As Joe Nemechek prepares for Sunday?s Tropicana 400 at Chicagoland Speedway, the veteran driver has a strong sense the 01 team has fended off the mechanical demons and a turnabout is in progress following his 10th-place finish in last week?s race at Daytona International Speedway.

Nemechek and his MB2 Motorsports team will not only head to Chicago with a renewed zeal, but also with a new look. This will be the second of four races in 2004 featuring USG Sheetrock Brand as the primary sponsor on the 01 Chevrolet. The U.S. Army, the team?s main sponsor at all other Nextel Cup events, will be an associate sponsor at the USG races.

And the hot rod that will be adorned with USG?s blue, white and red colors will be one of the fastest cars in the MB2 stable.

?We?re bringing to Chicago what we call the Texas car,? said Nemechek. ?It?s been an awfully strong machine everywhere we?ve raced ? Texas, Charlotte, California and Michigan. The final results won?t tell you that, but we know how good the car is, and if we can keep it clean from those miserable demons we should have another good finish.?

The Texas car that Nemechek referred to had a third-place finish locked at Texas Motor Speedway in April but fell back to 14th when a spark plug broke late in the race. At California, the same car was 10th when it ran out of fuel with two laps remaining and ended up 28th. At Michigan, the Texas machine was running fifth with 27 laps remaining and then the engine let go, sending the 01 car to the transporter with a 35th-place result.

?We?ll have a fast car for a fast Chicagoland track,? explained Nemechek, who will also compete in Saturday?s Busch race. ?What we need now is to get on a positive streak and put ourselves in contention to win a race.

?For those who haven?t followed us closely I am sure they?re saying it?s the same old public relations flack from a struggling race team. But for those who have followed us closely, they know that we had some awesome cars in the last 10 or 11 races but have not been able to capitalize on the performance level.

"Those folks understand, as we do, that this 01 team has the talent and the resources to win on any given Sunday?or Saturday night. I?m as excited going into each race as if I were in the top 10 in points because I know we can run with the best.?

After Chicagoland, the upcoming schedule for USG Sheetrock Brand as the primary sponsor on the 01 car will be at New Hampshire International Speedway on Sept. 19 and Darlington Raceway, Nov. 14.

Click here for information about the July 9-11 NASCAR weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.

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