Sunday, Aug 07

RACE REPORT: Darlington - John Hunter Nemechek / No. 26 Stillhouse Classic Vodka Toyota GR Supra

RACE REPORT: Darlington - John Hunter Nemechek / No. 26 Stillhouse Classic Vodka Toyota GR Supra NK Photography Photo
KEY NOTES
 
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the Stillhouse® Classic Vodka team solidified Sam Hunt Racing's third Top-5 finish in its history with a fourth-place finish in the Mahindra ROXOR 200 at Darlington Raceway on Saturday afternoon.
  • This marks the second-highest finish in team history and second top-five of the 2022 season.
  • Third - Richmond Raceway (2021 - Nemechek)
  • Fourth - Darlington Raceway (Spring 2022 - Nemechek)
  • Fifth - Phoenix Raceway (Spring 2022 - Nemechek - 11 laps led)
 
  • The weekend got off to a blistering start when Nemechek was second-fastest on the leaderboard during Friday evening's practice session.
 
  • Rain unfortunately cancelled qualifying on Friday afternoon resulting in the field being set by the rulebook.
  • The No. 26 Stillhouse® Classic Vodka team started 23rd.
 
  • Nemechek was in position to grab the win prior to the Lap 136 caution with 11 laps remaining.
  • Nemechek was in second, chasing down the leader prior to the caution flag waving.
  • The team is confident that if the caution never came out, Nemechek could have landed in Victory Lane.
 
  • Sam Hunt Racing resides 15th in Owner Points following the event at The Lady in Black.
 
RACE RECAP
 
Stage One Recap
  • John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 26 Stillhouse® Classic Vodka Toyota GR Supra started 23rd in Saturday's Mahindra ROXOR 200 at Darlington Raceway.
  • By lap 5, Nemechek had already moved up to the 17th position.
  • Multiple cautions flew during the first stage, but the team elected to stay out rather than pit during each caution.
  • Nemechek, who was up to fifth before the end of the stage, reported that close to the end of the stage, the car began to lose front grip.
  • Nemechek completed Stage One in the 10th position.
  • At the stage break, the team pitted for four tires, fuel and a series of handling adjustments.
Stage Two Recap
  • Nemechek restarted Stage Two in the 9th position. 
  • During the first caution period of Stage Two, Nemechek reported he was tight on throttle, but the adjustments made were in the right direction.
  • The No. 26 team ended up fourth to end the second stage.
  • Nemechek pitted for four tires, fuel and another round of handling adjustments.
Final Stage Recap
  • Nemechek restarted 5th to kick off the final stage.
  • With 43 laps remaining, the No. 26 Stillhouse® Classic Vodka Toyota GR Supra was battling in the Top-3.
  • A debris caution came out on Lap 20, and Nemechek asked for a minor adjustment to free the car up just a bit.
  • Hart brought Nemechek down pit road for 4 tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment.
  • Nemechek restarted 4th with 22 laps remaining.
  • Nemechek quickly took over the second position, was hunting the leader down, and was in position to pass for the win prior to the Lap 136 caution with 11 laps remaining.
  • The team pitted during this caution period to get four fresh tires and fuel for the 7-lap dash to the end.
  • Another caution flew with 5 laps remaining. Nemechek did not pit and restarted 7th on a Green-White-Checkered finish.
  • Nemechek and the No. 26 Stillhouse® Classic Vodka Team ended up fourth in the Mahindra ROXOR 200 at Darlington Raceway.
 
QUOTES
 
 
Image by Daylon Barr Photography
 
How do you feel about your race today and another top-five finish for Sam Hunt Racing?
“We unloaded yesterday and had a really fast Stillhouse, 11-11 Toyota GR Supra. This Sam Hunt Racing machine was quick. All the guys gave me a great car here. Had to start back because we didn't get to qualify and we were able to get into the top-10 I think in the first stage, made some adjustments, got it better. And then I thought we were going to have a shot at the win there until the caution came out and lost a few spots on pit road there. The pit crew did awesome for not running up run every week and maintaining most of the time. So shout out to the Sam Hunt Racing guys. I think that's three or four or five starts in this car and I think three out of the five are top five finishes so pretty proud of everyone in the organization.”
 
After two strong races at Darlington, what does this do for your overall momentum?
“I feel like it's good no matter what series you're running in. I feel like the XFINITY car can translate over to the truck and truck and translate over to the XFINITY car and I feel like I learned a lot last night in the truck race. Had a really good Toyota Tundra TRD PRO and that carried over into today. Our Toyota GR Supra was really fast. Just needed track position to start off. We battled our way through the field and made the right adjustments I felt like and had a shot there until the caution came out and just lined up wrong. Chose restarts wrong but we'll learn from it and now we'll go race I think seven or eight more weeks straight in the truck series trying to pick up some more wins.”
 
-- John Hunter Nemechek, Driver of the No. 26 Stillhouse® Classic Vodka Toyota GR Supra.
 
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