- John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head into the final regular season race of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Watkins Glen International Speedway already having already clinched the regular season championship and the 15-playoff point bonus that comes with it. Nemechek has put together a remarkable season thus far in his first season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). The 24-year-old driver leads the Trucks Series regulars in wins (five), stage wins (nine), top fives (eight), laps led (485), fastest laps run (237), driver rating (119.4), average running position (5.906) and average finish (7.4). Including the 15 points earned for the regular season championship, he will enter the post season with at least 49 playoff points, plus any he earns at Watkins Glen Saturday.
- Nemechek registered his fifth 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.
- Saturday’s race marks the first time that the Truck Series has raced at Watkins Glen since 2000. Nemechek finished 12th in the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Watkins Glen, his lone National Series start at the 2.45-mile road course. In Truck series action, the second-generation driver has one win (Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, 2016), three top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.3 across seven road course starts. Earlier this year on the Daytona International Speedway Road Course, Nemechek won the opening stage, but ran out of fuel as he was headed to pit road during the second stage. After going a lap down, the No. 4 team rallied back to score a third-place finish.
- 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 116 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 1094 laps led, 36 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5. The North Carolina native 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. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
- Eric Phillips returns 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 top-five finishes in two of this three road course events in Truck Series action, with Erik Jones finishing third at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in 2014 and Nemechek also finishing third at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course earlier this year.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
What does it mean to have already secured the regular season Truck Series championship?
“Winning the regular season Truck Series championship and kind of locking it up at Knoxville a couple weeks ago allows us to go to Watkins Glen focused on one thing and that’s to get seven more playoff points. We’re excited about winning the regular season championship, when we came into this deal, we were #Here4Wins, so we want to win everything that we can. Winning it also give us a huge bonus for playoff points going into the playoffs which should help us even more and kind of give us a little advantage going into the first round.”
No. 4 Tundra –Watkins Glen International Speedway Advance Page Two
Does having raced at Watkins Glen in an Xfinity car previously give you an advantage heading into Saturday?
“Since I’ve raced Xfinity at Watkins Glen previously, I definitely think that will help me as a driver. There are a lot of drivers in the field this weekend at Watkins Glen that haven’t really run a lot at Watkins Glen, they’ve maybe run some K&N stuff and ARCA stuff there, but no really long races, so hopefully that plays into an advantage with there not being any practice and kind of plays into our favor. There is kind of little tips and tricks of getting around Watkins Glen and things that you kind of have to look out for and places that you can make speed, so hopefully we have all those speed secrets.”
How does racing at Watkins Glen compare to the other road courses that the Truck Series race at?
“There’s nothing like Watkins Glen. It has a lot of elevation change, not as much as Sonoma, but it’s super fast. I feel like the tires don’t wear and the track surface is definitely newer, and you are just running qualifying laps every single lap.”
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 116 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,094 laps led, 36 top-five and 61 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5.
- 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-71: The No. 4 Mobil 1 team will unload a brand new Tundra, KBM-71, for Saturday’s race at Watkins Glen.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- Erik Jones collected KBM’s lone road-course victory in 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.
- The No. 4 has 16 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.