After earning his sixth pole award of the season and dominating the opening two stages of the Kansas Lottery 200, John Hunter Nemechek found himself over 20 seconds back of Carson Hocevar with 31 laps remaining due to differing pit strategies. Over the course of the final 31 laps, Nemechek chased down Hocevar and regained the lead on the last lap of the race to pick up his 13th career Truck Series win in dramatic fashion.
Nemechek earned an additional seven playoff points throughout the race Friday night that will carry over with him to the next round of the playoffs. When the playoff standings reset for the Round of 8, the second-generation driver will be third on the playoff grid, 11 points above the cutoff line to advance to the Championship 4.
Stage One Recap
·        Nemechek earned his sixth Cometic Gasket pole award of the year after putting down a lap time of 30.779 seconds at 175.444 mph in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session.
·        As the field took the green flag to start the Kansas Lottery 200, Nemechek took command of the lead as the field exited Turn 2 as he was being pushed by his KBM teammate Corey Heim.
·        Nemechek led the first seven laps of the race before surrendering the lead to the No. 66 of Ty Majeski on Lap 7.
·        As the opening stanza went on, the second-generation driver was able to chase down Majeski and regained the lead with nine laps left in the stage.
·        Nemechek drove away from the field over the final nine laps to claim his fifth stage win of the year and picked up an additional playoff point.
Stage Two Recap:
·        At the stage break, Nemechek communicated that his Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro “needs to be tighter all around the corner, entry and exit”.
·        Veteran crew chief Eric Phillips called his driver down pit road for a four tire and fuel stop along with a wedge adjustment to help with the handling of the No. 4 Tundra.
·        Nemechek led the field back to green to begin the middle stanza, but momentarily lost the lead on the opening lap to Majeski before overtaking the No. 66 on the ensuing lap and taking command of the race once again.
·        The talented wheelman went on to lead the next 26 laps to the green-and-white checkered, picking up his second stage win of the night and adding another playoff point to his total.
·        With the points he scored in the opening two stages, Nemechek locked himself into the Round of 8 before the start of the Final Stage.
Final Stage Recap:
·        The No. 4 over the wall crew executed another four tire and fuel stop at the stage break and Nemechek came over the radio as he was exiting pit road to compliment the team saying, “nice job boys!”, as they would line back up in first to begin the final stage.
·        Nemechek pulled away to another commanding lead before green flag pit stops started to cycle through with 32 laps remaining in the race.
·        A handful of teams, including the No. 42 team of Carson Hocevar, who was in a must win situation to advance to the Round of 8, had elected to pit when the fourth and final caution came out on lap 75 and decided to roll the dice and try to make it the end of the race by conserving fuel with slower lap times.
·        As the green flag pit stops cycled through, Nemechek went back out on the track with just 31 laps left to chase down Hocevar who had over a 20-second lead on him.
·        The second-generation driver began to chip away at the lead lap-by-lap and had closed to within five seconds back of Hocevar with 10 laps to go.
·        As the field took the white flag, Nemechek was still running in second and closing in on Hocevar as they entered Turn 1. The Mobil 1 driver got to the bumper of the No. 42 and regained the lead as they exited Turn 2 and drove away to his second Camping World Truck Series win of 2022.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro:
What does this win say about your team moving into the next round of the Playoffs?
“It’s huge. I just want to say thank you to our entire team here, just everyone. I can’t thank them enough for the truck that they gave me tonight. This Tundra TRD Pro was absolutely on rails. Qualified on the pole, led a ton of laps, won both stages and won the race. We came in here really good points wise, and it flips over and was able to get some more Playoff points going into the next round. Puts us in a good spot and gives us some momentum moving into Bristol. I think this one is even sweeter. It’s been a really tough week for myself mentally, emotionally and things that you can’t control, but it feels good to come out here and cap it off with a win and show who I am.”
How strategic were you in the closing laps to get the win on the final lap?
“I got nervous there for a couple laps actually with all the lapped traffic in front of me and I kept dirtying myself with the dirty air. I had to play it smarter, and I didn’t play it smart there for a couple laps. I got myself a little bit behind but had huge speed and got a huge run off turn four. I knew that the 42 (Carson Hocevar) was saving fuel too and trying to block there. Just proud of all my guys, proud to get back to victory lane for the second time this year. We’re a little behind from last year. But I said I would rather win five races in the Playoffs and win a championship than win five races in the regular season and we’re going to try to do that.”
Kansas Lottery 200 Recap:
  • Nemechek earned his second NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win of 2022 and will advance to the Round of 8. It was his 13th career victory. Carson Hocevar, Ryan Preece, Zane Smith, and Grant Enfinger rounded out the top-five finishers.
  • There were four cautions for 25 laps and 11 lead changes among six drivers, including Nemechek who led a race-high 88 laps.
How John Hunter Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
  • Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finish sixth.
  • Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished seventh.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
With the points reset for the Round of 8, Nemechek is now seeded in the third position, 11 points above the cutoff line to advance to the Championship 4
Next Race
John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Pye-Barker team will have a quick turnaround as they turn their focus to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the opening race in the Round of 8 on Thursday, Sept. 15. Live coverage of the UNOH 200 presented by Ohio Logistics will be on Fs1, Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.