Twice a Victim, Nemechek's Strong Performance Short Changed in Watkins Glen WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 13, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek was cruising along at Watkins Glen International. Everything was going according to form for the U.S. Army Team -- the...
Twice a Victim, Nemechek's Strong Performance Short Changed in Watkins Glen
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 13, 2006) -- Joe Nemechek was cruising along at Watkins Glen International. Everything was going according to form for the U.S. Army Team -- the pit strategy was working and the 01 Chevrolet was mowing through traffic.
But just past the halfway mark in Sunday's Nextel Cup road race, disaster struck Nemechek, not once, but twice.
After starting 37th, Nemechek steadily picked off positions and was running 16th when he got spun out on Lap 53 of 90 on the 2.45-mile road circuit.
"The 66 (Jeff Green) got me in the inner loop," said Nemechek, who had a disappointing 42nd-place result. "I don't know what his problem is, but he definitely has a problem. I was just the victim."
The incident forced Nemechek to make an unscheduled pit stop with heavy damage to the left rear quarter panel of his Army Chevrolet. When he returned to action he was relegated to the rear of the field.
"That was a major setback, but we were still looking to salvage a decent finish," offered Nemechek. "We had damage but the Army Chevy was strong and I felt we had time to get through traffic again. But a short time later we got clobbered big time and our day was ended."
Indeed he did get clobbered.
On Lap 63, Nemechek was again a victim. This time in a multi-car wreck, which also took out his teammate Sterling Marlin.
"It was just like what happens on the freeway when they have one of those accordion wrecks," noted Nemechek. "Everybody kept piling into each other."
The damage was so severe to Nemechek's car that he was unable to drive it back to the garage. As he was being observed and released in the infield medical center, his car was being towed to the garage where it was loaded in the team's hauler.
"This is getting to be very aggravating," said Nemechek. "Ever since we started to improve our performance our momentum has gotten halted by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In the last month, we have made some good gains, but can't get the finishes to coincide with our performances. We will soldier one and never quit."
Nemechek will attempt to break the jinx next week when the Nextel Cup Series will be at Michigan International Speedway.