Improved Performance Has Nemechek Feeling Eager For Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2004) - When it comes to road races on the Nextel Cup circuit, Joe Nemechek gets excited. And the U.S. Army driver, who has lifted his performance...
Improved Performance Has Nemechek Feeling Eager For Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 10, 2004) - When it comes to road races on the Nextel Cup circuit, Joe Nemechek gets excited. And the U.S. Army driver, who has lifted his performance level in the past five races, feels even more energized about this weekend's twist and turn event on the 2.45-mile Watkins Glen International circuit.
The reason Nemechek is eager to get back on a road course is that he feels he didn't complete his mission at the first road race of the season at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. He started the June event at Infineon from the ninth position and was running solidly in the top five until a transmission failure stymied his charge.
"We had it going in Sonoma and it was a lot of fun," recalled Nemechek. "I have been waiting for Watkins Glen for two months. I like the challenges of a road course and feel the Army team has an excellent handle on how to prepare the car for this type of race. We were on our way to a great finish in Sonoma until the transmission broke."
Nemechek has performed with a marked improvement in the five races since Sonoma. He not only completed each of the five events on the lead lap, his average finish during this period was 14.20, compared to a season average of 21.57.
During this same five-race period his qualifying average of 7.80 signaled a big gain over his season starting average of 14.33.
"We're getting better," explained Nemechek. "We'll get there, just need to get on a streak. We're real close."
That streak could start in Sunday's SIRIUS at The Glen, where Nemechek will be in the same 01 Army/USG Chevy in which he competed at Sonoma.
"No reason to change cars," said crew chief Ryan Pemberton. "Joe liked the car and it was pretty cool to watch him run in the top five in Sonoma."
Nemechek has posted three top-10 results at Watkins Glen. He finished eighth three times - in 1994, 1996 and 2000.
"I really feel we can do better than eighth," said Nemechek, who led 10 laps in the 1997 Watkins Glen race. "Based on what we did in Sonoma and what we learned there, I am looking for a pretty good finish this on Sunday. We have Boris (Said) in our camp and it's always nice to seek advice from one of the best road racers in the world."
Nemechek was referring to road-racing specialist Boris Said, who will drive the No. 36 USG Durock Chevy as a third entry for MB2 Motorsports, which fields the 01 Army car along with the No. 10 Valvoline Chevy, driven by rookie Scott Riggs.