John Hunter Nemechek Stretches Fuel to Win at Chicagolandby Kyle Pokrefky September 19, 2015 0 comments
JOLIET, Ill. — At 18 years, 2 months and 8 days of age, John Hunter Nemechek is now a winner in the Camping World Truck Series after pushing the limits of his fuel mileage to win the American Ethanol e15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Driving a No. 8 Chevrolet for his family-owned SWM-NEMCO Motorsports, Nemechek, a member of the 2015 NASCAR Next group, only led two laps in the race – the final two – to secure the win.
Fuel mileage issues were widespread in the closing laps as drivers tried to stretch their fuel across the final 54-lap green run of the race.
At various points on the final green-flag run, Timothy Peters, Daniel Suarez and Kyle Larson held the lead, but the first two didn’t push it all the way and decided to pit whereas Larson stayed out on the race track until he ran his No. 00 Chevrolet dry with two to go.
“It’s definitely an amazing feeling,” Nemechek said of his race win. “I was a little bit frustrated with our crew chief Gere Kennon on that last pit stop, we had to pit and we had to fix the left-side Romeo window. I really didn’t want to go to the back because track position was key and everything.
“We got to top off there coming to one to go and he kept telling me to ‘save fuel, save fuel’ that last run and that’s what we ended up doing and I ran out coming out of Turn 4. It’s definitely a great strategy he had worked up his mind, I should’ve known never to doubt him.”
Tyler Reddick finished second with a rebound performance after being dropped down the order due to being black flagged by NASCAR on Lap 93 while under caution for a supposed oil leak off of his truck.
While officials were unable to find any source of a leak on the underside of the No. 19 Stoney Creek Records Ford, Reddick says the mandated stop was a blessing in disguise for his Brad Keselowski Racing crew as his position on the restart put him in position to contend for a win.
“I don’t think we had any issues today, we did everything we needed to,” Reddick said. “We didn’t quite have the speed or the stability as the other trucks that were really fast, like the No. 00…
“NASCAR thought we were leaking fluid and we weren’t, but it ended up being something that actually probably set us up in position to win like we were at the end of the race. It actually worked in our favor coming in to top off on fuel.”
Coming home in the top-10 behind Nemechek and Reddick were Peters, Suarez, Johnny Sauter, Erik Jones, Larson, Spencer Gallagher, Matt Tifft, John Wes Townley.
With their respective performances, Jones now holds a 10-point lead in the drivers standings over new second-place driver Reddick while two-time defending series champion sits third in the standings, 11 points behind Jones.
Jones’s No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports team also holds a 10-point lead over the No. 19 Brad Keselowski Racing team in the owners standings exiting Chicagoland.
Three cautions for 23 total laps flew early Saturday morning with the first caution of the day coming out on Lap 15 for oil dropped on the track due to a mechanical issue on Daniel Hemric’s No. 14 Chevrolet.
The second caution of the day came out on Lap 30 and served as a competition caution while the final caution of the day came out on Lap 83 for a solo accident by Mason Mingus at pit entrance that had his No. 15 Chevrolet launch into the air after making contact with the infield grass with his splitter.
The Camping World Truck Series will return to action next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for next Saturday’s UNOH 175.
Top-10 Finishers of the American Ethanol e15 225
- 8 – John Hunter Nemechek# – Chevrolet – SWM-NEMCO Motorsports
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Ford – Brad Keselowski Racing
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Toyota – Red Horse Racing
- 51 – Daniel Suarez(i) – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – Toyota – ThorSport Racing
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 00 – Kyle Larson(i) – Chevrolet – JR Motorsports
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher – Chevrolet – GMS Racing
- 54 – Matt Tifft# – Toyota – Kyle Busch Motorsports
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Chevrolet – Athenian Motorsports
Top-10 in the Drivers Standings after Round 16 of 23
- 4 – Erik Jones# – Kyle Busch Motorsports – 628 | Leader
- 19 – Tyler Reddick – Brad Keselowski Racing – 618 | -10
- 88 – Matt Crafton – ThorSport Racing – 617 | -11
- 98 – Johnny Sauter – ThorSport Racing – 576 | -52
- 14 – Daniel Hemric# – NTS Motorsports – 519 | -109
- 13 – Cameron Hayley# – ThorSport Racing – 517 | -111
- 17 – Timothy Peters – Red Horse Racing – 512 | -116
- 05 – John Wes Townley – Athenian Motorsports – 500 | -128
- 23 – Spencer Gallagher# – GMS Racing – 488 | -140
- 11 – Ben Kennedy – Red Horse Racing – 483 | -145
# = Rookie, (i) = Ineligible for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series points.
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images