (Raceway)," Nemechek continued. "We had good runs going there the past two years, but a couple of fluke things halted our charge."

Two years ago at both Nextel Cup road races (Sonoma and Watkins Glen, N.Y.), Nemechek was running in the top five until transmission problems crushed his momentum. Last year, he was in the top 10 at Sonoma, but a late-race spin and being on the wrong end of the pit cycle cost him valuable track position.

"We had some great road course runs going," said Nemechek, who did finish ninth at Watkins Glen last August. "I am confident we'll be strong this weekend, we just need to stay away from trouble and be on the right side of the pit cycle."

One reason Nemechek is feeling upbeat about Sunday's Dodge / Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway is because of the successful test session the 01 Army Chevrolet conducted recently at Virginia International Raceway (VIR).

"We're ready for this weekend -- our road course cars did well at VIR," offered Nemechek. "I am looking forward to turning right and left and having a lot of fun in the process. It's time to give our soldiers, who are defending our freedom in the global war on terror, something to cheer about with their 01 Army Chevrolet. "

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek