John Hunter: Driver, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: BrakeBest Brake Pads 159, Race 2 of 22, 44 Laps – 12/13/19; 158.85 Miles
Location: Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway Road Course (3.61-mile, 14-turn road course)
Date/Broadcast: Feb. 19, 2021 at 7:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Neme’check’ the Facts:
- John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team return to Daytona International Speedway to tackle the 3.61-mile, 14-turn road course. In the season-opening event on the oval at Daytona, the No. 4 team finished led 14 laps, won Stage Two and finished seventh. After the first race of the season, Nemechek is tied for second in the Camping World Trucks driver standings with Sheldon Creed, four tallies behind points leader Ben Rhodes.
- Nemechek is a six-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports. Across 103 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 623 laps led, 28 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.1. The North Carolina native qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
- The second-generation driver has made five starts in Camping World Truck Series action on road courses, scoring a win at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park in 2016 and overall, he has earned two top-five and three-top 10 finishes. In last year’s NASCAR Cup Series race on the Daytona road course, Nemechek finished 35th after being involved in an incident. In the NASCAR XFINITY Series, Nemechek has four starts on road courses with a best finish of seventh on the ROVAL™ at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
- The 23-year-old driver produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award four times and finished 23rd in the championship standings.
- Eric Phillips returns to KBM to lead the No. 4 team this season. Phillips led the No. 18 team at KBM in its debut season in 2010 and helped build the organization into one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR before departing at the end of the 2014 season. Under his guidance, the No. 18 team won eight races in its inaugural campaign and became the first team in Truck Series history to capture an owner’s championship in its first season of competition. In 2014, the Illinois native led the No. 51 team to an owner’s championship and his team’s 10 wins spearheaded KBM to a single-season Truck Series record of 14 wins. His 37 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 27 of those coming while at KBM. Owner-driver Kyle Busch collected his organization’s lone Truck Series victory at Daytona with Phillips atop the pit box in 2014. On road courses in the Camping World Trucks, Phillips has one start, where he finished third with then-KBM driver Erik Jones in 2014.
- The world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1, will adorn the hood of Nemechek’s No. 4 Tundra for the next four races on the Camping World Truck Series schedule beginning with the Daytona Road Course.
John Hunter Nemechek | Daytona Road Course Preview
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
You had a strong run at Daytona. How important was it for you and tour team to get off to a fast start this season?
“Having a really strong run to start the year at Daytona was very important for our team. There’s a lot of things that could go wrong at Daytona, especially on the oval. I feel like our team did a really good job competing at the very start from unloading at practice with a couple new faces including the crew chief and others in different roles within the team. As well as myself trying to figure out communication, the flow of everything going back to the Truck series from Cup, and everything of that sort. I definitely thought it was smooth. We won a stage. We got some stage points. We sit tied for second in points. I feel like getting the year kicked off on a strong note is definitely very good for us compared to losing a lot of points or not having a very good day.
Do you enjoy road course racing? What do you think about having a few more road courses on the Truck schedule this season?
“I really enjoy road course racing as a driver. It’s a lot of fun for me being able to go left and right. It takes a lot of discipline, a lot of learning, a lot of homework, and a lot of studying among other things you have to do as a driver to be prepared. I really enjoy going to different racetrack and learning them. It gives you something different to do. The diversity with going to a road course compared to a short track or a mile-and-a-half is a lot of fun. It changes it up.”
The race Friday at the Daytona Road Course is almost 20 laps shorter than the Cup race you were in last year. How will that affect how you and Eric Phillips attack/strategize Friday’s race?
“The truck race will be shorter than the Cup race last year, it’s quite a bit shorter. Being able to change up our strategy, understanding exactly what we need to do, how to execute that, what plays or moves we are going to make for strategy calls, I think it is relying on what happened last year and the knowledge of doing it from the Cup and XFINITY Series. From watching The Clash the other night, there is a lot of information that we can cipher through to figure out what we want to do as a team to put us in the best position for a great points day and trying to get our Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra a win this weekend.”
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
- Six-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports. Across 103 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 623 laps led, 28 top-five and 51 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 13.1. Qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017.
- Produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award four times and finished 23rd in the championship standings.
- Across 51 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled one win (Kansas Speedway, 10/20/18), one pole, 225 laps led, 12 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.6.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Mobil 1 Tundra:
KBM-61: The No. 4 Mobil 1 team will unload KBM-61 for the road course event at Daytona. This chassis has been raced twice with a best finish of second at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park by Alex Tagliani in 2019. The chassis was raced last season on the Daytona road course by Tagliani, where he scored a 22nd-place finish.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers earned an average finish of 12.3 in last year’s event at the Daytona Road Course. Raphael Lessard’s third-place result was the organization’s best finish.
- Erik Jones collected KBM’s lone road-course victory in 2015 at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park in Bowmanville, Ont.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (80) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record seven Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers: Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).
- The No. 4 has 11 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.