Nemechek rejoins Joe Gibbs Racing for three-race Xfinity schedule

John Hunter Nemechek has been added to the list of competitors who will be piloting the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Supra on a part-time basis throughout the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

The 24-year-old second-generation Nemechek from Mooresville, North Carolina, will be making his first Xfinity start in JGR’s No. 18 Toyota entry at Richmond Raceway on April 2 followed by Dover Motor Speedway on April 30. He will then make his third and final start in JGR’s equipment at Texas Motor Speedway on September 24 during the 2022 Xfinity Series Playoffs. With veteran Jason Ratcliff atop the pit box as the crew chief of JGR’s No. 18 team, Safeway, ACME and ROMCO will be sponsoring Nemechek’s three-race schedule with JGR.

“I am really excited to have this opportunity to race again in JGR’s Xfinity Series program after the success we had last season,” Nemechek said. “We were able to pick up a win in just three starts and hopefully we can add to that success this season. I am also looking forward to working with crew chief Jason Ratcliff, who has found victory lane with a lot of different drivers over the year. I really appreciate the support of my long-term partners Safeway, ACME, and ROMCO for coming on board to support me and of course Toyota.”

The 2022 season will mark Nemechek’s second part-time effort as an Xfinity competitor for JGR. He made his first start in the team’s No. 54 Toyota Supra last October at Talladega Superspeedway, where he finished 22nd. Two races later, he rebounded from a late pit road penalty by notching a dominant victory at Texas Motor Speedway, which marked his second career victory in the series and first since winning at Kansas Speedway in October 2018. Nemechek’s final start with JGR in 2021 occurred during the season finale event at Phoenix Raceway in November, where he finished in sixth place.

Nemechek, who is campaigning in his second full-time season as a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competitor for Kyle Busch Motorsports, is coming off back-to-back Xfinity Series starts of this season at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and at Phoenix Raceway, where he finished 12th and fifth respectively while driving for Sam Hunt Racing. He is scheduled to return to SHR for the series’ second trip to Las Vegas on October 15.

“John Hunter was impressive in his starts with us last year and we’re excited to have him back this season to work with Jason (Ratcliff) and our 18 team for a few races,” Steve de Souza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Development for Joe Gibbs Racing, said. “He really has made the most of every opportunity and we expect he will run up front again in these races.”

Nemechek is the fourth competitor alongside Drew Dollar, Trevor Bayne and Ryan Truex to be named a part-time competitor for Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota entry for this year’s Xfinity schedule. The No. 18 entry has achieved two top-five results through the first four scheduled events, both made by Bayne as he finished third at Auto Club Speedway and fourth at Phoenix Raceway. Bayne is scheduled to drive the No. 18 Toyota Supra this upcoming weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 19.

The remainder of Joe Gibbs Racing’s driver lineup for the No. 18 team will be determined at a later date.

Nemechek’s first Xfinity Series start of the season with Joe Gibbs Racing is scheduled to occur at Richmond Raceway on Saturday, April 2, with coverage to occur at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of SpeedwayMedia.com

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