John Hunter Nemechek came back to Kyle Busch Motorsports in 2022 to continue winning races and did just that Friday night, picking up his first win of the season at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway in the Dead on Tools 200.
Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team showed speed right off the hauler, topping the charts in practice and then followed that up by earning the pole with a lap time of 28.719 in Friday’s qualifying session.
The second-generation driver continued his strong showing by leading a race-high 69 laps in route to his 12th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. With the win, Nemechek moved up three spots in the Camping World Truck Series championships standings into second, just 30 points behind Ben Rhodes in first.
Stage One Recap
·        Nemechek earned the pole for the Dead on Tools 200 at Darlington Raceway after laying down a lap time of 28.719 in qualifying earlier in the day.
·        The Toyota Racing driver led the first 12 laps of the race before forfeiting the lead to the No. 38 of Zane Smith.
·        Differing pit strategies throughout the field put Nemechek back in the lead midway through the opening stanza.
·        Nemechek led the next 18 laps before his worn-out tires began to play a factor, falling back to sixth where he would take the green-and-white checkered to end Stage One.
Stage Two Recap:
·        At the stage break, Nemechek communicated that his Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro needed “more front turn”.
·        Early in the middle stanza, Nemechek brought his No. 4 Tundra down pit road under caution for an unscheduled pit with a loose left front wheel.
·        The No. 4 team put four fresh Goodyear Tires on and Nemechek was back into the top 20 just five laps after the restart.
·        Nemechek drove back through the field during the final 20 laps of the stage earned a fifth-place finish and six more stage points.
Final Stage Recap:
·        During the final stage break, Nemechek made contact with the No. 98 of Christian Eckes while exiting his pit stall but would not sustain any damage.
·        Despite the contact with Eckes, Nemechek lined up on the front row in second place to begin the final stage.
·        The second-generation driver regained the lead on Lap 107 just before the eighth caution of the day would come out on Lap 118. Veteran crew chief Eric Phillips would bring the No. 4 team down pit road for the team’.
·        Nemechek quickly regained the lead on Lap 123 and would hold control the remainder of the race.
·        A caution on Lap 143 while leading would set up a green-white-checkered finish with Nemechek lining up on the front row for the overtime restart with the No. 42 of Carson Hocevar.
·        Nemechek was able to clear Hocevar exiting Turn 2 and drive away to his first win of the 2022 campaign.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro for KBM:
How does it feel to get your first win of the season and first at Darlington Raceway?
“Huge shout out to all the guys that work on this No. 4 KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra TRD PRO, just Mobil 1 and everyone that puts their heart and soul into what’s going on — this is huge. Just thank you to everyone. Thank you to the fans. This place is packed. Awesome crowd. I thought we gave it away early honestly and we we’re able to rebound and battle back so it’s cool. Aspen (daughter) I think is sleeping so hopefully Taylor (wife) gets her up and brings her to victory lane so we can celebrate. Learned a lot tonight and was finally able to bring home the first one of the year. I’m just thankful for the opportunity I have from Kyle (Busch, team owner), Toyota and TRD (Toyota Racing Development) for putting me in this truck. Let’s go celebrate.”
Dead on Tools 200 Recap
·        John Hunter Nemechek picked up his first win of the season and his 12th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Carson Hocevar, Grant Enfinger, Ty Majeski, and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five finishers.
·        There were 10 cautions for 54 laps. There were 16 lead changes among nine drivers, including Nemechek who led a race-high 69 laps.
How John Hunter Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
·        Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finish 20th.
·        Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 22nd.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
Nemechek jumped three spots in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings and now sits in second, just 30 tallies behind ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes in first.
Next Race
Nemechek and the No. 4 team will look to keep their momentum rolling next week as the NASCAR Truck Series heads to Kansas Speedway on May 14. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8 p.m. ET.