Nemechek Taking ‘Big Mo’ to Chicagoland
July 8, 2008
DENVER (July 8, 2008) -- Joe Nemechek and the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing team are riding a wave of momentum as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series begins the second half of the season with Saturday night's race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill.
Jay Guy, crew chief for the No. 78 team, said it best following the team's 18th-place finish last week at Daytona. "We're gaining ground and making progress. We're certainly not where we want to be yet. But we'll take the momentum, take the points and go on to Chicago."
The single-car team, which is based west of the Mississippi in Denver, has shown a steady improvement over the past five races. Not only did Nemechek post a season-best finish at Daytona, but he has also improved his finishing position in each of those five races.
And to raise the optimism level a notch higher, the 18th-place Daytona result was a career-best for Furniture Row Racing.
"You can see the extra bounce and feel the energy with this entire Furniture Row Racing team," said Nemechek. "This racing business can be a grind, but when you're seeing improvement it sure makes it more fun. But I want to emphasize, while we're seeing weekly progress, we still have a way to go. The first rule in racing is never to be satisfied."
In the first 18 races of the 36-race schedule, Nemechek has qualified in 15. Two of those DNQ races came early in the season and probably cost the No. 78 team the luxury of having an automatic qualifying berth by being in the top 35 in points.
"We're not that far out of the top 35 and if we can continue like we have been, we'll get there," noted Nemechek. "It sure would be nice to go to a race and not have to worry about qualifying."
While qualifying is always the first objective for Nemechek, the No. 78 team did secure solid starting positions in the first 18 races. The highlight was capturing the pole at the April race in Talladega, which assured Nemechek of a berth in February's prestigious invitational Shootout at Daytona International Speedway.
Nemechek also had impressive qualifying efforts of fifth in Pocono and fourth last week in Daytona.
"No question, we've done some good things," added Nemechek. "We just need to keep on improving."