- John Hunter Nemechek begins his second full-time season with Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series opens the 2022 season Friday night at Daytona International Speedway. Nemechek came to the most successful team in Truck Series history last season with one goal in mind, winning, and that’s exactly what he did. Nemechek led the Truck Series in race wins (five), stage wins (11), and brought home the regular season championship. In addition to leading the series in wins, he topped all drivers in driver rating (112.4), fastest laps run (299), and top-five finishes (16). The second-generation driver made the Truck Series Championship 4 for the first time in his career, but after an early incident at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway put him in a hole, he rallied back late in the race to finish seventh but ended up third in the final championship standings.
- The 24-year-old driver has made four starts in Camping World Truck Series action at Daytona, with a best result of fourth coming in the 2017 event. In his first career start for KBM, he led 14 laps and finished seventh despite being involved in a late-race accident. In 2020, he finished 11th in his first career Daytona 500 and equaled that finish in the August Cup Series event at the 2.5-mile tri-oval. Nemechek also has two NASCAR XFINITY Series starts at the World Center of Racing, with an eighth-place finish in the 2019 season-opening event being his best result.
- Pye-Barker Fire & Safety, an industry leader in commercial fire protection since 1946, will adorn the hood of Nemechek’s for five races in 2022 beginning with Friday night’s season-opening event. Pye-Barker, who acquired Nemechek’s long-time partner Fire Alarm Services in 2021, will also serve as the primary sponsor of the No. 4 Tundra TRD Pro at Atlanta Motor Speedway (2/19), Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway (5/27), Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway (9/15) and the season finale at Phoenix Raceway (11/4). Mobil 1 returns as Nemechek’s primary sponsor in 2022 and will adorn his No. 4 Toyota for 10 races beginning at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway (3/4).
- 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 in 2021 with KBM. Across 124 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, he has compiled two poles, 1,181 laps led, 40 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6
- In addition to getting back to victory lane in the Truck Series last season, Nemechek was able to secure the second victory of his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series when he led a race-high 92 laps in the fall event at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. He earned his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series victory at Kansas Speedway in October of 2018. In addition to a full-time Truck Series schedule, Nemechek will run select races in the Xfinity Series.
- Eric Phillips returns to lead the No. 4 team in 2022. His 41 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 32 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. Across 11 starts at Daytona, Phillip’s drivers have one win, three top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.5. Owner-driver Kyle Busch collected his organization’s lone Truck Series victory at Daytona with Phillips atop the pit box in 2014.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
How important is it to get the 2022 started off strong?
“Super excited to get back to Daytona, starting off the season on the right foot is super important. We were able to have a great run last year. I feel like I’ve really enjoyed speedway racing. I feel like we’ve gotten our trucks better at superspeedway racing as of recent, had a shot to win Talladega and we’re taking that same truck to Daytona, so hopefully it has some speed. The new Tundra TRD Pro bodies are looking sharp for 2022 and hopefully they fly on the race track as well. Practice, qualifying and then race, it’s back to a normal schedule for Daytona. There are going to be a lot of things that are in effect going down there, but hopefully we can get the season kicked off on the right foot and start of the year with some good stage points and a really good finish. Just have to keep our nose clean, stay out of the big one — that’s really all it takes.”
After having a really good season last year do you feel pressure to have an even better one this year?
“I think that there is always pressure. You want to continue to better yourself not just on the race track, but in everyday life as well. When you come into a new season, you want to go and achieve the goals that you may not have the year prior even though it was a really good year. We learned a lot last year and we built a notebook. There are mistakes that we made, but it’s all in the process of learning and building that notebook so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. So that you can continue to grow and learn from it and have an even better season and that’s what we are here to do. We have the same group around me, Eric Phillips (crew chief), Adam (Ebel) our engineer, and Jimmy (Villeneuve) our car chief with a few mechanic changes on our team, but it seems like everything is continuing to go in the right direction and I feel comfortable with where I am at. TRD and Toyota do a lot for us, and I feel like we are able to utilize the resources that they give us to go and succeed on the race track.”
What does it take to be a good superspeedway racer in the Truck Series?
“To be a good superspeedway racer in the Truck Series, I think it takes a lot of patience — knowing who you are racing around, what experience levels they have and kind of knowing where the wreck is going to start. Obviously, that is kind of hard to predict, but as the race goes on you can kind of feel the energy and see what moves guys are making, seeing where it is kind of getting hectic, or in the bee’s nest as we call it. So, hopefully you can stay out of all the trouble and be there at the end. It really comes down to being able to be pushed, being able to push and being a good pusher for your teammates or whoever is around you and positioning yourself to be in a really good spot that you fell is comfortable. Being up front towards the end is huge. Normally, they come down to a short amount of run. Normally there is a green-white-checkered or something to finish it off. That’s a huge key of just positioning yourself in the right place.”
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 124 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,181 laps led, 40 top-five and 66 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6. 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 56 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled two wins, one pole, 364 laps led, 14 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.7.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-13: The No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety team will unload KBM-13 for Friday night’s race at Daytona. This is the same Toyota that Nemechek nearly won with at Talladega last October. He was leading on the final lap when he got spun by the second-place driver coming to the checkered flag and had to settle for a fourth-place finish. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch captured his organization’s only victory at Daytona with this chassis in the 2014 event.
KBM-13 Performance Profile:
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KBM Notes of Interest:
- The No. 4 has 16 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.
- KBM drivers have collected one win, three poles, 102 laps led, four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 16.3 across 31 starts at Daytona. Owner-driver Kyle Busch picked up the team’s lone victory at the 2.5-mile tri-oval in dramatic fashion in the 2014 season opener, finishing .016 seconds ahead of fellow Toyota competitor Timothy Peters.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (90) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway last September, Chandler Smith became the 17th 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).