John Hunter Nemechek Records Pair of Podium Finishes in Southern Super Series Gulf Coast Doubleheader
Rising stock car racing star John Hunter Nemechek traveled to the Gulf Coast this weekend to participate in the Southern Super Series doubleheader at Five Flags Speedway (FL) and Mobile International Speedway (AL). The 16-year-old driver was able to bring home two trophies when the weekend ended after finishing second at Five Flags on Friday and third at Mobile on Saturday.
Nemechek would roll off sixth on the grid in the first half of the doubleheader at Five Flags Speedway before charging to the front and cracking the top-three during the early stages of the event. Following the lap 75 competition caution, Nemechek would take the lead on lap 78 with a gutsy three-wide move to the inside of Bubba Pollard and Hunter Robbins.
The North Carolina driver would end up leading a total of five laps before another caution flag was waved allowing Pollard to take back the top-spot on the restart. Nemechek battled tough during the closing laps of the event but eventually came up just one spot short.
“Bubba had a little bit better car there at the end,” said Nemechek. “We were just trying some different stuff tonight to get ready for the Snowball (Derby) and try to win that at the end of the year. It’s all a learning experience. It’s good to finish second, but it’s better to finish a spot ahead. We’ll go back and think on it and see what we need to do to get that next spot.”
On Saturday night at Mobile International Speedway, Nemechek put himself in a good position to get that next spot after recording fast time in time trials. The fast qualifier award presented to Nemechek was his first Southern Super Series fast time award of his young career.
Starting on the pole, Nemechek would lead the first 14 laps of the event before settling in the third position with hopes of saving tires for the end of the race. While many other competitors pitted during a lap 63 caution, Nemechek waited until the lap 75 competition caution to bring his No. 8 McDonald’s Chevrolet to pit road for tires and fuel.
With track position being a key factor, Nemechek battled traffic to get back to the front but time ended up being a major factor forcing the 16-year-old to settle for a third place finish, his second podium finish in two nights.
“We had a good car during the first half of the race and whatever adjustments we made the car didn’t like,” Nemechek said. “Those guys that came in and took tires the caution before the competition caution came out had the advantage because they had track position.
“That was a key factor there at the end. We got held up behind some guys, Bubba (Pollard) and I did. Bubba ended up having the better car and was able to get through a little bit quicker than I was able to.”
Next up for John Hunter Nemechek will be a 100-lap Pro Late Model feature at Gresham Motorsports Park in Jefferson, Georgia on May 3.