In the Pits- MB2
Martinsville event marked Nemechek's 400th career Cup start
Joe Nemechek reached another career milestone when the green flag dropped for the April 2 NASCAR Nextel Cup series race at Martinsville Speedway. It was his 400th career Cup start.
Nemechek was not aware of the milestone heading into the 500-mile event. When he was informed of how many races he had competed in, he paused and said, “Wow, that’s a lot of races and a lot of miles. I hope to do 400 more.”
Nemechek’s first start was July 11, 1993 at New Hampshire International Speedway. He started 15th and finished 36th in a family-owned Chevrolet sponsored by Dentyne.
“I’ve been in a racecar for a good portion of my life, and I have loved every minute of it,” offered Nemechek, who won the Busch Series season championship in 1992. “I really mean it when I say I want to drive in 400 more races.”
When asked about some of the major differences—good or bad—in his Cup career since 1993, Nemechek said, “It’s been mostly good. The money, competition, safety, venues, equipment and popularity are all better—much better, and I am happy to have been a part of the sport’s rapid growth.”
Speaking about money, Nemechek earned $9,650 for finishing 36th in his first Cup race. In the Martinsville event marking his 400th start, he finished 23rd and earned $92,245. “That is almost $90,000 more—I like that kind of inflation,” said a smiling Nemechek.
“I’ve been blessed and am very much appreciative of all of the support I received,” said Nemechek, a four-time winner in the Cup series. “I’ve been associated with many great teams and outstanding individuals. But what I have right now with MB2 Motorsports and the U.S. Army sponsorship is one of the best situations I’ve been in. Every week I go into a race feeling we can win. We’re competitive and have a great spirit. Working with Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton), his crew and Jay Frye (general manager) is as good as it gets.
“Driving the Army car and representing the brave soldiers here and abroad are awesome responsibilities,” continued Nemechek. “I’ve said it many times, I have the best sponsor in the garage.”
Photo caption: No. 01 U.S. Army Chevrolet driver Joe Nemechek