On Friday, February 20, Joe Nemechek and the Gere Kennon-led NEMCO Motorsports team secured a top-20 finish in the Nextera Energy Resources 250 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event despite incurring damage to the No. 8 D.A.B. Constructors Inc. / SWM International Inc. Chevrolet Silverado during an accident on Lap 15 on Friday at Daytona International Speedway.
In the season-opener event, the Lakeland, Fla., driver started 18th on row nine for the 100-lap event. After the green flag waved in front of an estimated 35,000 fans, Nemechek worked his way into the 16th-postion by Lap 10.
While running in the 18th position, Nemechek could not avoid right-front damage to the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado when he was collected in a multi-truck incident on Lap 15 that brought out the first caution flag of the event. The 51-year-old veteran pitted multiple times so that the NEMCO Motorsports team could make repairs to his Chevrolet Silverado before Kennon determined that the No. 8 D.A.B. Constructors Inc. / SWM International Inc. Chevrolet had to go to the garage to continue to make repairs.
“When that wreck started, I thought I had it cleared, but the next thing you know, another truck clipped my right-front," added Nemechek. "It did a lot of damage and it took time to get it repaired to where we could make a few laps. The crew worked very hard; we had to move the radiator, re-weld the front-end back on, and keep the front-end from rubbing on the tires and on the ground so we could continue to make laps. It also tore up the back-end of the truck, destroyed the body and the front-clip. The crew did a great job in the amount of laps that it took to get it fixed. Of course, being the driver in the seat you are wanting to go quickly, but the realistic part of it is that it has to be fixed right or else you will not get another opportunity. My hats off to them for doing a good job."
Nemechek returned to action on Lap 49. Nemechek, in 29th-place at the race's halfway point, continued to experience handling issues as a result of the body damage incurred during the Lap-15 incident, but additional pit stops for repairs helped remedy the issue. Over the remainder of the race, Nemechek persevered and picked up positions in the closing laps of the race.
In the end, Nemechek crossed the finish line 20th, 38 laps down to the race leader.
“We are definitely looking forward to Atlanta (Motor Speedway) after a tough weekend at Daytona International Speedway,” Nemechek concluded.