Superspeedway History has Nemechek Feeling Upbeat for 'Dega
If Joe Nemechek appears to have an extra bounce in his step when he arrives at Talladega Superspeedway for this weekend’s Sprint Cup race, he has good reason for the increased adrenalin. He is going to a racetrack where he has had success in both qualifying and the race.
And with his superspeedway qualifying effort of third during Pole Day at Daytona in February, it even adds to the anticipation for the Furniture Row driver.
Nemechek's history at Talladega includes three poles, which ties him with Jeremy Mayfield and Elliott Sadler with the most No. 1 starting positions among active drivers at the 2.66-mile oval.
"I definitely feel good about qualifying at Talladega," said Nemechek, known as Front Row Joe. "We'll have the same Chevy Impala SS that we nearly won the pole with at Daytona. There are a lot of variables, but we do have a great superspeedway program at Furniture Row Racing."
Though Nemechek's first priority is to qualify his No. 78 National Day of Prayer Chevy for Sunday's race, he also feels strongly about having a solid performance on race day.
"We had a pretty good run going at Daytona until a lug nut went through our radiator," explained Nemechek. "I really feel that we will be even stronger at Talladega. I've always enjoyed racing there. It's a cerebral race and it gets pretty exciting at the end when everyone is jockeying for position while traveling nearly 200 miles per hour. It's usually a white-knuckler during the closing laps."
Nemechek has five top-10 finishes at Talladega. His best finish was third in the 2000 fall race and his best finish in the spring race was sixth in 2001.
"We're a young race team and we're still learning about the COT (Car of Tomorrow)," noted Nemechek. "Jay (crew chief, Jay Guy) and all the guys are working hard to make the car better. I see plenty of positives for this Furniture Row team. Talladega could be our stepping stone."