Sam Hunt Racing announced that John Hunter Nemechek will be competing in select NASCAR Xfinity Series races for the organization this season, beginning at Dover International Speedway in May.
The 23-year-old native from Mooresville, North Carolina, is currently competing on a full-time basis in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series for Kyle Busch Motorsports. He is coming off a seventh-place result in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.
Nemechek, the son of NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek, will be making his first start in the Xfinity Series since 2019, where he competed as a full-time competitor for GMS Racing. Through 51 career starts in the Xfinity Series, he has recorded one victory, which occurred at Kansas Speedway in October 2018 while driving for Chip Ganassi Racing. He has also recorded a pole, 12 top-five results and 30 top-10 results. He made the Xfinity Playoffs in 2019 and went on to finish in seventh place in the final standings.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity to be able to run some races for [team owner] Sam Hunt,” Nemechek said. “It’s awesome to see what he’s done in such a short time, being such a young team owner in the sport. I think my experience and this team can accomplish a lot and I’m excited to see what happens! I can’t thank Sam, Toyota, and all of our partners enough for this opportunity and helping us put this together.”
Sam Hunt Racing, which started as DRIVE Technology and competed in several seasons in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, made its first appearance in the Xfinity Series in the 2019 season-finale event at Homestead-Miami Speedway, with Colin Garrett behind the wheel of the team’s No. 26 Toyota and Brian Keselowski serving as crew chief. Starting 15th, Garrett went on to finish 21st of the 38-car field.
In 2020, SHR moved up to the Xfinity Series on a part-time basis, fielding the No. 26 Toyota Supra. Garrett returned and competed in five Xfinity races for the team, Brandon Gdovic competed in two and Mason Diaz campaigned in the final two races of the season. The team’s best results were 12th place with Gdovic at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course and 14th with Garrett at Homestead-Miami Speedway during the series’ doubleheader feature in Miami.
This season, SHR is coming off its first top-10 career result in the Xfinity Series, which was an eighth-place result in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway accomplished by Gdovic.
Nemechek is set to join names like Gdovic, Kris Wright and Santino Ferrucci as competitors slated to drive for SHR throughout this year’s Xfinity Series season.
“I’m excited to have John Hunter come back to his roots and drive for our young team in 2021,” Hunt added. “He’s always been a mutual friend of mine, always been extremely friendly, and has always shown that he can maximize his equipment and represent his sponsors. Working with so many rookies this year, his experience and feedback will be invaluable to our program’s growth. I know he can help us just as much as we can help him, and I think it’s cool to see a guy like him so excited about joining our small team with intentions to improve it as a whole. The entire shop is extremely excited about it and I know he’ll be able to help us improve our cars throughout the year.”
With Nemechek’s return to the series three months away, Sam Hunt Racing is set to compete in the upcoming NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course with Kris Wright. The event will occur on Saturday, February 20, at 5 p.m. ET on FS1.