John Hunter Nemechek will do anything to win a race, and the NASCAR star proved that this past weekend. The 18-year-old overcame missed flights, delayed flights and limited practice to win his second straight Champion Racing Oil Masters of the Pros 144 at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Missouri.
Nemechek’s win helped him maintain a perfect batting average of 1.000% in JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour events. Of the seven JEGS Tour events he’s raced, he’s won them all.
“It means a lot. I’m still undefeated in the JEGS deal too,” said Nemechek. “It’s nice to have another green jacket to hang up on the wall next to the other one. Yesterday we had a little bit of a rough day, couldn’t quite get the truck right, so this makes it all worth it.”
After racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Dover International Speedway in Delaware on Friday, Nemechek made the trip to Missouri Saturday morning. A delayed flight out of Delaware resulted in a missed connection in Illinois and ultimately resulted in a late arrival to the race track.
Once he arrived at the race track it was game on. Nemechek and the NEMCO Motorsports crew made good use of their limited track time throughout the day. Despite limited practice, Nemechek qualified his No. 8 Pro Late Model in the ninth position for the 144-lap event.
From the drop of the green, Nemechek wasted no time working his way to the front. By lap 10 he was up to sixth and by lap 18 he had already driven his way into the third position. The Mooresville, North Carolina driver held steady in third until lap 83 when he made his move into second and held onto that position until the break at lap 100.
“At the break we just made a couple minor adjustments, just what I wanted to make the car better for the end,” said Nemechek.
On lap 115, Nemechek ran down the leader and took the lead for the first time. With just under 10 laps to go, Nemechek surrendered the lead to Trevor Noles. Not to be denied another green jacket, Nemechek ran down Noles once again, reclaiming the lead on lap 138. He would hold onto the lead on a green-white-checkered finish to win the 144-lap main event for the second straight year.
“It makes all the flight delays, the late nights, the early mornings worth it, that’s for sure,” said Nemechek. “I can’t thank all my guys enough, that was one heck of a show. (Noles) raced me clean there at the end, which I liked. It came down to whoever’s car was better and we had the better car tonight.”
Next up for Nemechek will be the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway (NC) on Friday, May 20. For more information on John Hunter Nemechek, visit www.johnhunternemechek.com.