One year ago, John Hunter Nemechek wasn’t old enough to race at Kansas Speedway – now he remarkably leads the NASCAR Truck Series on its return.
His introduction to intermediate tracks in the Camping World Truck Series – which started last July at Kentucky Speedway after he turned 18 – has been nothing short of phenomenal.
Nemechek’s five subsequent truck starts on 1.5-mile tracks has earned him two wins and an average finish of fifth.
His second career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February, backed up by his second-place finish to Kyle Busch at Martinsville Speedway last month, vaulted Nemechek to the top of the truck standings after the third race of the season.
High hopes for Kansas
This weekend – Nemechek will knock another first off of his list as he tackles Kansas Speedway. The driver believes his earlier success at intermediate tracks will expedite his learning curve.
“Racing at intermediate tracks is pretty much the same concept as going to Kansas,” Nemechek told Motorsport.com. “You’re going to be running wide open throughout the race.
“There’s stuff you’re going to learn from the aerodynamic side to how you get your truck handling. I think our previous experience will help us with that.”
And the bar has been raised high for Nemechek. He was just seven when he made his first trip to Victory Lane — after his father Joe won the Sprint Cup race in 2004.
On the Truck side, the No. 8 Nemco Motorsports Chevy finished a career-high second last year with Ryan Newman.
“We hope to run up front like Newman did and go for a second win of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season,” Nemechek said. “I look forward to making my Kansas Speedway debut, and having a great Chevrolet prepared by our NEMCO Motorsports crew.
“Newman finished second last year at the Kansas Speedway and it helped our program acquire valuable information, so hopefully, we will be on the right track when we get on-track Thursday afternoon.”