BUSCH: "Front Row Joe" on Busch pole at Dover

DOVER, Del. - Joe Nemechek, piloting the No. 87 NEMCO Chevrolet, rolled to the pole for the Busch series Armed Forces Family 200 at Dover International Speedway. This is Nemechek's 17th career series pole and third of the season. Nemechek beat the...

DOVER, Del. - Joe Nemechek, piloting the No. 87 NEMCO Chevrolet, rolled to the pole for the Busch series Armed Forces Family 200 at Dover International Speedway. This is Nemechek's 17th career series pole and third of the season. Nemechek beat the track qualifying record at Dover previously set in 2000 by Mike Skinner (155.932 mph) with his speed of 156.747 mph.

It is good news for "Front Row Joe" who had to sit out several events in 2001, after a practice crash at the 1-mile oval.

"The last time I was up here testing was in 2001," said Nemechek. "I knocked the wall down in turn three, and it set me out for eight weeks. I broke my shoulder, my arm and I hurt my neck. Smacked my head hard and we've raced one race here since then."

It is the 39-year-old Lakeland, Florida native's first pole at Dover, a track where Nemechek has never pulled into victory lane. He has charted two top-five finishes (1992, 2000) in this event and this is his sixth top-ten start at the "Monster Mile".

Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate with tomorrow's Busch series race. Weather has plagued much of the Busch and Cup series this year and forecasts call for a 60% chance of rain.

"The weather has definitely been a big factor in our races this year," Nemechek continued. "No one likes to see rain; we like to finish things under green. You gotta do what you gotta do. I just hope the weather situations don't wash out a lot of practice tomorrow. It's just one of those things you gotta take outcomes, every race track is different when you go there, the weather is different. You gotta do the best you can."

Rounding out the top five were Kasey Kahne, Winston Cup points leader Matt Kenseth, Scott Riggs and Casey Mears.

"It was a pretty good run for us," said Kahne. "We gained a lot from practice; we changed the front springs, nose weights. We made a lot of changes, so it worked pretty good. I was real happy. I was surprised it was that good."

The Dale Earnhardt, Jr./Teresa Earnhardt owned No. 81 Chance 2 Motorsports Chevy driven by Martin Truex, Jr. makes another impressive showing starting from the seventh spot.

Forty-five cars attempted to qualify for the 43-car field. Failing to make the show were Gus Wasson and Brian Weber.

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Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Mike Skinner , Joe Nemechek , Casey Mears , Scott Riggs , Kasey Kahne , Martin Truex Jr. , Brian Weber , Gus Wasson