Event:                          Toyota 200, Race 16 of 22 (Race 1 in the Round of 10), 160 Laps – 55/55/50; 200 Miles
Location:                    World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway in Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast:      Aug. 20, 2021 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Neme’chek’ The Facts:
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head into the first race in the Round of 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR) at Gateway as the top seed in the three round, elimination-style format. The 24-year-old driver accumulated 49 playoff points heading into the playoffs on the strength of a series-leading five race wins, a series-leading nine stage wins and an additional 15-point bonus for capturing the regular season championship. He enters Friday’s race at WWTR 48 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8.
  • The Toyota Racing driver will be competing in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs for the third time in his career. He finished eighth in the championship standings for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, in 2016 and 2017.
  • The second-generation driver has put together a remarkable season thus far in his first season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). In addition to leading the circuit in race wins and stage wins, he leads the Truck Series in top fives (nine), laps led (487), fastest laps run (240), driver rating (117.0), average running position (5.9) and average finish (7.0).
  • Nemechek registered his fifth Truck Series win of 2021 June 26 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The talented wheelman was able to beat KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch head-to-head for the third time this season. Nemechek also bested his boss at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March and at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. Busch finished second to his pupil in all three of those events. Busch was victorious at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March and Kansas Speedway in May. In addition to beating Busch three times, Nemechek also outdueled reigning NASCAR Cup Series champion Chase Elliott to pick up the victory at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth in June. So, he holds a four-to-two advantage this season going heads up against the last two Cup Series champions.
  • The North Carolina driver was victorious at WWTR in June of 2017. He led 46 laps, including the final six, to pick up the fourth Truck Series win of his career. Overall, across four career starts at Gateway, he has one win, 100 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.2.
  • Nemechek is an 11-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 117 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 1096 laps led, 37 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4.
  • Eric Phillips returned 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 42 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 32 of those coming while at KBM. Phillips’s drivers have earned one win, two top-five and four top-10 finishes across seven Truck Series starts at WWTR. Mike Skinner was victorious with Phillips calling the shots at Gateway in 2009.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
John Hunter Nemechek | World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway Preview
Evaluate your regular season.
“The regular season went good. Had five wins in the regular season, won a bunch of stages, so overall it was a really solid performance by our KBM No. 4 Toyota Tundra team. Looking forward to the playoffs — hopefully we can keep the momentum rolling, we’ve had some really good runs during the regular season. We’ve been one of the dominant trucks every week, I feel like. We just have to carry that into the playoffs now and go get it.”
You enter the post season with 49 playoff points.
“It’s definitely nice having a lot of points and a big lead over the cutoff line for an insurance policy. At the same time, we don’t want to have to use that. We’ve seen instances in the past with Kevin Harvick having the most playoff points last year and didn’t make the Final 4. A lot goes into it, we’ve just got to keep our head down, stay focused and go out and win races. That’s what we are here to do, #Here4Wins.”
Does having a Truck Series win at Gateway give you confidence going into Friday’s race?
“Gateway is unique. They repaved it not long ago, so it has quite a bit of grip now. Definitely a little bit different with the spec motor compared to the built motors that we used to run, but overall, the same race track. I really enjoy going to Gateway, you use quite a bit of break there, you shift some and I would call it a big short track. We start second, so we have to try and get the lead early and try to lead every lap and win the race. That’s what we are set out to do and with no pit stops this week and being stage breaks like we’ve done on the dirt side of things, we are going to have to go and race your way to our front. There is no pit strategy, you have to go and have the fastest truck and I believe that we can do that out of Kyle Busch Motorsports.”
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
  • Eleven-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. Across 117 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,094 laps led, 37 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Across 52 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled one win (Kansas Speedway, 10/20/18), one pole, 225 laps led, 12 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.0.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra:
KBM-58: The No. 4 Mobil 1 team will unload KBM-58 for Friday’s race at World Wide Technology Raceway. So far in 2021, KBM-058 has collected three wins (Charlotte Motor Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Richmond Raceway) with Nemechek behind the wheel. Overall, the chassis has collected four wins across 12 career starts. The other win came with Kyle Busch behind the wheel at Charlotte in 2019. KBM-58 finished 11th in its most recent outing as a backup truck at Knoxville (Tenn.) Raceway.
KBM Notes of Interest: