- Defending North Carolina Education Lottery 200 winner John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety team roll into Charlotte Motor Speedway with momentum on their side after posting yet another top-10 finish at Texas last weekend. With a sixth-place finish at Texas, Nemechek has now finished sixth or better in six straight races, tying his longest streak of top-10 finishes since 2018. The second-generation driver moved into the top spot in the Camping World Truck Series championship standings after Texas and currently claims a four-point lead ahead of reigning champion Ben Rhodes.
- Nemechek has made just five starts in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition at Charlotte. In 2021, Nemechek led a race high 79 laps in route to his third win of the season. Through his first five starts, he has tallied one win, 92 laps led, one top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.0. The second-generation driver led a race-high 71 laps en route to victory in last year’s event picking up his third victory of 2021. In two NASCAR Cup Series starts at Charlotte, Nemechek has an average finish of 14.5 and earned a best finish of 13th in the second race there in 2020. In his lone Xfinity Series start at Charlotte, he finished 12th in 2019.
- Pye-Barker Fire & Safety, an industry leader in commercial fire protection since 1946, will serve as the primary sponsor for Nemechek at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Pye-Barker, who acquired Nemechek’s long-term partner Fire Alarm Services in 2021, will also serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Tundra TRD Pro at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (9/15) and the season finale at Phoenix Raceway (11/4).
- The 24-year-old driver continues his strong run in 2022, leading all Camping World Truck Series regulars in poles (four), average starting position (5.8), average running position (6.765) and driver rating (105.9). Nemechek is also second in laps led (171) and has led at least one lap in seven out of the nine events this season.
- Nemechek is a 12-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 in 2021 and 2022 with KBM. Across 133 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, he has compiled six poles, 1,352 laps led, 44 top-five and 72 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4.
- Eric Phillips returned to lead the No. 4 team in 2022. His 42 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 33 of those coming while at KBM including five last year. 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. Phillips has called the shots for 10 starts at Charlotte in Camping World Truck Series action. In those 10 starts, his drivers have tallied two poles, four wins (Kyle Busch – ’10, ’11, & ’14 and John Hunter Nemechek – 2021), 304 laps led, five top-five and nine top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 6.8.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
Talk about the effort it’s taken to rebound from the start of the season to now being in the points lead.
“It’s kind of crazy that we’re the points leader now. I feel like with the season that we’ve had with not so strong of runs at the beginning of the season and now we’re into our sixth consecutive top-six finish and we’ve got a win underneath our belt, so we’re gaining momentum. We’ve still got to get better for the rest of the year but we’re getting up there. So, to become the points leader it’s nice to see the front side again and hopefully we can continue this on and gain some more valuable points, some more wins and the regular season championship for the second year in a row. Playoff points are huge and being the points leader at the end of the regular season is huge for the points you gain for the playoffs.”
How does Charlotte compare to the other mile-and-a-half tracks you’ve been to in recent weeks?
“I really enjoy Charlotte. It’s a little bite different than Texas and different than Kansas as well. They’re three different unique mile-and-a-half racetracks. Charlotte is worn out and pretty bumpy, you can run multiple grooves, you can run up against the fence and you can run the bottom kind of like you can for Kansas. Texas is a little bit of a different animal in its own. I don’t know if they’re going to be using the PJ1 again this week or not but that has played a factor in the past at Charlotte, so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Is Charlotte one of the bigger races of the year?
“I think the Charlotte race is always a big one, with Memorial Day weekend and racing for the veterans who have served and those that have passed serving our country. As well as everyone from KBM, family, friends, it’s a home racetrack for us, this is where we live so it’s a pretty big deal to have everybody there and perform well.”
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
- Twelve-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 133 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled six poles, 1,352 laps led, 44 top-five and 72 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4. Registered a career-high and series-leading five victories in 2021 and earned the NCWTS Regular Season championship and third in the final standings after qualifying for the Championship Four for the first time in his career.
- 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.
- Across 61 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled two wins, one pole, 510 laps led, 17 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.8.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-73: The No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety team will unload KBM-73 for the first time this Friday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In his 2021 victory at Charlotte, Nemechek piloted KBM-58 and led a race-high 71 laps.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected seven wins, three poles, 744 laps led, 14 top-five and 23 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 9.0 across 33 starts at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- John Hunter Nemechek picked up the organization’s most recent win at Charlotte in 2021. Owner-driver Kyle Busch has earned the other six victories for KBM coming in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2017 and 2019.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (93) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 4 has 17 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.