The Callahan Report: Joe Nemechek Wins Emotional BGN Race
10 November 1997
HOMESTEAD, FL: Beating Joe Nemechek when he is having a good day is tough. It is even tougher to beat two Nemecheks. Joe Nemechek had some spiritual help today as he drove to a dominating victory in the Jiffy Lube 300 NASCAR Busch Grand National (BGN) race.
Nemechek's victory came at the same track where he lost his younger brother, John, earlier this year in a NASCAR Craftsman Truck race. With tears flowing, Nemechek commented, "Everything was just awesome today. I lost my brother, who was also my best friend, in turn one earlier this year. To come back and win the race, I don't even know what to say. It's unbelievable. I know this one was for him. He was definitely watching over me today."
Nemechek was certainly unstoppable today. He led the most laps (127), including the last 59 on his way to a 0.4 second victory ahead of Busch Grand National Champion, Randy LaJoie. Nemechek started the race from the third spot.
Nemechek has a full time ride with Felix Sabates in NASCAR Winston Cup. He runs a limited Busch Grand National schedule. The win today was his second of the year. Nemechek has won five Busch Grand National races in his young career. His most memorable BGN victory came in 1992 when he beat Dale Earnhardt to the line by inches at Loudon, NH.
Another Winston Cup regular finished third. Mark Martin's Ford was surrounded by Chevrolets all day. He was driving the only Ford in the top ten. Martin was followed across the line by Glen Allen and Jimmy Spencer.
At the conclusion of the race, Randy LaJoie gave the fans a magical performance. LaJoie began "cutting doughnuts" at the start/finish line. He became invisible to the crowd in all the smoke. By the time the smoke cleared, LaJoie was standing on top his car waving to the crowd. It was a classy performance by the two-time Busch Grand National Champion.
The final race of the 1997 BGN season was full of emotion and excitement. A fitting conclusion to another great year of competition and a teasing appetizer for 1998. The Busch Grand National series will lift off again in Central Florida in February at Daytona.
Jiffy Lube 300 final results with finishing position, (starting position), driver, hometown, and car: 1. (3) Joe Nemechek, Lakeland, Fla., Chevrolet 2. (19) Randy LaJoie, Norwalk, Conn., Chevrolet 3. (15) Mark Martin, Batesville, Ark., Ford 4. (26) Glenn Allen, Cincinnati, Chevrolet 5. (7) Jimmy Spencer, Berwick, Pa., Chevrolet 6. (22) Matt Kenseth, Cambridge, Wis., Chevrolet 7. (29) Todd Bodine, Chemung, N.Y., Pontiac . 8. (17) Kevin Schwantz, Paige, Texas, Chevrolet 9. (12) Joe Bessey, Scarbourgh, Maine, Chevrolet 10. (5) Tim Fedewa, Holt, Mich., Chevrolet 11. (9) Dennis Setzer, Newton, N.C., Chevrolet 12. (2) Steve Park, East Northport, N.Y., Chevrolet 13. (14) Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kannapolis, N.C., Chevrolet 14. (20) Jeff Fuller, Auburn, Mass., Chevrolet 15. (6) Elliott Sadler, Emporia, Va., Chevrolet 16. (37) Dale Jarrett, Hickory, N.C., Ford 17. (35) Kevin Lepage, Shelburne, Vt., Chevrolet 18. (40) Mark Green, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet 19. (36) Michael Waltrip, Owensboro, Ky., Chevrolet 20. (34) Tracy Leslie, Mount Clemens, Mich., Chevrolet 21. (24) Mike Dillon, Welcome, N.C., Chevrolet 22. (1) Mike McLaughlin, Waterloo, N.Y., Chevrolet 23. (41) Hank Parker, Jr., Denver, N.C., Chevrolet 24. (33) Randy Porter, Greenville, S.C., Ford 25. (32) Hermie Sadler, Emporia, Va., Chevrolet 26. (31) Buckshot Jones, Monticello, Ga., Pontiac 27. (42) Ed Berrier, Winston-Salem, N.C., Ford 28. (13) Wayne Grubb, Mechanicsville, Va., Chevrolet 29. (18) Jeff Krogh, Kamiah, Idaho, Chevrolet 30. (30) Phil Parsons, Detroit, Mich., Chevrolet 31. (27) Robert Pressley, Asheville, N.C., Chevrolet 32. (16) Elton Sawyer, Chesapeake, Va., Ford 33. (8) Greg Sacks, Mattituck, N.Y., Chevrolet 34. (38) Ted Christopher, Plainville, Conn., Chevrolet 35. (4) Jason Keller, Greenville, S.C., Chevrolet 36. (10) Scott Lagasse, St. Augustine, Fla., Chevrolet 37. (21) Tony Stewart, Rushville, Ind., Pontiac 38. (23) Jeff Purvis, Clarksville, Tenn., Chevrolet 39. (39) Dale Shaw, Center Conway, N.H., Chevrolet 40. (25) Brad Loney, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 3, Chevrolet 41. (11) Dick Trickle, Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Chevrolet 42. (28) Mark Krogh, Kamiah, Idaho, Chevrolet
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