John Hunter Nemechek: Driver, No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Toyota
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview:
Event: Talladega 250, Race 20 of 22 (Race 2 in the Round of 8)
94 Laps –20/20/54; 250.04 Miles
Location: Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway (2.66-mile tri-oval)
Date/Broadcast: Oct. 2, 2021, at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
Neme’chek’ The Facts:
- John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety team head to Talladega Superspeedway for the second race in the Round of 8 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs 28 points above the cutoff line for advancing to the Championship 4 at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway. After starting first and leading the first 30 en laps at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway en route to his series-leading 11th stage win Nemechek began experiencing electrical issues in Stage Two which sent him behind the wall for several laps and relegated the team to a 33rd-place finish in the opening race in the Round of 8. After this week’s race at Talladega, the Round of 8 will conclude Oct. 30 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
- The 24-year-old driver has made five Truck Series starts at Talladega, with a best result of sixth in the 2017 event. He finished eighth in each of his Cup Series starts at the Alabama track, both last season. In the Xfinity Series he has finished inside the top 10 in both of his Talladega starts, with a best result of sixth in 2019. In his superspeedway debut for KBM in the Truck Series, he led 14 laps and finished seventh at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway in February.
- The second-generation driver has put together a remarkable season thus far in his first season driving for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM). In addition to leading the circuit in race wins (five) and stage wins (11), he leads the Truck Series in top fives (11), fastest laps run (280), driver rating (115.2), average running position (6.920) and average finish (8.7).
- Nemechek registered his fifth Truck Series win of 2021 June 26 at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. The talented wheelman was able to beat KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch head-to-head for the third time this season. Nemechek also bested his boss at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway in March and at Richmond (Va.) Raceway in April. Busch finished second to his pupil in all three of those events. Additionally, Nemechek has produced victories at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.
- The Toyota Racing driver is competing in the Camping World Truck Series playoffs for the third time in his career. He finished eighth in the championship standings for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, in 2016 and 2017. Nemechek is an 11-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, and returning to victory lane this year with KBM.
- Eric Phillips returned 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 42 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 32 of those coming while at KBM. At Talladega, Phillip’s drivers have collected one win, one top-five and five top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.9 across seven starts. He was victorious with KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch at the 2.66-mile tri-oval in 2010.
- Pye-Barker Fire & Safety, an industry leader in commercial fire protection since 1946, will adorn the hood of Nemechek’s Tundra this weekend at Talladega and for the season finale at Phoenix (Ariz.) Raceway (Nov. 5). Pye-Barker recently acquired Nemechek’s long-time supporter Fire Alarm Services. This week’s livery features a special paint scheme that includes pink in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
John Hunter Nemechek, Driver Q&A:
Being 24 points above the cutoff line heading into Talladega, will you be on offense or defense?
“My theory is the less trucks that are in front of you, the less likely you are to wreck. For us, I think we have to go out and have a solid race, obviously. Stage points mean a lot, there is a lot that can change throughout the race, gaining or losing stage points compared to the other competitors. I also feel like you have to be around at the end to have a solid finish – that’s really what makes or breaks your day, I feel like. Have to have a solid race, definitely be on the lookout to not wreck but stay in the mix all day.”
What do you think makes a good superspeedway racer?
“I think overall, being a good superspeedway racer is recognizing the situations – being able to know when to side draft and when not to side draft and using the air and the run to your advantage. The Trucks are a little bit different than a Cup car or an Xfinity car, they definitely draft different. I feel like it’s more single-file or pack-style racing compared to the other series. There are a lot of new guys to superspeedway racing, with not a lot of experience in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series compared to the other two series. You have to be on the lookout for that as well. I think just recognizing the situations, knowing when to take a run and when not to take a run. Knowing who your drafting partners are – who you can trust and who you can’t trust is what all goes into making a really good superspeedway racer.”
Talk about your paint scheme for Saturday’s race.
“We have a pink No. 4, Pye-Barker/Fire Alarm Services Toyota Tundra on track this weekend at Talladega. Something that hits home to all of us, my family, the family from Fire Alarm Services as well and everyone involved. Trying to bring pink out and create some awareness for Breast Cancer. It being the month of October is a special month for us, so we’re looking forward to hopefully taking it to victory lane on Saturday.”
John Hunter Nemechek Career Highlights:
- Eleven-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 121 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, has compiled two poles, 1,168 laps led, 39 top-five and 64 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.5.
- 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 53 career XFINITY Series starts, has totaled one win (Kansas Speedway, 10/20/18), one pole, 225 laps led, 13 top-five and 31 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.8.
John Hunter Nemechek’s No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety Tundra:
KBM-13: The No. 4 Pye-Barker Fire & Safety team will unload KBM-13 for Saturday’s race at Talladega. This is the first time this Tundra has been raced since 2018. KBM owner-driver Kyle Busch won with KBM-13 at Daytona International Speedway in 2014. It also has produced runner-up finishes with Christopher Bell at Talladega in 2017 and Erik Jones at Daytona in 2015.
KBM Notes of Interest:
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, two poles, 68 laps led, nine top-five and 17 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.6 across 28 starts at Talladega.
- Raphael Lessard collected the first victory of his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series career last year at the 2.66-mile tri-oval. Owner-driver Kyle Busch was victorious in the 2010 event when he finished 0.002 seconds ahead of Aric Almirola in the closest finish in Truck Series history since electronic scoring was instituted.
- KBM holds the Camping World Truck Series records for most career wins (89) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). With his victory at Bristol Motor Speedway Chandler Smith became the 17th different driver to win a Truck Series event for KBM. 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 16 career victories at KBM and was the number for both of the organization’s driver championships.