NCWTS: John Hunter Nemechek Wins Drivin' for Linemen 200 at Gateway
John Hunter Nemechek will leave Gateway Motorsports Park victorious after leading 46 circuits of the 160-lap event. Nemechek, who passed Matt Crafton for the lead with five laps remaining, scored his fourth career Camping World Truck Series win.
“With 12 to go I felt like we had the truck to beat if we had track position,” said Nemechek after the race in the media center. “We took the call at the green flag stop to take two tires and I felt like that was the call to make when the guys in front of us pitted for no tires.
Nemechek started the evening in second and quickly took the lead right away in his No. 8 Chevrolet. He’d lead the first 39 laps before being passed by pole sitter Chase Briscoe. He would not see the front of the field again until lap 153.
Shifting was one of the topics all throughout the night. Nemechek discussed his strategy around that. “Tires, they were, I don’t want to say they were huge tonight, but track position was everything, clean air was everything, and a lot of guys were shifting tonight in one and two,” said Nemechek. “That’s where I felt like we were getting beat in the final laps. Luckily we freed up enough to where I didn’t have to shift and keep my momentum up.”
The victory will give Nemechek his third top five and third top 10 finish through eight events in 2017. The young driver takes an average finish of 16.2 and an average start of 12.4 into race nine at Iowa Speedway.
Chase Briscoe will capture his second consecutive runner-up finish in the No. 29 BKR Ford. Briscoe, who finished second last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, started on the pole and led 89 of the 160 circuits -- the most of any driver in Saturday’s Drivin’ for Linemen 200.
Johnny Sauter, who leads the Camping World Truck Series standings coming out of Gateway, rounded out the top-three finishers in the Drivin’ for Linemen 200. The defending series champion started ninth in the event and stayed inside the top 10 all throughout the night. Christopher Bell, Matt Crafton, Chase Briscoe and Ben Rhodes round out the top-five in driver points.
Matt Crafton, who gambled on pit strategy late, will leave the 1.25-mile oval with a fourth-place finish. The series veteran has two top five and five top 10 finishes throughout the first eight Camping World Truck Series races in 2017. Crafton started sixth on the leaderboard.
The series will remain in the midwest as they head to Iowa Speedway. The Iowa 200 will take place at 8:30 p.m. ET. on FOX Sports 1. The Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM Channel 90 will have the live radio broadcast.
Brett has been following the sport of NASCAR since the beginning of the 2006 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. Since Brett was 13, he has had a passion of chasing a job in sports that not many get the opportunity of doing. He has been in the NASCAR media since the middle of the 2010 season. Since then, he has been a part of many racing podcast shows to improve his talents. You can find him on twitter @NASCAR_Brett.