Joe Nemechek began his racing career in motocross at age 13 taking home more than 300 trophies in six years. Making the transition to stockcars in 1986, he has posted victories in every series in which he has raced along the way.
Early achievements include All-Pro Late Model Rookie of the Year in 1989 and NASCAR Busch Series Rookie of the Year in 1990. He led his family-owned team to the NASCAR Busch Series Championship in 1992 and was named Most Popular Driver in 1992 and 1993.
Nemechek made the jump to the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series in 1994. Since 1997, he has collected nine pole awards and numerous front row starting spots lending credence to his claim upon the nickname “Front Row Joe.”
His victory in the 1999 Jiffy Lube 300 at New Hampshire International Speedway, however, stood out as the first major milestone of a promising career. Win number two came in the late stages of the 2001 season when Nemechek dominated the Pop Secret 400 at North Carolina Motor Speedway.
In 2003, Nemechek took over the wheel of the No. 25 UAW-Delphi Chevy driving for Hendrick Motorsports. Only 11 races into the season, he claimed victory in the Pontiac Excitement 400 at Richmond International Raceway. Later that year, Nemechek was named as driver of the MB2 Motorsports/U.S. Army entry for the 2004 season.
In October of 2004, Kansas Speedway set the stage for Nemechek’s most successful career weekend. Front Row Joe reconfirmed his name as he picked up the Bud Pole award for the NEXTEL Cup race, but he didn’t stop there. He went on to sweep the weekend with wins in the Busch Series race as well as the NEXTEL Cup Series race putting him in the records books as the first driver to pick up the triple crown.
Through his NEXTEL Cup success, Nemechek has continued his NEMCO Motorsports Busch Series operation with which he competes on a limited-schedule basis. Known throughout the sport as one of the premier operations, Nemechek himself boasts 16 wins, 18 poles, 73 top-fives and 120 top-ten finishes to date.
Building on the success of the team, the NEMCO operation expanded in 2001 with the addition of a second Busch Series entry. Since then, many drivers have achieved success in NEMCO cars including Kyle Busch, Ron Fellows, David Reutimann and Greg Biffle. In the 2003 season alone, Nemechek and Biffle’s combined efforts led to five wins and seven poles, with an additional pole added by Reutimann.
Late in the 2004 season, the NEMCO team endured major personnel changes leading to the addition of crew chief Gary Putnam. In only his third outing, Putnam led the team to the memorable Kansas victory reinforcing the team’s presence in the series. Continuing to rebuild throughout the 2005 season, Nemechek grabbed the season-opening pole at Daytona and posted top-ten performances at Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dover and Watkins Glen.
Following this, Joe settled into the US Army NEXTEL Cup car for the next two seasons. where he won one race. After that, Joe spent time in the #13 and the #78 before returning to the #87 under the NEMCO umbrella. Today he is racing the #87 full time in both the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series.