NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: TSport 200, Race 17 of 23 (Race 1 of 3, Round of 10), 200 Laps – 60/60/80; 137.2 Miles
Location: Lucas Oil Indianapolis (Ind.) Raceway Park (IRP) (0.686-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: July 29, 2022, at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Neme’chek’ the Facts:
John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Yahoo! team head into the first race in the Round of 10 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park as the four seed in the three round, elimination-style format. The 25-year-old driver accumulated eight playoff points throughout the regular season by picking up a win at Darlington in May and tallying three stage wins. He enters Friday’s race at Indianapolis Raceway Park 14 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Round of 8.
During the 16-race regular season, Nemechek produced one win, four poles, seven top-five and 11 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish 11.4. The second-generation driver leads Truck Series regulars in poles and average starting position (7.1), second in driver rating (102.4), third in laps led (171), and fourth in average running position (9.454).
The Toyota Racing Driver will be competing in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs for the fourth time in his career. He finished third in 2021 after making the Championship 4 at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway after finishing eighth in the standings for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, in 2016 and 2017.
While he has not competed in a Truck Series event at the IRP, Nemechek has competed at the 0.686-mile oval in both Pro and Super Late Model events. Nemechek went toe-to-toe with Kyle Busch in the 2014 ARCA/CRA Super Late Model race, which saw Busch make a last lap pass for the lead to edge out Nemechek by a mere 0.024 seconds. In 2015, Nemechek earned the pole and led 46 of 100 laps on his way to his first ARCA/CRA Super Late Model victory at the Indiana track.
Global media and tech company, Yahoo!, will adorn the hood of the No. 4 Tundra TRD Pro this Friday at Lucas Oil Raceway. Yahoo! has made two starts this season with KBM, one with owner-driver Kyle Busch when he drove the No. 51 to victory at Sonoma (Calif.) Raceway in June and one with Nemechek last week when he piloted the No. 4 Yahoo! Tundra to a third-place finish at Pocono Raceway.
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 140 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, he has compiled six poles, 1,369 laps led, 47 top-five and 77 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 seven Camping World Truck Series starts at Lucas Oil Raceway. In those seven starts, his drivers have recorded one win (Dennis Setzer – 2005), 256 laps led, four top-five and four top-10 finishes with an average finish of 8.3.
John Hunter Nemechek | Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Preview
How do you think the Truck Series race will be at IRP this weekend?
“I feel like it should be a good race. It will be interesting to see what teams hit it right off the truck and what teams have to work hard this weekend. Hopefully, we’re one of the teams that hits it right off the truck and have a fast Yahoo! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. I’m looking forward to going to IRP, one of my favorite places to go race Super Late Models and Pro Late Models so hopefully some of that experience will pay off and transfer over into the truck this weekend and go get the first win in the playoffs and keep on rolling the momentum that we have.”
Do you think you can attack the playoffs differently this year and be more on the offensive than defensive?
“Yeah, for sure. Being the fourth seed, obviously you want to be number one, but I feel like we don’t have as many playoff points as the other guys in front of us so we have to go out and try to manage expectations and go push as hard as we can. We didn’t want to peak too early this year so let’s go peak in the playoffs and win a bunch of races and lock ourselves into the Championship. But definitely less pressure from last year being the favorite every single week and feeling like we had to perform that way. Now we can go out and do it, we’ve felt like we were underneath the radar a little bit this year, maybe not the best truck every week, but hopefully with the playoffs that will be a different story.”
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 140 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled six poles, 1,369 laps led, 47 top-five and 77 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 62 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 11.9.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Yahoo! Tundra TRD Pro:
KBM-60: The No. 4 Yahoo! team will unload KBM-60 for Friday night’s race at IRP. KBM-60 will be making its first start in 2022 and was last driven by Chandler Smith at Pocono in June of 2021. Overall, this Tundra TRD Pro has recorded two wins (Kyle Busch (Las Vegas – 2020) and Brandon Jones (Pocono – 2020), 143 laps led, five top-five and five top-10 finishes across eight starts with an average starting position of 9.5 and average finish of 9.8.
KBM-60 Performance Profile
KBM Notes of Interest:
KBM drivers have made just two starts at Lucas Oil Raceway, once in 2010 when owner-driver Kyle Busch finished runner-up and again in 2011 when Josh Richards crossed the stripe in 22nd.
KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (96) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway on March 19, Corey Heim became the 18th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
The No. 4 has 17 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.
TIL NEXT TIME, I AM STILL WORKING ON MY REDNECK!