John Hunter Nemechek – No. 4 Safeway Tundra TRD Pro Camping World Trucks Richmond Preview

Neme’chek’ The Facts:
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Safeway team head into the second race of the Round of 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, where they are the defending race winners. Nemechek led a race-high 114 laps and held off a late charge from KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch in last year’s event to claim the second of his series-leading five victories in 2022. In addition to collecting a victory in his lone Truck Series start at Richmond, Nemechek has made five Xfinity Series starts at the 0.75-mile track, tallying 171 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.0. Earlier this season, Nemechek piloted the No. 18 GR Supra for Joe Gibbs Racing at the Virginia facility, leading a race-high 135 laps before finishing second. He has also made one Cup Series start at Richmond in 2020, bringing home a 30th-place finish.
  •  Nemechek enters Saturday’s race 24 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8 with two races remaining in the Round of 10. In the first race of the playoffs at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park, Nemechek captured the pole and led a race-high 75 laps but was relegated to a 10th-place finish after losing several spots after a restart in NASCAR overtime. He also earned an additional playoff point, should he advance to the Round of 8, by capturing the Stage One win.
  • With six races remaining in the 2022 Truck Series season, the second-generation driver leads all Truck Series regulars in poles (five), average starting position (6.7), and average running position (9.094). He is also second in driver rating (103.7) and laps led (263).
  • The Toyota Racing driver spent his off week from Camping World Truck Series action making his seventh Xfinity Series start of the season behind the wheel of the No. 26 GR Supra for Sam Hunt Racing at Michigan International Speedway. After qualifying 31st, Nemechek drove his GR Supra to a 19th-place finish.
  • Safeway will adorn the hood of the No. 4 Tundra TRD Pro this Saturday at Richmond Raceway. Safeway operates as a banner of Albertsons Companies, one of the largest food and drug retailers in the United States. With both a strong local presence and national scale, the company operates stores across 35 states and the District of Columbia under 20 well-known banners.
  • Nemechek is a 12-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, and returning to victory lane in 2021 and 2022 with KBM. Across 141 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, he has compiled seven poles, 1,444 laps led, 47 top-five and 78 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4.
  • Eric Phillips returned to lead the No. 4 team in 2022. His 42 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 33 of those coming while at KBM including five last year. Phillips led the No. 18 team at KBM in its debut season in 2010 and helped build the organization into one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR before departing at the end of the 2014 season. Under his guidance, the No. 18 team won eight races in its inaugural campaign and became the Series history to capture an owner’s championship in its first season of competition. In 2014, the Illinois native led the first team in Truck No. 51 team to an owner’s championship and his team’s 10 wins spearheaded KBM to a single-season Truck Series record of 14 wins. Phillips has been atop the box for just three Camping World Truck Series starts at Richmond Raceway. In those three starts, his drivers have recorded one win (Nemechek – 2021), 115 laps led, one top-five and one top-10 finish resulting in an average finish of 22.0. 
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
You won at Richmond last year in the Truck Series and had a strong run there earlier this year in the Xfinity Series. Is it a track you look forward going to?
“Yeah, it definitely is. Richmond being in the playoffs now is huge for us and our team, I think. Richmond has been a place I have always loved going to, I’ve always ran really well there, and a place I’ve just figured out as a driver. You have to have good equipment underneath of you and I’m excited to get back in our Toyota Tundra TRD Pro this weekend and go see if we can chase our second victory of the year and our second victory at Richmond. Hopefully, we can put all of our tools, resources, notes, and experience to the test and go out there and kick some butt.”
Last year was a day race, what differences do you expect this year with the race being at night?
“There definitely will be differences racing at night compared to the day; cooler temps, the track probably won’t be as slick, but it’s also later in the year so temps might be around the same as when we were there last year and it being a cooler Spring race. I don’t really know; I don’t know what to expect as far as day to night. I’m glad we’re starting at night and not transitioning from day to night because I feel like that would be an even bigger swing vehicle wise. Just got to stay in tune with what the racetrack is doing, make the right adjustments, be on top of it and just have the right strategy for the whole race.”
You’re 24 points above the cutoff line, how do you feel going into the last two races in the Round of 8?
I don’t want to say I feel comfortable but I’m more comfortable than us being below the line. Twenty four points isn’t a lot but it’s a substantial amount to be above the line. Hopefully, we can just continue to push forward and lock ourselves in with a win this weekend, that would make things a lot easier to go to the second round.”
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
  • Twelve-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports. Across 141 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled seven poles, 1,444 laps led, 47 top-five and 78 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.4. Registered a career-high and series-leading five victories in 2021, earned the NCWTS Regular Season championship and finished third in the final standings after qualifying for the Championship Four for the first time in his career.
  • Produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
  • Across 63 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled two wins, one pole, 510 laps led, 17 top-five and 36 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.0. 
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Safeway Tundra:
KBM-58: The No. 4 Safeway team will unload KBM-58 for Saturday night’s race at Richmond Raceway. Nemechek has raced this Tundra twice in 2022, once at Martinsville (April) where he earned a fourth-place finish and once at Gateway (June) where a mid-race incident relegated him to a 35th-place finish. In 2021, Nemechek piloted KBM-58 to three wins, including leading a race-high 114 laps at Richmond en route to his second win of the year. Overall, KBM-58 has recorded four wins – three with Nemechek in 2021 and one with owner-driver Kyle Busch in 2019 – 474 laps led, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes in 16 starts resulting in an average finish of 11.1.
KBM Notes of Interest: