Under The Radar

Once Joe Nemechek moved into the top 10 on Lap 37 of 300 in Sunday's Nextel Cup race, he never looked back and went on to take the checkered flag with a solid sixth-place finish.

Driving the No. 01 USG Sheetrock Brand Chevrolet, Nemechek ran a consistently strong race that saw him post his fifth career top-10 result at New Hampshire International Speedway's "Magic Mile."

"Overall it was an excellent performance," said Nemechek. "The USG Sheetrock/U.S. Army Chevy was good all day and the guys did an awesome job with the pit stops -- especially the last one when we really needed it. It's a good feeling to get a little momentum on our side right now."

The biggest concern going into the Sylvania 300 was the cancellation of Saturday's race-trim practice sessions due to rain.

"When you come into a race without any practice time that makes for a very difficult situation," explained Nemechek. "But we're learning -- we weren't good the first time we came here in July but we learned from that experience. Ryan (crew chief Ryan Pemberton) made some great pre-race decisions and I had an awesome car right from the beginning."

One of the key decisions for the USG/U.S. Army team came early in the race when Pemberton decided not to pit when the second caution flew on Lap 35. Nemechek, who started 25th, was running in 19th place when that yellow came out. The decision to skip the pit stop proved to be correct as Nemechek jumped to seventh on the leader board and stayed in the top 10 for the remainder of the race.

"That was a perfect call," commented Nemechek. "We gained a lot of spots by staying out and everybody knows that track position is so important here. The reason we didn't pit on that second caution was because the car was that good. And when you have a good car, you can afford to take some chances. It definitely gave us the lift we needed. The only blemish was that I hated to give up a top five late in the race."

The NASCAR Nextel Cup Series continues Sunday (Sept. 26) at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.

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