17-year old John Hunter Nemechek raced to a fifth-place finish in Saturday’s UNOH 175 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway highlighting an impressive rookie season thus far. Having finished sixth in three previous events in just eight starts this season, Nemechek continues to make the most of opportunities at tracks where he has never before raced and celebrated a long-awaited top-five.
“We overcame a lot of hurdles today but we kept working on the handling and by the end of the race I really felt like we had one of the best trucks out there,” said Nemechek from the top-five, post-race grid. “This was a really fun race and we dodged a lot of bullets in the end and I’m really glad we didn’t get caught up in any of those late-race cautions. Everyone on the SWM-NEMCO team worked extremely hard this weekend and it paid off with our first top-five.”
With the race getting started under chilly New England conditions, Nemechek reported early on that his front tires were not properly gripping the track. He held his own, however, racing in the top 12 through a long green flag run that led to green flag pit stops which began at lap 65. Pitting for four tires, fuel, wedge and air pressure adjustments, Nemechek reported shortly after that the adjustments were helping, but more was needed.
The opportunity to pit under caution would not come until lap 101, but as the race progressed, so did the handling of the No. 8 Tundra. Back under green nearing the closing laps, Nemechek was quiet on the radio, but made his presence known on track as he made a two-truck pass on lap 115 to take over the ninth position.
Making up for the long green flag runs in the beginning of the race, late-race cautions were plentiful and allowed for the opportunity to pick up valuable track position.
With four cautions in the final 40 laps, Nemechek made the most of the opportunities and reached the top five with just four laps remaining. Following a close call racing door handle-to-door handle with the 98 truck of Johnny Sauter, Nemechek drove his Tundra sideways through the turn and recovered nicely to finish in a career-high fifth position.
“We really gained on it all day long today and those last few laps were really fun, Nemechek said. “We’re growing and getting better as a team every week and today is a good testament to the hard work everyone has put in.”
The younger Nemechek is sharing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Season in the No. 8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports Tundra with his father and NASCAR Veteran, Joe Nemechek. With 16 starts between them they have a combined 11 top-10 finishes. Joe leads the finish category with a high of third and John Hunter is credited with one fifth and three sixth-place finishes.
Next up on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule is at Las Vegas Motor Speedway where Joe will take the wheel. Coverage of The Rhino Linings 300 begins at 10:00pm ET and can be seen live on Fox Sports 1. PRN and SiriusXM will carry the live radio broadcast.