John Hunter Nemechek locked himself into the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver’s championship with a runner-up finish at Darlington Raceway.
Nemechek got off to a hot start in the In It to Win It 200. After starting in the sixth position, he quickly took over the lead on lap 10 en route to a Stage One win, his 10th of the year.
The Mobil1 driver found himself in the top-5 for most of the day while leading 39 total laps and picking up his second top-10 finish in two races at Darlington.
Stage One Recap:
- Nemechek started Sunday’s race in the sixth position based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
- In just 10 laps, he took over the race lead from Sheldon Creed and never looked back, leading the next 39 laps.
- Nemechek picked up his 10th stage win of the year and another playoff point.
Stage Two Recap:
- After bringing the Mobil1 Tundra to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel, and adjustments, Nemechek would start Stage Two in the second position on the outside lane.
- Nemechek drove around in the top-5 for the entire stage, battling with Sheldon Creed and Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate, Chandler Smith.
- The second-generation driver would come to the green and white checkered in the third position at the end of Stage Two.
Final Stage Recap:
- Much like the start of the second stage, Nemechek lined up on the outside lane in the third position behind his KBM teammate, Smith.
- The No. 4 Toyota would continue to fight throughout the race while running in the top 5.
- With just 20 laps remaining in the In It to Win It 200, Nemechek was just 0.451 seconds behind the leader.
- The Mobil1 driver would finish second, locking himself into the Round of 8 of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Mobi1 Tundra for KBM
What more did you need to catch Sheldon Creed in the closing laps?
“Clean air. Just super hard to pass. Same thing as last fall, same thing we fight in the Truck Series every week. I don’t know, we have to do a little bit better – think we could have controlled the race. They weren’t going to get by us. We made a last ditch effort. Proud of all the KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) guys – Mobil 1, Toyota, TRD and everyone who helps. Just have to say thank you. This one hurts. We had the dominant truck here in the spring and came back and ran second here today. On to Bristol. We should be starting first or second. Hopefully we can go get a win there. The only thing that matters is that we locked ourselves into the next round today. That’s all it is. The eyes are set on the prize. We want to win every single week, but there is a big trophy at the end of the year that means the most.”
What did you take away from this race?
“We just needed track position. We needed clean air. What mattered today if we couldn’t win was locking ourselves into the next round and advancing. We were able to do that by a pretty good margin I felt like. Overall, a solid performance. Our Toyota Tundra was fast. Just needed a little bit more. It definitely stings knowing we had the dominant truck here in the spring, gave that one away. Then to come back and run second, it hurts. We’ll take the momentum, not going to dwell on this. Just one race of the Playoffs and now we’re focused on the next round. Bristol doesn’t mean anything to us other than to go out there and try to win. Then the next round starts and all that focus is on those three races to make it to Phoenix. Eyes on the big trophy at the end of the year.”
In It to Win It 200 Recap
- Sheldon Creed grabbed his second straight win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs, leading 104 out of 147 laps. Nemechek finished 0.531 seconds behind Creed in the runner-up position. Stewart Friesen, Todd Gilliland, and Parker Kligerman rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were eight cautions for 35 laps. There were four lead changes among three drivers, including Nemechek who led once for 39 laps.
How Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished seventh.
- Dylan Lupton, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 31st.
Camping World Trucks Driver Championship Standings:
After the second race of the NASCAR playoffs, John Hunter Nemechek has locked himself into the Round of 8. Nemechek is currently second in the points standings, just two points behind Sheldon Creed in first.
Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra will head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway for the final race of the Round of 10 on Sept. 16. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 9 p.m. ET.