Lame-duck Nemecheck rolls

Monday, November 5, 2001

ROCKINGHAM, N.C. -- Lame-duck status may be the best motivation a driver can have.

Joe Nemechek, leaving Andy Petree Racing at the end of the season because his car is losing its sponsor, won for the second time in his career Sunday with a dominating performance in the Pop Secret Microwave Popcorn 400 at North Carolina Speedway.

It was similar to his only other win, which came in 1999 when he was also a lame-duck driver. Nemechek already knew he was leaving his Felix Sabates-owned team when he made that trip to the winner's circle.

"This is kind of the same scenario when we were leaving Felix Sabates," Nemechek said. "Maybe I do my best work in these situations."

He's not the only one.

Kenny Wallace, another driver looking for a new job at the end of the year, tied his career-best finish by finishing second.

It capped a remarkable weekend for Wallace, who has been filling in for the injured Steve Park in the Chevrolet Park drove to victory here in February.

Wallace captured the pole for this race and won the Busch Series race on Saturday.

"If second is as bad as I've done all weekend, that's a pretty incredible week," Wallace said.

Johnny Benson was third Sunday, followed by Dale Jarrett and Jerry Nadeau. Ward Burton was sixth and was followed in the top 10 by Tony Stewart, Ricky Rudd, Bobby Labonte and Matt Kenseth.

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