"Front Row" Joe Nemechek wins inaugural STACKER 2/GNC Live WELL 250. DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2002) -- Blue skies returned and the lights brightened to Daytona International Speedway as Joe Nemechek took the checkered flag in the inaugural...
"Front Row" Joe Nemechek wins inaugural STACKER 2/GNC Live WELL 250.
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (July 5, 2002) -- Blue skies returned and the lights brightened to Daytona International Speedway as Joe Nemechek took the checkered flag in the inaugural STACKER 2/GNC Live Well 250 NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona International Speedway Friday night.
Taking the lead four times for a total of 78 laps, pole-sitter Nemechek and his No. 87 Cellular One Pontiac edged past second place-finisher Greg Biffle in the No. 60 Grainger Ford and third place-finisher Kevin Lepage, driver of the No. 37 Sequoia Pontiac.
With Friday's win, Nemechek captured his 12th career victory and second win in a NASCAR Busch Series race at Daytona, since taking the checkered flag in February 1998 at the "World Center of Racing."
The Lakeland, Fla. native won his 14th pole on Thursday and won for just the second time from the pole position. His only other win from the pole position was at Talladega Superspeedway in 1998.
"I've got to thank Greg Biffle," said Nemechek following the 100-lap event. "He stayed in line, but I don't think he had the car to lead. Ours was so dominant when it was leading, and at times, he actually had a hard time keeping up.
"We changed a lot (on the car) this morning. I wasn't happy after Happy Hour last night we changed quite a few things on it, and it drove perfect all day long," said Nemechek.
A red flag halted the event with just four laps remaining and Nemechek held off Biffle and Lepage for his first NASCAR Busch Series victory of the 2002 season.
"Kevin (Lepage) gave me a good push getting in to three and four and I had a run on Joe (Nemechek), but I didn't have any help when I got there. Nemechek did a good job."
Lepage was pleased with his third place finish, his best of the 2002 season.
"This car was awesome from the time we unloaded it on Thursday, and the guys did a great job," said Lepage. "A top three (finish) is really good for us, this was a get-well present for Jeff Purvis."
"I really thought we had the car to beat all weekend," said top-finishing rookie Johnny Sauter, who finished in the sixth position. "We just didn't qualify as good as we wanted to. We burned a rear end gear up. Getting a top 10 is definitely momentum-building for us."
Rounding out the top ten were Jason Keller, driving the No. 57 Albertsons Ford; Jamie McMurray in the No. 27 Williams/US Postal Service Pontiac; Johnny Sauter, driving the No. 2 ACDelco Chevrolet; Mike McLaughlin in the No. 18 MBNA Pontiac; Jimmy Spencer in the No. 1 Yellow Pontiac; Kevin Grubb, driver of the No. 54 Toys "R" Us Chevrolet; and Stacy Compton in the No. 59 Kingsford/Johnsonville Chevrolet.
Great seats remain for the 44th Annual Pepsi 400 NASCAR Winston Cup Series race. Fans can purchase tickets by calling (386) 253-RACE (7223).