There is a dawning of a new era in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
One day following his 18th birthday (June 11), John Hunter Nemechek will settle back in the driver's seat of the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet for good.
Nemechek, who has been sharing seat time with his father Joe in the No. 8 truck, will grow old enough to be eligible to finish the remainder of the NCWTS schedule beginning in Saturday's American Ethanol presents the Drivin' for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren at Gateway Motorsports Park (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1).
The NASCAR Next member will spend his first day as a legal adult, not celebrating, but doing what he does every day improving himself as a race car driver.
"I'll be here at the race shop working on my birthday," Nemechek said. "We're non-stop working, trying to get these trucks done, trying to make everything better, so we can go out and contend for wins."
If Nemechek races as well at Gateway on Saturday as he did last season, he has a very good chance at visiting Victory Lane. He led 53 laps before a late spin relegated him to 15th. In the process he drew praise on Twitter from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Tony Stewart, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Danica Patrick.
"How cool is it watching @JohnNemechek leading at Gateway in the @CampingWorld Truck Series race! Go get'em kid!, Stewart tweeted.
Nemechek, who will be competing in his third race this season feels ready to attack the 1.25-mile track.
"Last year at Gateway we ran very well," he said. "We made huge improvements from hitting the fence in the first lap of practice to contending for a win. We had an unfortunate event that happened at the end of the race that put us out of contention, but I'm really looking forward to going back this year. It's a very fun place. Both corners are different so you have to get you're truck handling in both.
"It's more of a driver's track. You'll see some guys struggle and some guys will prevail. I'm really looking forward to going back.