One would think that after winning the Snowball Derby, the biggest Late Model race in North America, John Hunter Nemechek would have been afforded some time to relax and celebrate for a few weeks. But as those involved in the sport of stock car racing know, winning doesn’t happen without hard work and preparation.
Just a few short days after celebrating the team’s Snowball Derby win in Pensacola, Florida, Nemechek, his father Joe and the NEMCO Motorsports team were right back in their Mooresville, North Carolina shop prepping hard for the 2015 season. After a brief but busy offseason, Nemechek will now begin his jam-packed 2015 campaign this weekend during Speedfest 2015 at Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia.
“The minute we got back from the Derby we were working on trucks and looking ahead to the next race,” said Nemechek. “The Derby is in the back of our minds. It always will be. But we are looking forward to this weekend and going down there, working hard and getting our cars right. Hopefully all the hard work pays off and we will be able to pick up another a win.”
NEMCO Motorsports recently announced that they were changing manufacturers for both their Late Model and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series programs, switching from Toyota to Chevrolet. The switch has caused some extra work for Nemechek and his team.
“We’re trying to get the Trucks ready to go to the wind tunnel and Daytona and Atlanta and trying to get Late Model stuff ready. It’s been hectic,” Nemechek said. “Last year it was a little bit simpler. It wasn’t as bad because we had trucks ready from the year before that. It’s pretty much been totally different (this year). The offseason is always hectic. You (usually) have your downtime in December and then all hell breaks loose the first day of January.”
Despite the busy schedule working in the team’s shop, Nemechek wouldn’t want it any other way. He says that staying active in the shop allows him to stay focused on racing and gives him the feeling of a shorter offseason.
“We’re racing a month after the Derby, but a month is actually too long,” he said. “The shorter the offseason the better it is.”
Now, just over a month since his Snowball Derby win, Nemechek is itching to get back behind the wheel of a race car. Thankfully for him, he’ll get the chance to race, twice, this weekend at the 3/8-mile D-shaped oval in Georgia, and he has just one thing on his mind.
“We aren’t points racing so whatever we have to do to win, we are going to do,” Nemechek said. “That pretty much goes for the whole year with the Late Model deal. I won’t be running for points anywhere so we are running to win.”
Nemechek is the defending winner of the Pro Late Model 125 at Speedfest. He’s looking to defend that title this weekend as well as claim the checkered flag at the end of the Super Late Model 200 by using the momentum he gained at the end of 2014.
“I definitely think that we have some momentum going in there,” said Nemechek, also the winner of the 2014 All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (TN). “Having momentum and winning races is definitely a confidence booster. We just won two of the biggest Late Model races that there are. I feel like our guys are still pumped up about that.”
For more information on John Hunter Nemechek, visit www.johnhunternemchek.com and follow him on Twitter at @JHNemechek.