Joe Nemechek biography from Nascar.com
Joe Nemechek, who scored a breakthrough Winston Cup victory in 1999, made a huge stride in consistency and competitiveness in 2000 with Andy Petree Racing. The Naples, Fla., native finished 15th in the point standings, his career best by 11 positions and solid consistency down the stretch indicates he might be ready to make the next step in 2001.
Nemechek returns for his second season in APR's No. 33 Oakwood Homes Chevrolets, tuned by rookie crew chief Danny Gill, with aspirations of getting his second victory to go with the inaugural he won in September 1999 at New Hampshire.
Nemechek, who moved to the Winston Cup Series after winning the Busch Series championship in 1992, started the 2000 season with a lurch, finishing 42nd in the Daytona 500 and worse than 30th in three of the first four races. However, he ended the season with three top-5 and nine top-10 results.
In 13 of the 17 races in the second half of the season, Nemechek finished in the top-25 a streak that actually started with an 11th place run at Sears Point in June, when he was 25th in the standings. Qualifying was not a problem for "Front Row Joe" either, as he qualified in the first round 23 times in 34 races, including winning a Bud Pole for the Winston 500 at Talladega. He finished second in his first return to New Hampshire since winning and also ended up third at Talladega in the fall.
Nemechek began his racing career in motocross at age 13. In six years he took home more than 300 trophies. He made the switch to stock cars in 1986 and along the way has posted victories in every series in which he has raced. Nemechek won championships and rookie of the year honors in three different series in three straight years -- the Southeastern Mini Stock Series in 1987, the U.S.A.R. series in 1988 and the All Pro series in 1989. He followed that with Busch Series Rookie of the Year honors in 1990.
He led his family-owned team to the Busch Series championship in 1992 as well as back-to-back most popular driver awards in 1992-93. He continues to operate Nemco Motorsports with longtime crew chief Brian Pattie, which fields part-time efforts in NASCAR's three premier series for Nemechek and selected drivers.
Nemechek has certainly seen and experienced quite a bit in his relatively brief Winston Cup Series career. Joining Larry Hedrick's team, he contended for the 1994 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year title, finishing third in a strong field of candidates. He formed his own team in the latter stages of 1994 and secured Burger King sponsorship for the entire 1995 season. He moved to Team SABCO after two years as his own boss, then joined APR in 2000.
Throughout his racing career, he has drawn on the mechanical engineering knowledge gained when he attended the Florida Institute of Technology before turning to racing full-time.