- John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team head into Knoxville Raceway for the Corn Belt 150. Nemechek has put together a remarkable season thus far in his first season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). The second-generation driver leads the NASCAR Camping World Trucks Series regulars in wins (five), stage wins (nine), top fives (eight), top 10s (11), laps led (485), fastest laps run (237), driver rating (119.4), average running position (5.906) and average finish (7.1). With two races remaining in the regular season, Nemechek holds an 86-point advantage over Ben Rhodes in the driver standings. He has accumulated 34 playoff points so far this season and would add another 15 should he capture the regular season championship.
- Nemechek registered his fifth win of 2021 in the series’ last stop, 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.
- Across six career Camping World Trucks starts on dirt, Nemechek has collected one top five and four top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 14.7. Nemechek was running fifth in Stage Two of the dirt race at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway earlier this year when he got spun by another competitor and was relegated to a season-worst 39th-place finish. The North Carolina native had better results when the Truck Series use to visit Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio. He finished inside the top 10 four times in five tries, with a best result of fifth in the 2017 event.
- 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 115 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 41 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 31 of those coming while at KBM. Phillips has been the crew chief for two Camping World Truck Series races on dirt. His drivers were involved in accidents in both events, leaving him with an average finish of 34.0.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
What does it say about your team that you are finding different ways to win races?
“I think its good that you can win in a lot of different ways. If you do get back in traffic and your truck is off, then we are able to make the adjustments that we need to make our truck better to get back up to the front. Luckily, at Pocono, we had a late race caution come out and we were able to kind of get Kyle (Busch) on that restart and then we were able to pull away at that point. Starting the day, we weren’t very good, so being able to communicate and work on our truck, getting our truck better, continue to progress through the race I think is the biggest key. When you can win in so many different ways like we have at Pocono, Texas, Charlotte and then in dominating fashion at a couple race tracks, says a lot about this team. It says we have a never give up attitude and that’s a great thing that that can playoff into the championship run through the playoffs.”
No. 4 Tundra –Knoxville Raceway Advance Page Two
You’ve raced at Eldora and on the dirt at Bristol, how do you think the racing at Knoxville will be?
“I’ve studied some video from a couple past races at Knoxville, some sprint car stuff and then the SRX Series the last couple weeks. I’ve been looking at a lot of that, just trying to figure out what the race track surface does. I’m sure it’s going to be totally different, so I’m looking forward to practice on Thursday night and seeing what we have. Our goal is to go and try to survive, run every lap, and try to win. At this point, there is two races left in the regular season, so we want to continue to rack up as many wins and stage points as possible.”
Brian Brown has won multiple track championships in sprint cars at Knoxville. Will you be able to lean on him for tips about track conditions?
“I definitely think I can pick his brain about the track and kind of see what he thinks the track normally does throughout the night. I feel like when you run a sprint car compared to a stock car it is going to be totally different, so I don’t know how much information I’ll be able to lean on him from that side. I definitely think any experience on dirt is better than none, so talking to him about track conditions, moisture, how they prep it and different things, what they’ll do overnight from Thursday to Friday and when we come in the garage on Friday seeing what they’ve done and how he thinks the track is going to change. I think that is the biggest thing for us, is to make adjustments to our truck and better ourselves throughout the night.”
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 115 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: