Talladega: Joe Nemechek preview

Nemechek Poised For More Superspeedway Success TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 2004) -- The anticipation of racing at Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Aaron's 499 has Joe Nemechek feeling cautiously optimistic. The U.S. Army driver has not...

Nemechek Poised For More Superspeedway Success

TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 20, 2004) -- The anticipation of racing at Talladega Superspeedway for Sunday's Aaron's 499 has Joe Nemechek feeling cautiously optimistic.

The U.S. Army driver has not only enjoyed success on the 2.66-mile track, but he also posted a strong sixth-place finish at the previous superspeedway race -- the Daytona 500 opener.

"We're going to bring the same car to Talladega that ran so well in Daytona," said Nemechek. "We were fortunate that our Daytona car didn't get wrecked.

"This team has a history of having excellent superspeedway cars and barring any bad luck, I am confident that we should have a good showing this weekend."

But avoiding the misfortunes at NASCAR's biggest track is a tall task, even for a seasoned veteran like Nemechek.

"When you have 43 cars running neck-and-neck at nearly 200 miles per hour something is bound to happen, and it usually does," explained Nemechek. "As we all know the key to restrictor-plate racing is to avoid the wrecks and then put yourself in position at the end to win the race."

Nemechek has proven that he knows how to post strong qualifying and race finishes on the monster oval. He is a two-time Talladega pole winner (fall races in 1999 & 2000) and claimed three consecutive top-10 finishes, including a career best of third in October of 2000.

"If you have a fast car and stay away from trouble, you can score big at Talladega," said Nemechek. "The Army team has the ingredients, we just need to put it all together and have a little luck on our side."

Speaking of luck, Nemechek knows that his Nextel Cup driver point standing position of 16th could be much better with a little racing luck.

"This Army team has performed well, but hasn't had the finishes that I feel we should've had," offered Nemechek. "Lately, we had the car, but those race-ending problems have cost us a bunch of points."

Nemechek is referring to the last two races -- at Texas Motor Speedway and Martinsville, Va. At each race, he was poised to have a strong finish, but misfortunes struck his 01 Army team.

In Texas, it was a broken spark plug that dropped him from third to 14th place. And in Martinsville last Sunday, Nemechek's outside shot of a top-10 finish was shattered when he was spun out with 44 laps remaining."

"Hopefully this is all cyclical and the bad luck will turn to good luck," said Nemechek. "I've raced enough to know that if you just fight through adversity, it will eventually turn in your favor."

Nemechek is hoping that turnabout will begin this weekend in Talladega.

Proud of Grandpa

Charlie Brock, mechanic and front-tire changer on the No. 01 U.S. Army/USG Chevrolet, will arrive in Talladega early to attend Thursday's International Motorsports Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. Brock's grandfather, Charles "Red" Farmer, will be one of the inductees. Farmer, a native of Hueytown, Ala., gained legendary status as a Sportsman short track racer in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

-mb2m-

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Series NASCAR Cup
Drivers Joe Nemechek