Even as John Hunter Nemechek began a new chapter in his racing career last Saturday in his first race as a full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, the rising star is still eager to check off a few more items on his short track accomplishments wish list.
Nemechek, the winner of such prestigious events as the Snowball Derby and All American 400, will make the trip up to Michigan this Tuesday to compete in the Battle at Berlin 251, a Super Late Model special event at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Michigan.
Three dozen of the best SLM drivers in the country are scheduled to compete and Nemechek knows he will have to bring his A-game to take home another trophy.
“I hadn’t seen the racetrack until we came up here a few weeks ago to test,” said Nemechek upon arriving at the facility Monday. “It’s definitely a tricky place, but it’s not something we can’t grasp. I’ve learned you have to have rear grip to get good drive off. The longer you run, the more you spin the rear tires. Keeping the car turning in the middle of the corner without hurting the drive off is going to be key.
The Battle at Berlin event will be 251 grueling laps around the Michigan bullring, but Nemechek has proven to be at his best in the extra-distance events.
“I definitely like these long races,” added Nemechek. ” I think it takes a little bit more of a driver to run all those laps and have the endurance to contend at the end. But I’ve grown up racing these long races, especially now with the Truck Series team. I like making pit stops too.”
If he can indeed take the flag after 251 long laps on a warm June evening, Nemechek says that it will immediately go near the top of his racing résumé.
“This is something we’ve been looking forward to for a while. Ever since we got back from our test, we’ve been working on this car. Any big late model race you can win, you want to put your name in the history books.”