Neme’chek’ the Facts:
- John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head into the second race in the Round of 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season at Darlington Raceway 55 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8 with two races remaining in the round. Nemechek had a tough opening race of the playoffs, finishing 22nd at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway after experiencing power issues and a braking issue in the Final Stage. Despite the disappointing results, the 24-year-old driver was able to remain well above the cutoff line thanks in large part to the 49 playoff points he accumulated during the regular season.
- The Toyota Racing driver is competing in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs for the third time in his career. He finished eighth in the championship standings for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, in 2016 and 2017. He qualified for the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs in 2019 and finished the final standings in the seventh position.
- Nemechek will be making his second career start at Darlington in NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition. Nemechek dominated the early stages of the Truck Series event at the 1.33-mile egg-shaped oval in May, leading a race-high 65 laps and bringing home the Stage 2 win before getting turned into the outside wall while leading on a restart with just under 30 laps remaining. After repairs were made to his damaged Tundra by the over-the-wall crew the talented wheelman was able to work his way back inside the top 10 in the closing laps and ended the night in the eighth spot. In 2020, Nemechek made three NASCAR Cup Series starts at Darlington with a best finish of ninth coming in NASCAR’s return to racing last May following a 10-week shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2019, Nemechek made his sole NASCAR Xfinity Series start at the 1.366-mile facility and finished 21st.
- The second-generation driver has put together a remarkable season thus far in his first season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). In addition to leading the circuit in race wins (five) and stage wins (nine), he leads the Truck Series in top fives (nine), laps led (487), fastest laps run (244), driver rating (115.4), average running position (6.251) and average finish (7.9). Nemechek was also crowned the regular season champion.
- Nemechek registered his fifth Truck Series 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. Additionally, Nemechek has produced victories at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
- 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 118 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 1096 laps led, 37 top-five and 62 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5.
- Eric Phillips returned 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. At Darlington, Phillips has four starts with one win coming in 2011 when Kasey Kahne led a race-high 95 laps driving KBM’s No. 18 Tundra.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
How special would it be to get a win at Darlington?
“Darlington, I’ve only run there two or three times, but I’ve always loved running there. There is so much history there, it’s such a tough race track, it’s demanding, you don’t want to get a Darlington stripe – I can tell you that. The race track is so worn out. It’s such a fun race track to race at. For me, being able to go win at those race tracks that have so much history would mean so much.”
After having a dominant truck in the spring race at Darlington but not getting the win are you eager to get back there?
“Last time at Darlington we got wrecked on one of the final restarts and gave our race away. When you have a dominant truck like we did – leading most of the laps and winning a stage, and we were pretty much checked out – there wasn’t many people that could run with us there. We were saving our stuff, trying to wait until the end and I think when it gets down to it and you lose a race that you are so dominant at it, it makes you feel heartbroken that you should’ve won that race. For us, I’m glad that we are able to go back a second time now – that wasn’t previously scheduled for us. Hopefully, we can go get some redemption this weekend!”
How will the conditions at Darlington be Sunday for a day race compared to what you experienced earlier this year with an evening race?
“It’s going to be hot, slick and you are going to slide around a lot more. I feel like when it is at night, you definitely have more grip. Tire fall off may not be as bad or you may not fight the same handling characteristics that you will during the day. I definitely feel like the race track is going to be different. Luckily, we are taking the same truck, but setup is going to be different because of the night to day difference.”
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 118 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,096 laps led, 37 top-five and 62 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-53: The No. 4 Mobil 1 team will unload KBM-53 for Sunday’s race at Darlington. Nemechek led a race-high 65 laps and won Stage 2 with this same Tundra at Darlington in May before getting caught up in an accident while leading on a restart with just under 30 laps remaining and ending the event with a disappointing eighth-place finish. He also piloted this Toyota to a third-place finish at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway in March.
KBM-053 Performance Profile:
|Starts||Wins||Average Start||Average Finish||Laps Led|
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected one win, 162 laps led, two top-five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.3 across eight starts at Darlington. Kasey Kahne led a race-high 95 laps en route to victory in the 2011 event.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (88) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at the Bristol Motor Speedway Dirt Track, Truex Jr. became the 16th 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 16 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.