He’s Back: John Hunter Nemechek Returns to the Snowball Derby

John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 8 McDonalds Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports, will be pursuing back-to-back victories this Sunday, December 6, in the 48th running of the Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at the Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.

The night before Nemechek will strap into his Super Late Model on Sunday, he will look to capture the elusive Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 victory after finishing second in both 2013 and 2014.

This week marks Nemechek’s third Snowball Derby appearance. Driving for his family-owned team, Nemechek has earned an average starting position of 2.6 and an average finishing position of 5.3 at the track. He entered his first Snowball Derby in 2012, and led 46 of 300 laps. In 2014, Nemechek captured the Tom Dawson Memorial Trophy with the victory of the most prestigious asphalt short track race in the country, the 47th Annual Snowball Derby.

“I would not say there’s any extra pressure,” Nemechek said. “In coming back this week to the Five Flags Speedway, I feel like winning the first Snowball Derby is harder than anything else. The way I look at it, I’m hoping the wins come easier because I know all the little things you have to do to win these races.”

The talented driver will look to build on an already impressive resume as he takes the wheel of his No. 8 McDonalds Chevrolet this weekend looking to make history. Since 1968, there has only been eight repeat winners of the 300-lap event.

Since leading 68 laps en route to winning the Snowball Derby at the Five Flags Speedway last year, Nemechek went on to win in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) at the Chicagoland Speedway on September 19.

Nemechek has capitalized on his part-time schedule the last three NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons, collecting one win and nine top-five finishes, as well as 16 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 11.9 and an average finishing position of 10.4 across just 30 starts.

In addition to his successful NASCAR Camping World Truck Series campaign in 2015, Nemechek was named to the 2015-2016 NASCAR Next class, and was awarded the 2015 Most Popular Driver for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The Mooresville, N.C., driver also was behind the wheel of the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Late Model, collecting his second consecutive SpeedFest 125 for JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Models victory at the Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, Georgia, in addition to winning the Mercy Masters of the Pros 144 for JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Pro Late Models at the Lebanon (Mo.) I-44 Speedway, and the Circle City 100 for ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS at the Lucas Oil Raceway.

“I feel like we have a lot of confidence and momentum coming back to the Five Flags Speedway,” Nemechek said. “Our NEMCO Motorsports Late Model program has always had good cars here, so hopefully that’s a tradition we get to continue this weekend.”

The 48th Annual Snowball Derby weekend commenced on Wednesday, December 2 with inspections, and on-track action beginning on Thursday, December 4 with practice sessions for the Snowball Derby Super Late Models and the Snowflake 100 Pro Late Models.

Practice consisted of six sessions on Thursday for both the Snowball Derby and the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100. Nemechek posted times in five of the six sessions. Nemechek turned a lap of 16.523 seconds on the .5-mile asphalt oval in the final session posting the ninth fastest time. In the first session, the 18-year-old NEMCO Motorsports driver posted his quickest lap of the day, and the fourth fastest time (16.465 seconds) of the session, respectively.

The top Snowball Derby starting spots will be set on Friday, December 4, during WXBM 102.7 Pole Night at the Five Flags Speedway. More practice will take place early on Saturday and the green flag will drop for the 48th Annual Snowball Derby at 2:00 p.m. (CT) on Sunday.

The 48th Annual Snowball Derby will be broadcast live on Speed51 TV on Sunday, December 6, starting with the pre-race show at 12:00 p.m. (CT). Qualifying for Snowball Derby will air on Friday, December 4 at 6:00 p.m. (CT) on Speed51 TV, 3:30 p.m. (CT) with the Snowball Derby qualifier on Saturday, December 5.

In addition, the Allen Turner Hyundai Snowflake 100 on Sunday will be televised live on Speed51 TV beginning at 7:30 p.m. (CT).

NEMCO Motorsports PR
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Steven B. Wilson

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