BROOKLYN, Mich. - The dark cloud that's followed Joe Nemechek all season finally allowed a ray of hope Saturday.
After posting the quickest lap during pole qualifying at 191.581 mph, Nemechek had to wait through an hour-long shower before officially clinching the top starting spot for today's GFS Marketplace 400 at the Michigan International Speedway.
Rain forced NASCAR to put time trials under a yellow flag with only five drivers remaining to qualify. A week earlier, a similiar shower washed out time trials with only eight cars to go, erasing the time charts and setting the starting lineup by owner points.
This time, NASCAR waited for a break in the weather and managed to complete the session.
"That's kind of how our luck has been," Nemechek said. "We've been so close to winning and there has been two or three races we've given away right there at the end. And now to get this pole means a lot to the team and the crew."
Nemechek's last pole came at Kansas Speedway last October. He also won that race.
This year, however, he's struggled in the U.S. Army Chevrolet. He's 17th in the current point standings with five top-10 finishes.
NEWMAN DELIVERS AT DOMINOS: Ryan Newman started 38th in Saturday's Dominos 250 for the NASCAR Busch Series, but that didn't keep him from winning on the junior circuit for the second consecutive week.
Newman stormed past Greg Biffle after a restart with six laps to go to back up his road course victory a week ago at Watkins Glen.
Biffle beat Carl Edwards in a side-by-side drag race for second place.
PERFECT MATCH: ST Motorsports from the Busch Series and Wood Brothers Racing from the Nextel Cup Series will work together next year in a unique partnership to help both teams.
ST's two Busch Series cars and the Wood Brothers' No. 21 Ford will be moved to a single shop, where the Woods and Ford Motorsports will be responsible for building and maintaining the fleet of race cars. ST Motorsports owner Tad Geschickter will be responsible for marketing and sponsorships for both teams, and his first priority is to find funding for the Woods for next year.