Accident-Plagued Nemechek Focused on Fond Texas Memories
October 29, 2008
DENVER (Oct. 29, 2008) -- It's no secret that Joe Nemechek is going through one of the toughest stretches of his 15-year racing career, being involved in seven accidents in the past 13 races. But the Furniture Row Chevrolet driver said he has banished all negative thoughts and is only thinking of fond memories about Texas Motor Speedway, site of Sunday's Dickies 500 Sprint Cup race.
First and foremost on Nemechek's list of pleasant thoughts about the daunting 1.5-mile oval is Victory Lane, where be celebrated a Texas-style win in the Nationwide race in March 2003. In the previous two seasons of Nationwide racing at Texas, Nemechek posted a third in 2002 and fourth in 2001. Overall, Nemechek's Nationwide record at Texas includes five top 10s in nine races.
Though his Texas Sprint Cup record might not be as strong, Nemechek has had his good days since the track's inaugural event in April 1997. He qualified second and finished fourth in 1998. And in 2004, he led 33 laps and saw a potential win fade with a battery issue.
"There have been things said about the Texas track over the years, but I enjoy the place," said Nemechek. "The track has its own personality and you just have to adapt to it. It would be pretty boring if every track were the same."
Nemechek said the recent string of accidents hasi been personally difficult to deal with, but he admitted it's been even harder on the No. 78 Furniture Row Racing crew.
"Our guys deserve better, they've been putting in a lot of hours getting our cars prepared and repaired," said Nemechek. "I just want to go out there and give them something to feel good about. We need to qualify first and then get the job done on race day."
Of the seven accidents in the last 13 races that Nemechek has been involved in, six of them forced the veteran driver to retire from the race prematurely.
"I don't even want to hear about those accidents any more," added Nemechek. "We don't dwell on the past, it's the present that we're focused on. Hopefully my pleasant thoughts about Texas will result in a pleasant afternoon of racing on Sunday."