Joe Gibbs Racing has another opportunity to win a fall race at Texas Motor Speedway. The team has brought back John Hunter Nemechek for another Xfinity Series start.
The NASCAR Roster Portal provided the update. It confirmed that Nemechek will return to the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra for the Texas Motor Speedway weekend. He will work once again with Jason Ratcliff as his crew chief while making his third start of the year in the No. 18 and 10th overall in the Xfinity Series. His other seven starts in 2022 were with Sam Hunt Racing.
Nemechek’s first two starts for JGR in 2022 featured very different outcomes. He was within reach of a win at Richmond Raceway during the spring, but teammate Ty Gibbs used an aggressive move and shoved Nemechek up the track off of Turn 4. Nemechek ultimately finished second behind Gibbs.
His second start of the year for JGR took place at Dover Motor Speedway. Nemechek qualified ninth in the No. 18 Toyota GR Supra, but he had to head to the garage during Stage 2 with an apparent brake issue.
Nemechek Set a Career Mark at Texas Motor Speedway in 2021
The 2021 season featured Nemechek winning multiple races at Texas Motor Speedway. He captured the checkered flag in the June Truck Series race at the intermediate track and then he set a career-best mark during the Xfinity Series race in October.
The North Carolina native started 10th overall in the No. 54 Toyota Supra and he took the lead after the first stage. He spent 72 lapses at the front of the pack while also winning Stage 2.
Daniel Hemric and Harrison Burton both spent time in the lead during the final stage, but Nemechek retook his spot at the front on the final restart. He led another 20 laps to close out the race, and he surpassed his previous best of 64 from a trip to Kansas Speedway in 2018.
The Toyota drivers were strong, to the point that Nemechek and Hemric broke away from the pack on the final run to the checkered flag. They were more than three seconds ahead of Noah Gragson in third and Justin Allgaier in fourth, which helped them cruise to a one-two JGR finish.
Nemechek Will Fill His Off-Week
The trip to Texas Motor Speedway provides Nemechek with an opportunity to win his third career Xfinity Series race. It also helps him fill the Camping World Truck Series off-week.
Nemechek and the other Truck Series drivers will be idle to close out the month of September. They won’t return to action until October 1 at Talladega Superspeedway, a race that serves as the penultimate event of the Round of Eight.
The driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is fresh off a 12th-place finish at Bristol Motor Speedway in which he had to start from the rear after going to the backup truck.
Nemechek is currently the first driver below the cutline, and he is nine points back of Stewart Friesen. Ty Majeski (Bristol winner), Chandler Smith (+24), and Zane Smith (+21) are the other drivers currently sitting in solid positions with two races remaining in the Round of Eight.
Stacking points and avoiding incidents will be the priority for Nemechek as he takes on Talladega Superspeedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway. The veteran driver doesn’t have a win at either track, but he has one top-five at each. This includes a runner-up at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2015 and a fourth-place finish at Talladega Superspeedway during the 2021 playoffs.
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