Neme’chek’ The Facts:
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Pye-Barker team roll into Darlington (S.C.) Raceway after scoring a fifth-place finish at Kansas Speedway last week. After seven races, Nemechek continues to sit at the top of the Camping World Trucks championship standings, 33 tallies ahead of Ben Rhodes. In addition to his lead in the point standings, Nemechek tops Truck Series regulars this season in average finish (3.3), laps led (273), driver rating (118.9), average running position (5.5) and fastest laps (144).
  • Nemechek will be making his first career start at Darlington in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. In 2020, Nemechek made three NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington with a best finish of ninth coming in NASCAR’s return to racing in May following a 10-week shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, Nemechek made his sole NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 1.366-mile facility and finished 21st.
  • KBM enters Friday’s event having won the last five Camping World Truck Series races. Nemechek started the streak at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March and at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. Busch was victorious at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway and captured KBM’s most recent victory at Kansas Speedway. Martin Truex Jr. captured his first Truck Series victory at the Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway Dirt Track. It’s the first time in the organization’s history that they’ve collected five straight victories.
  • This weekend kicks off the Triple Truck Challenge presented by Womply in the Camping World Truck Series. This year’s program will consist of the events at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway, Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas, and concludes at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. An extra $50,000 is on the line for each of those events. If a driver can win all three races, they will get a $500,000 bonus.
  • Nemechek is an eight-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, and returning to victory lane this year with KBM. Across 109 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 882 laps led, 33 top-five and 56 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.9. The North Carolina native qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
  • The 23-year-old driver produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award four times and finished 23rd in the championship standings.
  • Eric Phillips returns to KBM to lead the No. 4 team this season. Phillips led the No. 18 team at KBM in its debut season in 2010 and helped build the organization into one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR before departing at the end of the 2014 season. Under his guidance, the No. 18 team won eight races in its inaugural campaign and became the first team in Truck Series history to capture an owner’s championship in its first season of competition. In 2014, the Illinois native led the No. 51 team to an owner’s championship and his team’s 10 wins spearheaded KBM to a single-season Truck Series record of 14 wins. His 39 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 29 of those coming while at KBM. At Darlington, Phillips has three starts with one win coming in 2011 when Kasey Kahne led a race-high 95 laps driving KBM’s No. 18 Tundra.
  • Pye-Barker Fire & Safety, an industry leader in commercial fire protection since 1946, will adorn the hood of Nemechek’s Tundra this weekend at Darlington, at Talladega (Ala) Superspeedway (Oct. 2), and for the season finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway (Nov. 5). Pye-Barker recently acquired Nemechek’s long-time supporter Fire Alarm Services.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
John Hunter Nemechek | Darlington Preview
What does it mean to have Pye-Barker on board this weekend at Darlington?
“It’s very neat to have Fire Alarm Service and Pye-Barker on board this week. It’s a new company that Fire Alarm Services is a part of now. It’s their first race with us, so they are going to have quite a few guests in the grandstands which will be really neat. Hopefully, we can go out and get them their first win in their first start.”
What are your expectations going into Darlington?
“The last racetrack I’d been to that wasn’t in a truck ended up pretty well at Richmond. Hopefully we have the same outcome here at Darlington. It’s one of my better racetracks. It was one of my best runs last year in the Cup series right after the return from the COVID pandemic. I’m looking forward to this weekend. It’s too tough to tame for sure. There are a lot of characteristics with the racetrack. I don’t know how the lines will vary from the Cup car to the truck, but it is something that we will have to figure out. We’re coming off some momentum still after a fifth-place run last weekend and a pretty solid truck. I’m proud of everyone at KBM and look forward to getting going.”
Your crew chief Eric Phillips took a gamble last week at Kansas. As a driver, how does it feel knowing you have a couple of wins under your belt so that you can gamble throughout a race?
“It feels good knowing that we have a couple of wins under our belt and some playoff points. We didn’t feel like we had a truck capable of winning from where we were at during the second-to-last caution. Being able to take a gamble and come down pit road, I have all the faith in Eric and his call to come down and get a little bit of an advantage. It almost worked out. There was a little chaos there at the end. Overall, it was a solid day and solid performance. I’m still gaining on the points lead, so that’s a positive.”