After picking up their first top-five finish of the 2022 NASCAR Truck Series season at Circuit of the Americas, John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 team followed it up with another strong performance at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway ending the event with a fourth-place finish.
Pit strategy for the No. 4 Mobil 1 team paid off as they were able to earn 13 stage points and move up three positions in the Camping World Truck Series driver standings. Nemechek now sits in fifth place, 44 points behind ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes in first.
Stage One Recap:
- Nemechek started Thursday’s 200-lap event at Martinsville from fifth after the scheduled qualifying session was cancelled due to rain, ultimately setting the field based on NASCAR’s performance matrix system.
- Despite falling back to eighth in the opening 25 laps, the Mobil 1 driver never fell outside of the top-10 throughout the opening stage.
- As a late-stage caution came out on lap 40, veteran crew chief Eric Phillips elected for the No. 4 team to stay out on track to gain track position and earn stage points as trucks ahead of them elected to pit.
- The call paid off as Nemechek finished the opening stage in fourth, earning seven stage points.
Stage Two Recap:
- Nemechek brought his Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro down pit road at the stage break for four tires and fuel, which would send him back out on the track scored in 19th.
- The second-generation driver communicated that his Tundra was “a little free” on lap 70 as he gained just three positions to start the second stage.
- Like stage one, a caution on lap 80 brought out differing pit strategies throughout the field. The No. 4 team once again elected to stay out and gained eight spots on the restart.
- As the green-and-white checkered flag came out to end stage two, Nemechek was scored in fifth, picking up six more stage points.
Final Stage Recap:
- After bringing his No. 4 Tundra down pit road at the stage break, Nemechek restarted the final stage in ninth.
- The 11th and final caution of the night came out on lap 158 with Nemechek scored in sixth, lining up for the final restart behind Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) teammate Chandler Smith on the outside lane.
- Nemechek was side-by-side with Smith as they battled for fourth on lap 165 before being able to make a successful pass with 34 laps to go.
- With the laps dwindling down, Nemechek would eventually get into lap traffic before taking the checkered flag in fourth place.
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra TRD Pro for KBM
How was your race tonight and how was the race track surface?
“The track didn’t take any rubber tonight. Just was super slick. We missed the balance a little bit. But my guys worked hard. We made adjustments on it throughout the race. Didn’t know exactly which side we’re going to be — being way different than our teammates come in here. So it’s something new to try and keep moving forward. So it’s another solid finish for us way better than finished in 24th or 25th. Good points day. We did what we needed to do other than win the race. So solid day for the Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and we’ll go to Bristol next week. I feel like we’re starting to build some momentum between the Truck series and the Xfinity series and having some good runs and good finishes so just have to keep it up.”
Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 Recap:
- William Byron picked up his eighth career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win. Johnny Sauter, Kyle Busch, John Hunter Nemechek, and Ben Rhodes rounded out the top-five finishers.
- There were 11 cautions for 71 laps. There were nine lead changes among six drivers.
How Nemechek’s KBM Teammates Fared:
- Kyle Busch, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished third.
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finish sixth.
Camping World Trucks Regular Season Driver Standings:
Nemechek gained three positions in the standings Thursday night and now sits in fifth place, 44 points behind ThorSport Racing driver Ben Rhodes in first.
Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head to Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway next week (4/16) for the second running of the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt. Live coverage will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 8pm ET.