Toyota Racing – NXS Charlotte Quotes – John Hunter Nemechek – 05.26.23

Toyota Racing – John Hunter Nemechek
NASCAR Xfinity Series Quotes

CONCORD, N.C. (May 26, 2023) – Joe Gibbs Racing driver John Hunter Nemechek was made available to media prior to the NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday:

JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 20 Mobil 1 Toyota GR Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing

What are your thoughts going into this weekend?

“I’m excited to be here racing at home and being able to be here in Charlotte. It is a great atmosphere of family and friends coming out to the race. It’s my first time in a Xfinity car at Charlotte in quite some time. I feel like our mile-and-a-half program has definitely been pretty good at Joe Gibbs Racing on the Xfinity side across the last few races and last year. I’m excited to see what we can do. JRM (JR Motorsports) cars were definitely dominate here last year, so I feel like we have a little bit of a tall task to go out there and beat them, but I feel like we had a good test here in January. Weather is probably going to be the same tomorrow. I’m excited to get racing here and kick off a couple of mile-and-a-halves, but also a couple of road courses in between as well. Portland – I don’t know much about it. I’ve never been there. I’ve seen a little bit of video. I’ve done a little bit of sim work, but it is all going to be new to me. It’s kind of a tall task for me to go out there and figure it out quickly. Luckily, I think there’s not a lot guys out there with laps there in the dry – if we end up racing in the dry. A lot of guys have laps in the rain from racing in the rain there last year. Who knows how it is going to end up, but JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) was fast there last year as well. I’ve just got to put my big boy pants on try to learn it pretty quick.”

Do you have memories coming here with your dad (Joe Nemechek)?

“Yeah, I do. I end up growing up here, out in the bus lot, walking around. I remember trying to get through all the gates here as a child – and always having a minor credential and getting stopped. That’s probably one of the fondest memories – always trying to get somewhere, and not being able to get where I needed to go. I definitely love coming here – short drive to the race track from home, being able to sleep in your own bed is nice.”

What do you think your Truck Series and Xfinity Series success could show potential Cup teams with openings?

“I hope it puts me at the top of the line for some of the Cup seats, if they open. That was kind of the goal with taking the gamble and moving back to the Truck Series – was trying to revamp my career and show that I could win in whatever I got in. Being able to win in the Truck Series, being able to win in the Xfinity Series over the last couple of years and contend for championships – I’m sad that we didn’t win one, but we were at least contending for them. I feel like every week, we have been a contender, every time we have shown up to the race track. It feels good to me. It boosts my confidence as a driver. When you are not running as well and not contending for wins, you start questioning yourself sometimes. That can take a mental tole on you. I’m definitely proud of where we are – from the step back. I’m thankful for Toyota, TRD, and everyone involved for taking the gamble to bring me back and put me in some great equipment to try and go win some races.”

If the race gets pushed because of weather, will you be okay to get to Portland?

“I think from the team side we would be okay to get there. I think our cars are close from having a couple weeks off and getting ahead a little bit. I can’t fully speak on where they are at, team wise and car wise, to be able to ship them out, but I’m sure if we get rained out tomorrow or Sunday or Monday, or whenever we get rained out and racing, I’m sure that we can get our stuff ready to get out to Portland. It might be tight getting there – depending on when we race for garage opening and haulers. I think they were saying it was like a 48-hour driving time. That’s pretty tough.”

What did you learn in taking that step back that is benefitting you as you move back up the NASCAR ladder?

“I think from the year racing in Cup – it taught me a lot. There were a lot of things I learned from the racing side – restarts. A year of Cup experience is unbeatable I would say. I feel like being able to have that under your belt, and to be able to race around the top guys every week definitely puts you in a better position to know what to do to get good finishing positions. Again, you are racing some of the best of the best, but I would say the biggest thing I learned from taking the step back was to be never afraid and gamble on yourself. If you think that you can do it, go out and prove it.”

Do you ever feel like there is a time that you are not auditioning?

“No. I feel like you are auditioning every time you are on the race track and even when you are off the race track. I feel like there is so many things involved from a team to possibly look at you and pick you up – from a social media standpoint, your brand, to how you carry yourself, to media obligations, to performance on the race track, hard work off the race track. Literally everything. I definitely feel like you are kind of underneath the spotlight with everything that you do, so you better do it right.”

Do you think there is a time when the drivers in the Cup Series are not auditioning?

“I don’t know. I guess some guys can be like that. I feel like I can only speak for myself and for me, I don’t have that mindset. Every time I step into a race car on the race track, I want to go out and win – whether it is practice, qualifying, racing – it’s just the competitive spirit in me. I would say I’m not doing it for the money – I want to win and go have fun. Racing to me is fun – it’s something that we can make a career out of, which we are definitely blessed to do so. I like the competitive spirit that we are in, but I can’t speak for everybody. Some guys maybe that way, they may get comfortable, but for me it’s not that way.”

About Toyota

Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 65 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our more than 1,800 dealerships.

Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 45 million cars and trucks at our 13 manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 22 electrified options.

Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit

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


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