Nemechek, Captures Pole in Talladega
April 26, 2008
TALLADEGA, Ala. (April 26, 2008) -- Joe Nemechek, driving the No. 78 National Day of Prayer Chevrolet for Furniture Row Racing, captured the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Front Row Joe, who was the 45th of 46 drivers to make a qualifying lap Saturday, edged Tony Stewart for the No. 1 starting spot. Nemechek toured the 2.66-mile oval in 51.103 seconds at 187.386 miles per hour. Stewart's speed was 186.896.
"I am so proud of all the Furniture Row/National Day of Prayer crew guys," said Nemechek. "They've worked so hard to make this happen. We had a fast Chevy Impala SS today. I want to thank Jay Guy (crew chief), Joe Garone (general manager) and Barney Visser (team owner) for giving us this opportunity."
"We have a special sponsor on board here -- National Day of Prayer," added Nemechek. "How many times do you get to qualify and sit on the pole when your car says, 'We need to pray as a nation.' It is a big statement. We need to go out tomorrow and get a strong finishing result to cap off the weekend. We're ready and pumped for the race."
It was a record-setting qualifying run for Nemechek, whose four career poles at Talladega leads all active Cup drivers. "That's pretty cool to hold the record," noted Nemechek. "I also want to thank Hendrick Motorsports. The Hendrick engines have been incredible this year. We are getting better and better at making these cars go around the corner and getting them to go faster. It is a big day for Furniture Row Racing."
By claiming the pole, Nemechek earns a berth in February's Shootout at Daytona International Speedway. The prestigious invitational race, which is for the previous year pole winners and former Shootout champions, is part of the Daytona 500 Speedweeks.
One of the happiest faces following Nemechek's pole-winning run was Martha Nemechek, Joe's mother. She proudly displayed her embroidered shirt that read, "Gotta Go Joe" and "That's My Boy."
For the third year in a row at the Talladega spring event, Furniture Row, the Denver-based company which owns the No. 78 Chevrolet, is devoting its entire space on the car to the National Day of Prayer.
Recognizing that prayer has been and continues to be an integral part of the United States history, Congress established the National Day of Prayer in 1952. The observance is currently held on the first Thursday in May, when all Americans are encouraged to exercise their religious freedom by gathering publicly to worship and pray. Visit nationaldayofprayer.org to learn more.