John Hunter Nemechek Becomes Atlanta’s Youngest NASCAR National Series Winner

John Hunter Nemechek Becomes Atlanta’s Youngest NASCAR National Series Winner

by February 27, 2016 0 comments

HAMPTON, Ga. – John Hunter Nemechek won his second career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday night in the Great Clips 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

At only 18 years, 8 months and 16 days old, Nemechek became the youngest NASCAR national series winner in Atlanta Motor Speedway history. He led the final eight laps en route to the victory, and with the win, John Hunter Nemechek has qualified for this year’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Chase.

“Yea, it’s a great way to get our second win,” Nemechek said. “This time we didn’t do it on fuel mileage, so I actually got to do a burnout tonight, which I was very excited to do. Being locked into the Chase is something that you have to do. You have to run up front, and you have to contend for wins, and luckily we got our win here in the second race of the year, but now we can go out and run as hard as we can each and every week and just go for wins and not have to worry about points.”

The Great Clips 200 had seven lead changes among four drivers, but most of the action throughout the afternoon involved the race leaders.

On lap 111, the field went back to green after receiving the second Caution Clock of the race. As the field exited Turn 2, there was a huge crash involving the leaders on the backstretch. While fighting for the race lead, Christopher Bell got into his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Daniel Suarez, turning him into race leader, Matt Crafton. Both, Suarez and Crafton went hard into the wall.

“There is not a lot to say,” Suarez said. “I think it’s pretty plain – our teammate (Christopher Bell) turned us around. I don’t know why. We had a difficult day learning about everything and building chemistry with my new crew chief with Bono (Manion). We were doing an amazing job. The truck was the fastest by far our there. We made some adjustments right there at the end – the truck was super-fast again. I understand that this happens, but between teammates I always think that we – we just have to take care of each other a little more.”

Crafton spun up the track, collecting Spencer Gallagher, and Suarez spun to the inside of the track, slamming the wall. Crafton finished a disappointing 30th after leading 76 laps, and Daniel Suarez had to settle for a 31st place finish. The red flag was displayed for 6 minutes, 20 seconds.

“They said the 4 (Christopher Bell) just lost it and hooked the – got the 51 (Daniel Suarez) in the right rear and just turned him dead sideways into me and a little long ride down the back straightaway when you didn’t know if you were going to get hit in the driver’s door,” Crafton said. “It was a pretty solid shot, but like I said hands down to NASCAR for having all these SAFER barriers and everything around this race track, but it’s a shame because this Menards Toyota Tundra was so, so fast.”

Bell inherited the lead following the accident but later blew a tire while entering Turn 4. While leading the race, Bell slammed into the outside wall, ending his night as the caution flag flew on lap 124. This weekend marks the second race in a row where Bell took a scary ride. Last weekend at Daytona International Speedway, he tumbled end-over-end in a ferocious crash.

In closing laps on Saturday at Atlanta Motor Speedway, John Hunter Nemechek was able to hold off ThorSport Racing’s Cameron Hayley and Red Horse Racing’s Timothy Peters to win his first race of the 2016 season.

“It’s an incredible feeling, not just as a dad but as a team owner and as just a fellow worker,” said Joe Nemechek. “We’re out in the shop with Gere (crew chief, Kennon) and our few other guys just working our tails off trying to figure out how we’re going to get to the next race. Just all of the business part of it, and it’s tough. It’s really tough. Days like this when we come in, you know I just still consider our team an underdog team, and it’s just so gratifying to have a win.

Finishing fourth was Daniel Hemric, followed by Grant Enfinger, Ben Rhodes, John Wes Townley, Parker Kligerman, Caleb Holman and Spencer Gallagher.

With the eight place finish, Kligerman and Ricky Benton Racing Enterprises now leads the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship point standings by one point over Daniel Hemric.

Up next on the schedule for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Alpha Energy Solutions 250 at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, April 2. Coverage for the race will broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 2:30 p.m. ET.

Great Clips 200 Results:

1.) #8 John Hunter Nemechek

2.) #13 Cameron Hayley

3.) #17 Timothy Peters

4.) #19 Daniel Hemric

5.) #33 Grant Enfinger

6.) #41 Ben Rhodes

7.) #05 John Wes Townley

8.) #92 Parker Kligerman

9.) #75 Caleb Holman

10.) #23 Spencer Gallagher

11.) #98 Rico Abreu

12.) #20 Austin Hill

13.) #02 Tyler Young

14.) #29 Tyler Reddick

15.) #11 Ben Kennedy

16.) #22 Austin Wayne Self

17.) #00 Cole Custer

18.) #63 Garrett Smithley

19.) #86 Brandon Brown

20.) #81 Ryan Truex

21.) #49 Timmy Hill

22.) #32 Justin Marks

23.) #1 Travis Kvapil

24.) #07 JJ Yeley

25.) #44 Tommy Joe Martins

26.) #4 Christopher Bell

27.) #71 Carlos Contreras

28.) #21 Johnny Sauter

29.) #10 Jennifer Jo Cobb

30.) #88 Matt Crafton

31.) #51 Daniel Suarez

32.) #9 William Byron


Photo Credit: Wayne Thomas

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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