Date: April 17, 2021
Event: ToyotaCare 250 (Race 6 of 22)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series
Location: Richmond (Va.) Raceway (0.75-mile D-shaped oval)
Format: Three Stages; 70 laps/70 laps/110 laps
Start/Finish: 18th/1st (Running, completed 250 of 250 laps)
Winner: John Hunter Nemechek of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
John Hunter Nemechek captured his second checkered flag of the 2021 season holding off boss and teammate Kyle Busch in the closing laps of the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway.
When the green flag unfurled, Nemechek quickly worked his way from his 18th starting position to the front of the field to finish the first stage in second. After adjustments on pit road, Nemechek was able to garner the race lead on lap 100. Nemechek would receive a playoff point and 10 additional points for his stage two victory.
The second-generation driver would continue to lead until Lap 198 when crew chief Eric Phillips brought the No. 4 Safeway Tundra to pit road for four tires and fuel. Nemechek would restart from the ninth position before working his way back to the race lead. The veteran driver was able to pass teammate Chandler Smith for the race lead on Lap 234 to secure his second victory of 2021.
With his victory, Nemechek continues to lead in the Camping World Truck Series points standings.
Stage One Recap:
- Nemechek started from the 18th position after a performance matrix based on based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and his fastest lap from the previous race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
- With the first stage going green for the entire length, Nemechek worked his way from 18th to finish the stage in second.
Stage Two Recap:
- At the stage break, Nemechek radioed to Phillips that his Safeway Tundra was snug in the center of the corner and that it was losing its drive off. Phillips summoned his driver to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and adjustments. Nemechek restarted from the third position.
- Prior to the third caution on Lap 101, Nemechek passed owner and teammate Kyle Busch for the race lead.
- Nemechek would go on to win the second stage.
Final Stage Recap:
- Under the break, Nemechek radioed that his Safeway Tundra drove good, but it was losing a little bit of front turn. Phillips summoned his driver to pit road for four tires and fuel. After a speedy stop from the over-the-wall crew, Nemechek would start the stage from the race lead.
- After maintaining the race lead through four cautions, Phillips brought the Safeway Tundra to pit road for the final stop of the day. With varying strategies among the top 10, Nemechek restarted from the ninth position.
- By the 11th caution of the day on lap 214, Nemechek worked his way up to the fourth position. During the caution, Nemechek radioed to his Safeway crew that the cloud cover hurt them a little bit.
- On lap 234, Nemechek passed teammate Chandler Smith for the lead and crossed the stripe 0.307 seconds ahead of Busch to earn his second victory of 2021.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Safeway Tundra for KBM
What does it mean to be a two-time winner this season?
“It’s just so special. Just thankful for all my guys here. They are awesome and gave me one heck of a Safeway Toyota Tundra. Just can’t thank all of our partners enough for believing in me — Kyle (Busch, team owner) and everybody. I know he tried getting me there at the end and this is the third time we’ve raced against each other this year and I’m one up on him so far in his own equipment so that’s nice. Just super thankful, super blessed. Actually, this trophy and flag, before I walked out of the motorhome, Taylor (Nemechek, wife) said you brought me home a trophy from Vegas now this is Aspen’s first race so bring her one. We did it.”
What did you think of the aerodynamics of the truck during the race, and did you have to chase it during the race?
“Way different than anything I’ve ever experienced or raced here. It took a little bit of adapting, but this Toyota Tundra was rolling. Dominant day again and same truck that we had in Vegas, so this is our baby and we’re going to take care of it.”
ToyotaCare 250 Recap:
- John Hunter Nemechek captured his second victory of 2021 in the NASCAR beating Kyle Busch by 0.307 seconds. Tyler Ankrum, Chandler Smith, and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top five.
- There were 11 cautions for 79 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers with Nemechek leading three times for 114 laps.
How Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished second.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished fourth.
Camping World Trucks Driver’s Championship Standings:
After six races, Nemechek and the No. 4 team extend its points lead over Ben Rhodes to 20 points.
The No. 4 returns to the track when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series resumes action on Saturday, May 1 at Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 7:30 p.m. ET.