John Hunter Nemechek came into Saturday’s Baptist Health 200 five points below the cutoff line to advance to his second consecutive Championship 4 appearance. Nemechek started the race in 13th based off NASCAR performance matrix system but quickly muscled his way into the top five on Lap 12.
Nemechek was battling for position with Stewart Friesen and Christian Eckes before getting loose and into the outside wall on Lap 14. The damage sustained from the wall cut down a right front tire which ultimately led to two unscheduled pit stops for the No. 4 team, setting them back multiple laps early in the race.
Nemechek and the No. 4 team were unable to rebound from the early damage and took the checkered flag in 35th and were unable to advance to the Championship 4 as they finished 49 points below the cutoff line.
Stage One Recap:
- Nemechek lined up in 13th for Saturday’s 134-lap event at Homestead-Miami based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system after Friday’s qualifying session was cancelled due to weather.
- The second-generation driver cracked into the top-five just before the midway point of the opening stage and was running in fifth before he got into the outside wall on Lap 14.
- The damage sustained from the outside wall cut down the right front tire on his GEARWRENCH Tundra and forced the No. 4 team to make an unscheduled pit stop.
- After sending Nemechek back out on track in 35th and one lap down, the No. 4 Tundra once again suffered a flat tire, this time on the right rear due to damage sustained on the initial contact.
- Crew chief Eric Phillips called his driver back down pit road for another unscheduled pit stop and to repair the damage from the consecutive flat tires. Once the No. 4 team was able to assess the damage, Nemechek was scored in 36th and three laps down where they would take the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One.
Stage Two Recap:
- The No. 4 team continued to repair Nemechek’s GEARWRENCH Tundra at the stage break before restarting the second stage two laps down.
- As the laps were winding down in Stage Two, crew chief Eric Phillips encouraged his driver to “keep digging. I know you’re doing all you can”.
- Once the green-and-white checkered flag came out to end Stage Two, Nemechek was scored in 36th and three laps down.
Final Stage Recap:
- Nemechek continued to do all he could throughout the Final Stage as the No. 4 team was unable to gain laps back and were scored four laps down on Lap 80.
- With just three laps remaining in the Baptist Health 200, Nemechek suffered yet another flat right rear tire and was forced to bring his GEARWRENCH Tundra back down pit road for another unscheduled pit stop.
- As the 25-year-old driver got going again to finish out the final laps, he ultimately took the checkered flag in 35th and failed to advance to the Championship 4 by finishing 49 points below the cutoff line.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 GEARWRENCH Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
What happened that took you out of contention to be able to make the final four to contend for the championship in Phoenix?
“Just made a mistake on my end. I got dirtied up behind the 52 (Stewart Friesen) early on in stage on and hit the fence and just trying to make up time and was pushing the issue probably a little too hard. Ultimately pushed it a little too hard, hit the fence again and had the right front go flat. Came in, pitted and ended up not clearing tires good enough and had another tire go down and had to pit again. Then had to play pit strategy and after that it was just damage control. It’s on me. It’s just frustrating for myself for sure to not advance to the final four, but still have a couple races left to go out and try to win.”
Baptist Health 200 Race Recap:
- Ty Majeski earned his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Zane Smith, Stewart Friesen, Ryan Preece, and Corey Heim rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were two cautions for 10 laps and seven lead changes among five drivers.
How Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Corey Heim, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished fifth.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finish 10th.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
John Hunter Nemechek has been eliminated from the Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship following Homestead-Miami. After the reseed, Nemechek now sits fifth in the point standings.
John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire and Safety team will look to close out the season on a high note at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway as the Camping World Truck Series comes to an end on Friday, Nov. 4. Live coverage of the Lucas Oil 150 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network, and SiriusXM beginning at 10pm ET.