Thursday, Dec 09

John Hunter Nemecheck Rallies Late but Comes Up Short of Championship

John Hunter Nemecheck Rallies Late but Comes Up Short of Championship NK Photography Photo
John Hunter Nemechek came into Friday night’s championship race looking to capture his first-ever NASCAR championship. After qualifying 16th, Nemechek knew he would have work to do as he started behind the other three Championship 4 contenders. As the field went green, Nemechek sustained damage on the opening lap in Turn One which would eventually lead to a flat tire and more damage to the No. 4 Pye-Barker Tundra.
 
The damage from the opening lap set Nemechek back the remainder of the race as he battled to get back on the lead lap. With 50 laps remaining, Nemechek finally got the caution flag he was looking for to put him back on the lead lap and a chance to chase down the other championship contenders. The second-generation driver began to work his way through the field and was able to pass Matt Crafton and put himself third in the championship race.
 
While Nemechek worked his way within three seconds of eventual champion Ben Rhodes, he would ultimately run out of time and cross the finish line in seventh, putting him third in the championship standings behind Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith. 
 
Stage One Recap
 
·        Nemechek qualified 16th for the Lucas Oil 150 with a lap time of 27.087 seconds and would start behind the other three Championship 4 contenders.
·        Heading into Turn One on the opening lap, Nemechek was pushed up the track and into the wall, damaging the No. 4 Toyota. 
·        The damaged sustained from the opening lap would eventually cut down the left front tire and force Nemechek to bring the No. 4 Pye-Barker Tundra down pit road for repairs.
·        After repairs, Nemechek would be put a lap down early in the championship race.
·        With 12 laps remaining in the opening stage, veteran crew chief Eric Phillips communicated to his driver that he was running similar lap times as the drivers out front and reminded him to stay focused that it would be a long race.
·        Nemechek ultimately finished Stage One in the 30th-position one lap down.
 
Stage Two Recap:
 
·        After restarting Stage Two in 30th, Nemechek began to work his way back through the field and was scored in the 27th-position on Lap 85, still one lap down.
·        Nemechek was unable to get the caution he needed in the middle stage to get him back on the lead lap.
·        As the green-and-white checkered flag came out to end Stage Two, Nemechek remained in 27th one lap down. 
 
Final Stage Recap:
 
·        Nemechek and the No. 4 team were able to gain two spots on pit road before the start of the final stage, sending the No. 4 Tundra back out onto the track in 25th.
·        Just 10 laps into the final stage, Nemechek finally got the caution he was looking for as the No. 12 truck came to a stop on the track. This caution would put Nemechek back on the lead lap and give him a shot to chase down the other championship contenders with just 45 laps remaining.
·        After bringing the Pye-Barker Tundra down pit road for what would ultimately be the final pit stop of the race, Nemechek would restart 20th with his sights set on chasing down the other Championship 4 drivers.
·        With 27 laps remaining in the title race, Nemechek passed fellow championship contender Matt Crafton for 11th-place and third in the championship race
·        After completing the pass on the No. 88, crew chief Eric Phillips came over the radio to encourage his driver saying, “let’s go get the next one”.
·        Nemechek continued to gain ground on Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith and was within three seconds of Rhodes with just four laps remaining but would eventually run out of time.
·        Nemechek took the checkered flag in seventh-place, four positions behind Ben Rhodes who would claim the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series title. 
 
 
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the No. 4 Pye-Barker Tundra for KBM:
 
 
 
Lucas Oil 150 Recap
 
·        Chandler Smith picked up the second win of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career. Stewart Friesen, Ben Rhodes, Sheldon Creed, and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five finishers.
·        Ben Rhodes of ThorSport Racing captured the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship.
·        There were 4 cautions for 25 laps. There were 11 lead changes among three drivers.
 
How John Hunter Nemechek's KBM Teammates Fared:
 
·        Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished first.
·        Drew Dollar, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 18th
 
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Championship Standings
 
Nemechek finished third overall in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standing behind Ben Rhodes and Zane Smith. 
 
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