AUDIO/FEATURE: John Hunter Nemechek Continues Youth Movement; Carries Family Name Into 2014

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January 14, 2014 — Audio and story by Jacob Seelman for Speed77 Radio and Race Chaser Online, with contribution from speed51.com — NEMCO photo via Facebook — MOORESVILLE, NC —

Sometimes success is simply in a name.

And this time the name is Nemechek. After 16-year-old John Hunter Nemechek, son of 1992 NASCAR Nationwide Series champion Joe Nemechek and nephew to late NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competitor John Nemechek, put onlookers on alert in his first two career NCWTS starts, the youth is now prepped to battle at the top of the heap with a much more aggressive 2014 campaign. 

Nemechek will pilot the No. 8 Toyota Tundra in 10 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events in 2014 under the SWM-NEMCO Motorsports banner, a partnership that includes the family team owned by his father.

The 10-race slate consists of all the tracks under the most recent NASCAR age requirements that the second-generation driver can compete on. Nemechek says the mix of short tracks and one-mile ovals coupled with a road course and a dirt track makes for an exciting opportunity to gain experience on a multitude of surfaces and configurations.

“Our goals for the year are finish all the laps, and for our team, to finish top 10 in each race,” said Nemechek.  “I know it’s going to be tough, especially for me as a rookie, racing against all the veterans that we’ll compete with, but I think our team can do it.  It’s mainly all about getting as much experience as I can; if we finish all the laps, we’ll be there to compete for the results.”

Nemechek began his rise into the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2013 with a pair of starts near season’s end. The young prodigy, who won the 2012 Allison Legacy Series National Championship and is a current Super Late Model division frontrunner, finished 16th in his Truck Series debut in October at the famed Martinsville Speedway. He followed that result up with a 21st-place mark at Phoenix International Raceway in November.

Nemechek says the two races he did run last season helped him prepare for and create a new approach to his 2014 Truck Series run.

“Getting my feet wet with the two races last year (at Martinsville and Phoenix) definitely prepared me for this season.  I know more of what I’m looking for in the truck, and I learned that it’s a lot about preparation and the people you have working around you.  We’re definitely looking forward to putting all the right things together to run strong this year.”

SWM-NEMCO Motorsports was born from the motorsports fire of Sid Mauldin, who is the founder of Texas-based company SWM Gun Runner.  Mauldin, a staunch supporter of NASCAR and the Camping World Truck Series, lived out a long-awaited dream 2013 by partnering with Joe Nemechek in NASCAR team ownership.  That dream continues into 2014 with John Hunter Nemechek behind the wheel of one of his trucks once again, and Nemechek says the co-owner of his team has a drive that inspires everyone he comes into contact with.

“Sid has meant a lot to my racing career and to this sport,” the youth said of Mauldin.  “It was always his dream to own a race team and I was blessed to get this opportunity to drive for him.  The cool part is that if there’s anyone that’s more excited than me to see what we can do on the track this year, it’s him.”

Nemechek will switch from the #22 that he raced during the 2013 season, shifting over to the family #8 in honor of his late uncle John, who he is the namesake for. John Nemechek was killed in a racing accident during a NASCAR Camping World Truck race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in March of 1997.

“It will be really special being able to run the No. 8 in the Truck Series,” John Hunter said of returning to the number he has used since his Allison Legacy Series days.  “That was, of course, the number my uncle John drove before we lost him a few years ago.  It will mean a lot to my family and myself to be able to take the number with us as we take the next step in my career.”

“The hardest thing about using the number was asking my grandparents if I could have permission to race the number, because John was their son and it was his number first, but you know, they were happy to let me, and it’s an honor to race that number and pay tribute to him in that regard.

An announcement regarding the team’s crew chief and personnel will be made in the coming weeks.

Nemechek will also compete in a number of Super Late Model events in 2014, with an exact schedule to be announced soon.

The events on John Hunter’s NCWTS calendar include Martinsville Speedway on March 29 and October 25, Dover International Speedway on May 30, Gateway Motorsports Park on June 14, Iowa Speedway on July 11, Eldora Speedway on July 23, Bristol Motor Speedway on August 20, Canadian Tire Motorsport Park on August 31, New Hampshire Motor Speedway on September 20, Phoenix International Raceway on November 7.

When asked which events he has specifically marked on his calendar, Nemechek say that while he wants to perform strong “at every race we go to”, he’s especially excited about the dirt track at Eldora and the road course in Canada (Canadian Tire Motorsports Park).

“I’m really looking forward to the race at Eldora; dirt racing has always been something I’ve eyed and the fact that I’ll be able to do it at the NASCAR national level is huge,” added Nemechek.  “That will be a lot of fun. And I (also) love road course racing as much as I enjoy oval racing.  Even though I’m not old enough to compete on the speedways or superspeedways, these 10 races are at a really fun mix of tracks and I can’t wait to get started and give it everything I can.”

But when asked what he wants to take away from the 2014 campaign, the North Carolina teen grinned before replying confidently:

“I want to win if we have the opportunity and the means to pull it off. Isn’t that what everyone’s looking to do?”

For more information on John Hunter Nemechek, visit www.johnhunternemechek.com. You can also follow John Hunter on Twitter via @JohnNemechek and on Facebook by searching John Hunter Nemechek.

 

Listen in as we talked with John Hunter Nemechek about his 2014 Truck announcement and his expectations for the upcoming season:

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