Accidents Thwart Nemechek's Run in Pocono
August 3, 2008
LONG POND, Pa. (Aug. 3, 2008) -- The first lap in Sunday's Sprint Cup event proved to be an omen for Joe Nemechek, who finished 41st in the Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway.
Before Nemechek's No. 78 Furniture Row Racing Chevrolet Impala SS completed the first lap, it got involved in an accident with Kevin Harvick's No. 29 Chevy. It wasn't a race-ending incident for Nemechek, but the collision damaged the car.
After a quick repair on pit road to the car's front-end splitter, Nemechek returned to action on the 2.5-mile tri oval.
"Though the early crash was a setback, we still were able to gain in track position," said Nemechek.
But as the 200 lap, 500-mile race wore on, Nemechek and the No. 78 team encountered more problems.
The team was assessed a one-lap penalty for a pit-road violation on Lap 55. The penalty was later overturned by NASCAR.
"I applaud NASCAR for overturning the penalty, but when it was issued it was one more thing to deal with," offered Nemechek. "We could never get into a good rhythm. When you're at the back of the pack in dirty air it's hard to pass."
When rain started to fall at Pocono Raceway on Lap 127, teams began to rethink their pit strategy. Some teams gambled that rain would shorten the race while others gambled the race would go the distance even though NASCAR was forced to red-flag the event for 41 minutes due to the weather.
The Furniture Row Racing decision made by crew chief Jay Guy that the race would go the scheduled 200 laps turned out to be the right call. But unfortunately for the No. 78 team, it never got the opportunity to take advantage of being on the correct pit cycle.
On Lap 138, Nemechek's and Paul Menard's car got tangled, causing race-ending damage to both cars.
"The accident with Menard cost us a decent finish because as it turned out we were on the right pit cycle," explained Nemechek. "Jay (Guy) made the right call, and had we been able to finish the race, we would have probably ended with a top-20 result. It just wasn't our day."
Nemechek and the Denver, Colo.-based Furniture Row Racing team will be looking for a better result next week at the Watkins Glen International road course. But before the team heads to the upstate New York track, it will conduct a one-day test session on Monday at a road course in Pueblo, Colo.
About Furniture Row and Furniture Row Racing:
Based in Denver, Colo., Furniture Row Racing® is owned and sponsored by Furniture Row® Companies. The team runs the No. 78 Sprint Cup car from its home base in Denver. For more information about the team visit http://www.FurnitureRowRacing.com. Furniture Row Companies is one of the largest family-owned specialty home furnishings and bedding retailers. The company is comprised of five specialty store brands including: Sofa Mart®, Oak Express®, Bedroom Expressions®, Denver Mattress Co® http://www.DenverMattress.com, and Big Sur Water Beds®. For more information and locations, please visit http://www.FurnitureRow.com or http://www.FurnitureRowRacing.com