John Hunter Nemechek Holds Off Carson Hocevar To Earn First Charlotte Victoryby Hunter Thomas May 29, 2021 1 comment
CONCORD, N.C. – John Hunter Nemechek earned his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory of the season as he held off Carson Hocevar on Friday night to win the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Nemechek pulled off the eventual race-winning pass on Lap 114, when he forced three-wide down the backstretch with Christian Eckes and Stewart Friesen to his high-side. The 23-year-old driver of the Kyle Busch Motorsports No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota survived a final restart with 10 laps to go, and in the closing laps, he held Hocevar at bay to capture his first Charlotte victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The win marked the 86th all-time victory for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the series. Nemechek crashed in practice, so the win on Friday night was a great testament to the No. 4 team’s efforts.
“I completed two laps and wrecked on lap three,” Nemechek said. “Huge shoutout to all my guys – Eric Phillips (crew chief) and all our guys here and back at the shop. The pit crew pretty much won the race tonight I feel like on pit road. We were able to jump some guys there after the first stage. It was so hard to pass. It was amazing. Eric did a great job making adjustments all night and I was telling him what we needed. This was our baby truck, this one has won three races for me this year and sadly it’s going to have to get fixed with that crazy crash.”
With the victory, Nemechek also won the Triple Truck Challenge and earned an extra $50,000.
“Thank you to Womply, Camping World, Marcus Lemonis, everyone that makes this series happen,” Nemechek said. “It’s one of the greatest series – the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Awesome.”
The runner-up finish on Friday night marked Hocevar’s second top-five effort of the season. He finished third at Darlington Raceway on Mother’s Day weekend. On Friday night, Hocevar ran inside of the top-10 for a good portion of the night. In the closing laps, Nemechek was just faster, but Hocevar had gained ground on the final lap.
Ben Rhodes, Stewart Friesen and Todd Gilliland rounded out the top-five. Chandler Smith finished sixth, followed by Ty Majeski, Derek Kraus, Austin Hill and Zane Smith.
There were 11 leads changes among nine drivers throughout the 134-lap race. Nemechek led a race high of 71 laps.
There were also five cautions for 31 laps. Three of the cautions were for multi-truck accidents.
On Lap 51, the caution came out for Bret Holmes and Tanner Gray who spun in Turn 4.
Stage 1 winner, Sheldon Creed spun after contact from Gilliland on Lap 62. Creed spun down the track in Turn 4 and collected Chase Purdy. Creed finished a disappointing 35th.
The scariest accident of the night occurred on Lap 116. Trey Hutchens III came to a halt in the exit of Turn 4, and unfortunately, he went unnoticed. With nowhere to go, Johnny Sauter plowed into him, collecting Drew Dollar, who he was battling for position. The entire passenger side door of Sauter’s truck was missing following the accident, exposing the roll cage. Sauter and Hutchens were OK following the accident.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will visit Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday, June 12 for the SpeedyCash.com 220. Live coverage will broadcast on FS1 at 1 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images