Saturday, June 20, 2009

Nemechek Steps down: Speed to drive the 87 at Sonoma

by M Roberts

Red Bull Racing and Joe Nemechek have worked out a deal Friday night to get Scott Speed into the No. 87 Sprint Cup car for Sunday’s Toyota/Save Mart 350.

Nemechek qualified in the 31st position Friday using one of Red Bull racing’s old chassis from last season. This will be the second time this season that Speed has used a Nemechek qualified car because Speed couldn’t qualify.

Speed had a good run going in Friday’s qualifying session but overdrove his car and went off course, making him one of four drivers who failed to qualify. While Speed has had trouble all season racing on the ovals, there was some excitement within the team for the upcoming road race just because of his extensive road racing skills.

Prior to Speed’s arrival into NASCAR, he drove in Formula One for two seasons. While he didn’t get any podium finishes, he did manage to get two 9th place finishes for a team that was well below the standards of the upper echelon.

Red Bull Racing GM Jay Frye struck another deal with Nemechek to insure their International investment and association with Speed would be represented on the track where he will likely perform well. No specific details were given about what kind of compensation Nemechek would get for stepping down from the ride; as of now it is just a favor that will be paid at a later date.

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