BUSCH: Nemechek short on gas at Charlotte

Nemechek heartbroken, with good reason By Marty Smith CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2000) In order to achieve world-class status as a racecar driver, your heart has to be totally focused on excellence, despite the fact that it's rarely achieved. That's...

Nemechek heartbroken, with good reason
By Marty Smith

CONCORD, N.C. (Oct. 7, 2000) In order to achieve world-class status as a racecar driver, your heart has to be totally focused on excellence, despite the fact that it's rarely achieved. That's why Joe Nemechek was so heartbroken Saturday evening. He had perfection in his grasp, only to watch it disappear like the fuel in his gas tank.

Nemechek had the most dominant racecar on the Lowe's Motor Speedway surface in Saturday's All Pro Bumper-to-Bumper 300, but after leading a race-high 119 laps, he ran out of fuel with a lap-and-a-half remaining, opening the door for Matt Kenseth to storm by at take the checkered flag.

"I figured I had two more laps in it. It didn't It run out here on the front stretch. That takes your heart. It goes from (up high) to the bottom of the seat. My heart just fell to the bottom of my feet. I'm frustrated, all the guys are frustrated. Who'd have ever thought that would happen."

Brian Pattie, for one. Pattie, Nemechek's crew chief, realized after the last stop that the No. 87 Chevrolet was unable to make it to the end of the 200-lap event without some major babying. Nemechek tried, but the unyielding charge of his competitors made it impossible.

"That last run I was just cruising. I just wanted to save gas the whole last run," Nemechek said. "The guys told me at the beginning of the last run to save the gas, that I'd be a lap and half short.

"I saved, saved, saved, saved. Then, here come Mark [Martin] and Matt Kenseth and I had to get going. It's just a shame to lose one that way. We just had an awesome racecar. It just breaks my heart to lose like that."

He's a world-class driver and had perfection in his grasp. He has every right to be heartbroken.

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Matt Kenseth , Joe Nemechek