NASCAR Winston Cup veteran Joe Nemechek confirmed today he will drive in "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo" NASCAR Busch Series event on June 15 at Kentucky Speedway and the June 16 NASCAR Winston Cup Series event in Michigan.

Nemechek visited Kentucky to put his No. 87 Cellular One Chevrolet NASCAR Busch Series machine through its paces on the 1.5-mile tri-oval.

He said that conditioning will play a key role in his success in both races. "It definitely will be a big challenge," Nemechek said. "It's a Saturday night race beginning at 8:00 p.m., in the same time zone, so air travel will be premium. Practice time for myself will be limited here, if I get any, so we have to do all this testing so I'm comfortable in the car when I get back. If the car is running good, handling good and you keep cool in the racecar, it's not really a big deal. Just having a rest period in between (races) is probably the most crucial."

Nemechek, whose Winston Cup Series Kmart sponsorship fell on hard times earlier this year, said he's happy to have the opportunity to drive his self-owned No. 87 Busch Series machine and the No. 25 UAW Delphi Winston Cup machine for Hendrick Motorsports during the 2002 season.

"It's been the year from hell," he said. "When it started out, it was supposed to be the greatest I've ever had and it just went south. I'm very fortunate that things always work out for a reason. I have an opportunity to drive the No. 25 (Winston Cup) car for Rick Hendrick and I'm trying to make the most of it. Our Cellular One Chevy will run 15 (Busch Series) races a year and that schedule doesn't change."

The veteran added that he was impressed with the new surface at Kentucky Speedway. "It's really, really smooth and has a lot of grip in it."

Kentucky Speedway continues its season with "The Kroger 300 Presented by Oreo" on June 15 at 8:00 p.m. The multitude of pre-race festivities will include a concert by pop/rock band Dishwalla. The weekend begins on June 14 with NASCAR Busch Series qualifying and final practice on Lexington Herald-Leader Pole Night beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday also includes "The Kentucky 150" NASCAR Hills Bros. All Pro Series race at 9:00 p.m. Tickets for all 2002 events at Kentucky Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased in five easy ways:

  • By phone at 1-888-652-RACE
  • On the World Wide Web at www.kentuckyspeedway.com
  • In person at either the speedway's Ft. Mitchell ticket office or at the Kentucky Speedway Fan Center off Ky. Hwy. 35 in Sparta, Ky.
  • At Tickets.com and all Tickets.com retail outlets located in Greater Cincinnati area Meijer Hader Hardware and Play-It-Again Sports stores.
  • In person at all Greater Cincinnati AAA locations.