Nemechek Makes It Two in a Row With Truck Win at Iowa

By Rob Gray, NASCAR Wire Service


NEWTON, Iowa — With six laps to go, John Hunter Nemechek made his bold, last-gasp move.




Nemechek, who charged to a Father’s Day win for his dad, Joe, last week at Gateway Motorsports Park, reprised his stirring comeback role in Friday’s pulse-pounding NASCAR Camping World Series M&M’s 200 presented by Casey's General Store at Iowa Speedway.


"Every one of these guys who works on this team, this is awesome," said John Hunter Nemechek, who passed Johnny Sauter on the high-side with six circuits left.


The dramatic ending to a race that ran remarkably clean for most of the first two stages was set up by an incident involving ThorSport teammates Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton with 15 laps to go.


Nemechek and all the other contenders — except for Sauter — used the caution to head to pit road. Nemechek’s crew chief, Gere Kennon, outfitted the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet with four fresh tires.


Sound strategy?




The reason the team won?


Not necessarily.


"He drove his butt off tonight," Kennon said of Nemechek, who had notched one top-10 finish previously at Iowa. "He was awesome. It’s awesome for the (Nemechek) family."


Sauter settled for second after leading for 72 laps. The series points leader said being passed by Chase Briscoe — who led seven laps before sliding to seventh — had likely already relegated him to a second-at-best finish.


"I got taken to school by Chase Briscoe," Sauter said. "I think tonight was a second-place finish regardless."


Sauter retains a 42-point lead over Christopher Bell, who finished fifth after dominating roughly two-thirds of the race.


Nemechek notched his fifth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. He stood in the fourth position when he and several others emerged from that final, fateful pit stop.


"Somehow it all worked out," Nemechek said. "The last strategy call, taking four tires instead of two, there at the end, we kind of had that strategy if a caution came out towards the end we were going to come no matter what, and no matter who came, just because tires were such a big factor."


Noah Gragson earned the pole — his second of the season — held off Bell for the first 16 laps. Bell rode the high-line to surge ahead one lap later. The Kyle Busch Motorsports teammates remained 1-2 the remainder of the 60-lap opening stage, which Bell won by building a 3.2-seconds lead by the time the stint ended.


"Drove like a dream," Bell said at the time.


That blissful state lingered for the 22-year-old Oklahoman — until it was interrupted.


While the trucks directly behind Bell shuffled, his No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota continued to shine.


But dreams of any type rarely last long and Bell saw his diminished by a gamble that didn’t pay off.


With eight laps remaining in the second stage, Bell stayed on the race track while most of the other leaders pitted and added fresh tires following a caution precipitated by Mike Senica’s spin in Turn 2.


The gamble cost him. Sauter swept high to pass Bell with five laps remaining in stage two, but another caution waved after an incident involving Kaz Grala, Cody Coughlin and Ben Rhodes.


Bell remained optimistic despite his rapid drop to 12th that preceded the final stage.


"It wouldn’t be fun if it was easy," Bell said shortly before the race resumed.


Friday proved to be anything but — for everyone but the Nemecheks, who reveled in another dream-like Victory Lane celebration after spending all night getting the truck ready.


"It feels really good," said Nemechek, who earned the pole at Iowa last season and felt a measure of redemption after surging to the win this time. "This is unbelievable for sure. … Restarting fourth there and pushing Johnny into Turn 1, I was kind of in the catbird seat."

Nemechek Scores 'Incredible' NCWTS Victory at Gateway

By Matt Crossman - NASCAR Wire Service


ST. LOUIS, Mo. - "Happy Father’s Day!" a crew member shouted at team owner Joe Nemechek Saturday night as track workers put together the Victory Lane stage behind them. Nemechek had already passed out a half dozen hugs and handshakes to other members of the team he owns, NEMCO Motorsports. "Incredible," was all Nemechek could muster in response after watching his son, John Hunter Nemechek, pass Matt Crafton late in the race and win the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park.


It was the fourth win of John Hunter’s trucks series career, all of them driving for his father. But it was the first in which his father was also a participant. The win puts John Hunter Nemechek in elite company. Other sons to win a NASCAR national series race against their father include Richard Petty, Kyle Petty, Davey Allison and Dale Earnhardt Jr.


The elder Nemechek completed just two laps and finished 28th out of 30 cars and watched the rest of the race from atop his son’s pit box. As the laps wound down, he tried, not terribly successfully, to remain calm as his son diced through the front of the field. He keyed the mic a couple times and told his son, "Be smart."


It was advice the younger Nemechek took to heart. His trucks have been far faster than his results have shown so far this season, and the last thing he wanted to do was be impatient and drive himself out of a good finish. He crashed in the two previous races and had only finished on the lead lap twice all season.


John Hunter Nemechek led all 35 laps of the first stage of the race and 46 overall. Chase Briscoe led all of the second stage. Matt Crafton seized control of the race when he took zero tires on a green flag pit stop at Lap 138 of 160.


The first and only caution that wasn’t related to the end of a stage didn’t come until there were 13 laps left—an unusually long stretch of green flag racing considering how difficult of a track Gateway is to navigate. The caution bunched the field back up, and Nemechek, who had two fresher tires, squeezed by Crafton for the final time with five to go.


"I felt like we had the truck to beat if we had track position," Nemechek said. "Track position was everything. Clean air was everything."


When John Hunter pulled into Victory Lane, his dad ran over and stuck his head in the window. They shared a moment about all of the struggles they overcame together to win this race on Father’s Day eve. They can't outspend other teams, so they have to out think and out drive them.


"It’s taken everything that I have to get here," Joe Nemechek said. "Our future in this deal is not certain. Hopefully this can spark some interest in sponsorship."


Joe knew his son would be emotional in Victory Lane, and he wanted to tell him he was proud of him before the chaos of the celebration began. "He’s the man. He drove his butt off tonight," he said.


John Hunter’s emotions poured out in the post-race celebration. "To give him a Father’s Day gift, something like this, is very special. As a boss, as a mentor, as a dad, pretty much everything he is to me, it’s definitely inspiring. I won’t ever be able to thank him enough."


John Hunter Nemechek Eligible for the NCWTS Chase

John Hunter Nemechek maneuvered his way through various melees, holding off competitors in a two-lap dash to the checkered flag to win the Great Clips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at the Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 27. Nemechek started from the 18th position and led for eight laps en route to his first victory in his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. It was also his 10th top-five finish in 32 career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series starts.

On Saturday morning Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado for NEMCO Motorsports, qualified 18th with a time of 31.371 seconds at 176.724 mph. From the green flag Nemechek began to combat a loose-handling Chevrolet Silverado. Crew chief Gere Kennon ordered adjustments on every pit stop, ranging from air pressure to wedge to track bar and a combination of all three adjustments, and was able to dial-in the handling to Nemechek’s preference. By Lap 20, the Mooresville, N.C., native was scored in the 21st position. Taking advantage of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ first ‘caution clock’ under yellow flag conditions on Lap 39, Nemechek came to pit road for four tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel, wedge and track bar adjustments. The 18-year-old then began his steady climb through the field after gaining five positions on pit road due to quick service by the crew. Despite the uncomfortable handling of the No. 8 Chevrolet, Nemechek was able to maintain position. Nemechek worked his way into the top 10 by Lap 54. While in the 10th position, Nemechek brought his No. 8 Chevrolet to pit road for a scheduled service of four tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel and a wedge adjustment on Lap 60. He was able to restart in the sixth place. Nemechek held position until the 20-minute caution clock forced another yellow flag with 24 laps remaining. Under the command of Kennon on Lap 107, Nemechek pitted for four tires with an air pressure adjustment, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Nemechek then claimed the second spot after gaining four positions on pit road. Two corners after a restart on Lap 112, a multi-truck incident unfolded resulting in a red flag on Lap 113. Nemechek then took the restart from the third position. A few laps later, the leader was involved in an incident to bring out the caution, again, at the 1.54-mile track. Nemechek chose the inside line for a restart on Lap 199 of 200. On a late-race restart with two laps to go, the 18-year-old came through the tri-oval to win the Great Clips 200, his second-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory, becoming the youngest NASCAR national series winner at the Atlanta Motor Speedway. With his win in Saturday’s 200.2-mile event, Nemechek claims NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase eligibility with a victory during the regular season.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will take more than a month off, returning on Saturday, April 2 for the Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at the Martinsville (Va.) Speedway. The race starts at 2:30 p.m. EST with live coverage provided by FS1.

Start - 18 Finish - 1 Laps Led - 8

“I've got to give a shout-out. I can't thank Kevin Harvick enough. I went and sat with him for about 30 minutes to an hour last night, trying to learn everything I could. Kevin's one of the best racers here at the Atlanta Motor Speedway, so I had to ask him.

“He's very good at conserving tires, and very good at winning races here, so to go and talk to him was very special."

“We have put in a lot of hard work with just a little funding and we’ve come out and contended for wins.”

About NEMCO Motorsports:
NEMCO Motorsports is a title-winning NASCAR XFINITY Series team owned by XFINITY Series champion Joe Nemechek. The team fields an entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with the No. 8 Chevrolet for driver John Hunter Nemechek, and an entry in the NASCAR XFINITY Series with the No. 87 Chevrolet for driver Joe Nemechek. Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, NEMCO Motorsports is a family-owned operation that has been in national NASCAR competition since 1989. For more information, please visit us on the Web at on Facebook at, and on Twitter @NEMCOMotorsport.

Nemechek Scores Third-Straight SpeedFest Pro Late Model Win

John Hunter Nemechek kicked off his 2016 season the only way he knows how, with a win in the JEGS/CRA 125 at SpeedFest.  This make it a three-peat for the 18-year-old driver who still has yet to finish anywhere other than victory lane in any JEGS/CRA Pro Late Model race he’s entered.

“Winning the Pro (Late Model) race was something special,” said Nemechek.  “To win it here three years in a row and still be undefeated in the JEGS Series is something I’m really happy about.”

Nemechek set fast time in his Pro Late Model early in the day and, with the invert, started the 125-lap feature from the ninth position.  He drove to the lead on lap 64 with a three-wide pass and held off a series of challenges on late race restarts to start his 2016 campaign off with a victory.

Soon after his Pro Late Model win, Nemechek climbed behind the wheel of his Rocky Ridge Custom Trucks No. 8 Super Late Model for the SpeedFest 200.

Nemechek raced towards the front of the field throughout the 200-lap event, taking the lead on lap 188.  With two laps to go the battle for the lead heated up between Nemechek, Bubba Pollard and William Byron.  Contact was made among the top three drivers in turns one and two.  Nemechek paid the price from the tangle that started behind him and went for a spin from the lead that ultimately cost him a shot at a SpeedFest sweep.

“When it came down to it everyone was bumping and rubbing” said Nemechek, “And rubbing’s racing.  We had the best car there at the end.  On that final restart we got the jump and got out to the lead and, I don’t know, we got spun out.  It is what it is, but if someone has to spin you for the win it’s kind of uncalled for.”

Nemechek restarted the final two laps at the rear of the field and brought home a 14th place finish.

Next up for Nemechek will be a return to his No. 8 Chevy in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at Daytona International Speedway.

“I’m very excited,” said Nemechek.  “We hired some new personnel over the off season, we hired a new engineer, and having Gere Kennon back as crew chief is exciting.  Hopefully we start off how we ended the year last year, having finished four out of the last five races in second.  Hopefully we can start off strong and go from there.”

Lessons Learned Lead Nemechek to Snowflake Win

After two years of being the bridesmaid and twice losing the lead in the final 10 laps of the race, John Hunter Nemechek's heartbreak in the Allen Turner Snowflake 100 came to an end Saturday night at Five Flags Speedway (FL). Nemechek of Morresville, North Carolina dominated the 100-lap event en route to capturing the $7,000 top prize.

It was a big win that came as a result of the advice he received during those two runner-up performances.

“I didn’t listen very good to my Truck crew chief, who is here spotting for me, on lap times the last two years and it has cost me the race,” Nemechek said. “It’s great to change that and be patient and it paid off.”

Nemechek led from the get go and only relinquished the top spot to fast qualifier Justin South on one short occasion. On restarts, he noticeably chose the outside in order to have the advantage.

“Being able to get the momentum off the corner,” Nemechek answered. “We picked the top because of the speedy dry at one point and those guys went into the corner and got really loose on the bottom.”

The next day, Nemechek was poised to back up his Snowball Derby 300 victory from 2014, but a late-race mechanical issue thwarted that plan.  Nemechek's No. 8 went up in smoke in the closing laps while running in the top five.  Flames erupted and his car crashed to a stop on pit road, bringing his Snowball title defense to an end.

John Hunter Wins Truck Race at Chicagoland Speedway

On September 19, 1999 Joe Nemechek drove into victory lane at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway for his career-first NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) win, and sixteen years later to the day, his son, John Hunter Nemechek, earned his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) victory. Nemechek raced to the win for NEMCO Motorsports in Saturday afternoon's NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event at the Chicagoland Speedway.

Nemechek and the No. 8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet Silverado team overcame plenty of adversity at the Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Ill., after starting 11th in the rain-delayed American Ethanol e15 225.

Heavy rains brought out a red flag during the Keystone Light Qualifying at the Chicagoland Speedway on Friday afternoon, canceling the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series qualifying event. The field was set according to the NASCAR rule book, with Nemechek as 11th fastest in the earlier Friday practice. Inclement weather continued to plague the 1.5-mile track, ultimately forcing the postponement of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race Friday night at the Chicagoland Speedway.

In the opening laps of the 150-lap event, the 18-year old driver worked his way up to the ninth position by Lap 15, when the first caution flag waved. Nemechek reported tight conditions to crew chief Gere Kennon, an issue which continued throughout the 225 mile event. During a NASCAR mandated competition caution on Lap 32, Kennon called Nemechek in for four Goodyear tires with an air pressure adjustment, a track bar adjustment and a full load of Sunoco Racing fuel. Nemechek continued his progression, moving into the top-five by Lap 50. Under the Lap 83 caution, caused by an accident on the frontstretch, the NASCAR Next member pitted for four tires and fuel. The No. 8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet returned to pit road two additional times as Kennon elected to fix a loose romeo window. On Lap 94, Kennon called Nemechek to pit road for the final time to top-off with Sunoco Racing fuel. Nemechek was calculated four laps short of making to the end.

With 13 laps to go, Kennon radioed to Nemechek to save fuel while running in the fifth position, as he had a lead of more than two seconds over the sixth-place truck. Fuel mileage issues began to afflict other competitors, and Nemechek quickly moved up in the running order taking the white flag for NEMCO Motorsports in the first position.

The second-generation NASCAR driver stretched his last tank of fuel to the limit, running out of gas in Turn 4 and crossing the finish line 12.015 seconds over second place. Nemechek led two laps en route to win in his 23rd NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career start.
Start - 11        Finish - 1        Laps Led - 2
“This is definitely a special moment, and I can’t thank these guys on this NEMCO Motorsports team enough. We work hard in the shop to put these Chevrolet trucks together, and we do the best we can. We’ve had a few close calls, but I can’t thank everyone enough.

“It’s definitely an amazing feeling to win tonight. Gere (Kennon) kept telling me to ‘save fuel, just save fuel,’ that last run and that’s what we ended up doing. I ran out (of gas) coming out of Turn 4. It was definitely a great strategy that he had worked up in his mind. I should know never to doubt him.”

“He's won his first Truck race. I haven't been able to win a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race yet, and it's his first of many to come. He's such a talented driver. For what we've had to work with - he's accomplished a lot. I am so proud of him because we have such a small group of guys on a very limited budget."

Nemechek Gets his Revenge on Indy with CRA Victory

Last July, John Hunter Nemechek left Indianapolis, Indiana's Lucas Oil Raceway disappointed with losing an ARCA/CRA Super Series Late Model event by mere inches to NASCAR superstar Kyle Busch.


Saturday, in his first appearance to Lucas OIl since that dramatic finish, Nemechek found redemption in the "Circle City."


The 18-year-old driver scored his first ARCA/CRA Super Series victory and third overall Late Model win of the season with a dominating performance in the Circle City 100.


"We came out here to win and that's what we did," Nemechek said following his victory.  "I can't thank D.A.B. Constructors, Rocky Ridge Trucks and everyone that helps on this team enough."


Nemechek set fast time for the 100-lap feature, but started 10th following an invert.  He wasted little time to get back to the front.  He rode patiently in second for several laps in the early stages before making his move around early leader Grant Quinlan on lap 55 and never looked back.


Even late-race restarts, which put some of the top Super Late Model talents in the country at his door and bumper, could not deter Nemechek's No. 8 from victory lane.


"I can't give enough to my dad (NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek) who put this car together in about a week to come up here.  It shows what our team can do and I can't thank everyone enough."


Nemechek will be back behind the wheel of his No. 8 Super Late Model on August 22 when he competes in the Lee Fields Memorial 100 at Mobile International Speedway in Alabama.  First things first, he will compete in his No. 8 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series entry in the August 1 event at Pocono Raceway in Pennsylvania.

Nemechek Leaves Missouri With Green Jacket & Big Check

John Hunter Nemechek is a big money race winner, and he proved that once again on Independence Day at I-44 Speedway in Missouri when he took home the green jacket and the $8,000 check in the Mercy Masters of the Pros 144.


Nemechek was fast all weekend, and he backed that up with a second-place effort in qualifying.  He started eighth after the invert and quickly made his way through the field.


He got to second place behind leader Sterling Marlin on lap 40 and just waited for an opportunity to take the lead.


That chance came when a caution came out on lap 73.  On the ensuing restart Nemechek stalked Marlin before finally taking the lead on lap 94.


“We knew we had to be patient, but at the same time we needed to grab spots whenever we could,” said Nemechek.  "We just needed to race smart.  It was a bit of a small crew.  We made the decision to come out and run this pretty late.  So it was just three guys and myself this weekend. ”


While Nemechek can now add this race to his list of big wins along with the Snowball Derby and All American 400, there's still a few races left he needs to cross off.


"There’s still a couple big races coming up this fall we want to win," Nemechek said.  "Winchester [400].  Snowflake [100] and the Snowball again.  And grab a Truck win too."


Nemechek will have a chance to grab that Truck win on Thursday, July 9 when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series takes on the Kentucky Motor Speedway.

Nemechek Battles Hard for Podium Finish at Berlin

The Battle at Berlin 251 wasn't just a cleverly-named Super Late Model race that John Hunter Nemechek competed in Tuesday night.  Calling it a battle was actually quite telling for how hard the young NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rookie competitor had to work throughout the 251 grueling laps around the 4/10-mile Michigan oval


Nemechek started his No. 8 Durobyte Chevy Super Late Model from the sixth position, but almost instantly had to wrestle his racecar around Berlin Raceway.  A tight condition caused Nemechek to fight to keep his place among the leaders in the first half of the race before pit stops could be made to adjust the car.


Through some clever pit strategy and a hard-working attitude between both driver and the NEMCO Motorsports pit crew, Nemechek's car was able to improve throughout the race.  Nemechek found himself in position to win in the closing stages as he battled hard inside the podium positions before finishing an impressive third.


"It was a good day for us considering the way it started," said Nemechek following Tuesday's race.  "At the start of the race, I was way too tight.  I couldn't rotate the center, couldn't get off the corner.  All it would do is push.  We decided to pit early and see what we can come up with.  Dad and I talked about it and he made some great calls on the radio trying to get us some track position as well as stay on top of the tire situation."


With the help of his NASCAR race-winning dad Joe atop the pit box helping John Hunter throughout the Battle at Berlin, the No. 8 car was right in the thick of the heavy battle for the lead in crunch time.  Late in the race, Nemechek diced his way through several three-wide situations en route to the strong finish.


Still, even having finished an impressive third, Nemechek was left wondering what could have been if circumstances late in the race had played out differently.


"I can't thank my guys enough for their hard work," added Nemechek.  "I wish we could've had those sticker right-side tires that we had left in the pits.  We actually put our first set back on that had 70 laps on them around lap 170.  It was definitely a little more difficult to pass with those tires, but we maintained.  Who knows what would've happened with our Durobyte Chevy.   We put all of our time and effort into this race.  We started the weekend rough, but we finished strong."


Nemechek will be back behind the wheel of his NASCAR Camping World Truck series ride on June 19 as he competes at Iowa Speedway with his NEMCO Motorsports No. 8.




NEMCO Motorsports was within striking distance of a top finishing slot before a bout of bad luck struck at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway this weekend. A broken rear-end gear relegated John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 8 SWM International Inc. Chevrolet Silverado team to a 29th-place finish in the Kroger 250 at the Martinsville Speedway.
Nemechek started Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) race at the Martinsville Speedway from the 16th position based on the results of the qualifying session earlier that day. Over the opening laps of the extended 250-lap event, the 17-year old driver worked his way up to the 12th position by Lap 30. When the first caution flag waved on Lap 35, crew chief Gere Kennon called Nemechek in for two right-side Goodyear tires and Sunoco Racing fuel, and Nemechek restarted in the fourth position, looking to continue his forward progression. Under the Lap 55 caution, Kennon made the decision to stay out and not pit the Chevrolet Silverado. Once the field went green on Lap 69, the 32-truck field stayed caution-free for over 70 laps, the longest green-flag run in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series history at Martinsville Speedway.
Nemechek eventually fell back to the 10th position by Lap 120 reporting “snug” conditions, and the team put together a plan to improve the handling of the NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet. Relief came on Lap 143 when the third caution flag was displayed, and under caution, Nemechek pitted for four fresh tires, two cans of fuel and a tear-off. He restarted seventh and drove his way up into the sixth position by Lap 150. As the event entered its final stages, Nemechek and Kennon felt the Chevrolet Silverado was in good form as they chose not to pit during a caution on Lap 164. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Rookie of the Year contender continued to work and made his way into the top five by Lap 173.
Nemechek was battling for the fourth position when, on Lap 174, something broke in the No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado. With no forward drive, he slowed to a standstill at the entrance of the garage in Turn 3 to bring out the sixth caution of the day. A review of the equipment by the team determined that the rear-end gear had broken, and the team did not have enough time to fix it and get back out onto the .526-mile track. Nemechek and the NEMCO Motorsports team finished in the 29th position.

Start - 16         Finish - 29        Laps Led - 0

“This weekend at Martinsville Speedway, I feel like we unloaded strong. We made good adjustments in practice, and making the personnel change over the off-season has helped week-in and week-out with our Chevrolet Silverado. Also, our communications skills are getting stronger.

“That was my debut of the season, and we did not qualify as well as we wanted to, but we made a charge to the front. I cannot thank our NEMCO Motorsports guys enough for all of their help. I am looking forward to the next event – at Dover International Speedway.”