Sears Point: Joe Nemechek race report

SONOMA, Calif. (June 27, 2004) - The bad-luck bug just won't go away for Joe Nemechek, who was once again bitten in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. The recent misfortune took place in Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 where the U.S. Army driver was credited...

SONOMA, Calif. (June 27, 2004) - The bad-luck bug just won't go away for Joe Nemechek, who was once again bitten in a NASCAR NEXTEL Cup race. The recent misfortune took place in Sunday's Dodge/Save Mart 350 where the U.S. Army driver was credited with an undeserving 29th-place finish.

While running in fifth place, Nemechek's U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet suffered a transmission failure, leaving the veteran driver without first and second gears. Prior to the breakage, Nemechek, who started the race from the ninth position, ran solidly in the top 10 on the demanding 11-turn, 1.99-mile road course.

"I had a great car and it was hauling," said Nemechek. "I don't know why this is happening to us, but I'm not going to let it get me down. We're just going to regroup and battle our way through it. We'll recover."

Last week in Michigan, Nemechek was running fifth when his engine expired with 27 laps remaining.

"It's a shame what happened today because Joe drove his heart out," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "Everything was clicking perfectly until the transmission problem."

Though he was handicapped, Nemechek continued on the Infineon track and posted credible lap times with his crippled car.

"Just to finish the race under those circumstances was awfully impressive," said Pemberton.

The Nextel Cup Series heads to Daytona International Speedway for Saturday night's (July 3) 400-mile event on the famed 2.5-mile oval.

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek