Joe Nemechek said he had an awesome car and that it was time for him to lead the race at Richmond but, as he was moving into second place at the midway point of the event, he and Jamie McMurray got tangled, sending both of the cars crashing into the wall.

The end result for Nemechek was a frustrating 36th-place finish in Friday's night's Chevy American Revolution 400, little reward for an eighth position start and a solid run going for the #01 US Army Chevrolet.

Returning to the circuit where he won last year, and where former US Army driver Jerry Nadeau suffered serious head injuries, things appeared to be going right for Nemechek and co but, on lap 201, the demons that had cost him top-ten finishes at the past four Nextel Cup races resurfaced as he was in the process of passing McMurray between turns one and two.

"The car was awesome and it was time for me to go to the front," Nemechek explained, "I got up underneath McMurray fair and square but, from my perspective, I went down to the yellow line and he came down on me. Heck, when you're all the way underneath somebody you're not supposed to chop him. I did not anticipate him coming down.

"If I wanted to be overly cautious, I would have backed up, let him go and worked on him again. But, heck, I had a fast car and it was ready to lead the race. I guess it was one of those racing deals.

"I was giving guys tons of room all night. If they were getting underneath me I gave them the room -- it was too early in the race to do anything crazy. It's really frustrating because we had the equipment. And as I said, it was time for me to go up there and lead the race, but I didn't finish the job."

Following the incident, Nemechek was able to drive his crippled racecar to the garage, where the Army of One crew worked for 40 minutes to repair the damage. Nemechek returned to the track on lap 297, but was a frustrated man.

"This [bad luck] is getting to be awfully redundant and, quite frankly, very aggravating," he sighed, "Why this is happening to us I do not know. But I do know that this team is very good and we will prove that. You can take that to the bank."