John Hunter Nemechek Holds Off Kyle Busch To Win Truck Race At Richmondby Hunter Thomas April 17, 2021 0 comments
RICHMOND, Va. – John Hunter Nemechek held off his boss, Kyle Busch to win the ToyotaCare 250 at Richmond Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
Nemechek made the race-winning pass on his Kyle Busch Motorsports teammate, Chandler Smith with 17 laps to go. No caution came out in the closing laps, so Nemechek had to navigate through lapped traffic to hold Busch at bay. The win is Nemechek’s second of the season and the 32nd of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career.
“I know he (Kyle Busch) tried getting me there at the end and this is the third time we’ve raced against each other this year and I’m one up on him so far in his own equipment so that’s nice,” Nemechek said. “Just super thankful, super blessed. Actually this trophy and flag, before I walked out of the motor home, Taylor (Nemechek, wife) said you brought me home a trophy from Vegas now this is Aspen’s first race so bring her one. We did it.”
Busch is the most winningest driver in the series, but he has yet to win a series race at Richmond Raceway. Saturday’s start was his third of the season. He finished second at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, won at Atlanta Motor Speedway and now once again, he finished runner-up. Busch quickly made his way into the top-five in Stage 1, but he seemed to have stalled out; however, he did run inside the top-five for the majority of the 250-lap race.
“Think the 4 (Nemechek) was just overall better than us,” Busch said. “It was fun to race up there with him and fun to race up there with the rest of the guys. I’m glad we could kind of get single-filed out at the end a little bit to where we could race amongst ourselves, but they were just better than us there.”
Busch continued and said, ““It’s awesome. I joked with John Hunter at the beginning of the year that if you win one and then I win one and you win one and then I win one, it would be pretty good to go back and forth. I didn’t think he was serious, but so far that’s kind of the way it’s going so I guess I get Kansas.”
Tyler Ankrum captured only his seventh-career top-five effort as he crossed the finish line in third. Heading into this weekend, Ankrum’s best finish of the 2021 season had been an 18th-place effort at Atlanta, so Saturday’s top-three was a much-needed result for the GMS Racing team.
Smith fell from first late in the race to finish fourth. Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five after pit strategy catapulted his team to the front. Rounding out the top-10 was Todd Gilliland, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Sam Mayer and Austin Hill.
Enfinger won Stage 1 and Nemechek won Stage 2.
The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series will visit Kansas Speedway on Saturday, May 1. The race will broadcast live on FS1 and MRN at 7:30 p.m. ET.