The Frontstretch: Beyond the Cockpit: John Hunter Nemechek Working His Way Into NASCAR by Mike Neff -- Wednesday November 6, 2013

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The next crop of driving talent is beginning to make inroads into the national touring series of NASCAR. While Kyle Larson is drawing the lion’s share of the attention, he is not the only young driver knocking on the door. John Hunter Nemechek, son of Joe Nemechek, made his Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville. While he’s been racing for 12 years, the last few years have seen him making a rapid climb toward the top series in NASCAR.

During practice at Martinsville John Hunter spent some time with Mike Neff to discuss where he’s come from, where he’s going and who has won the most head-to-head match-ups with his dad.

Mike Neff, You’re about to make a Truck start at Martinsville, tell us how this deal came together.

John Hunter Nemechek: I was lucky enough that I got an opportunity to drive for one of our sponsors, SWM Gun Runner. He’s always wanted to be an owner so he decided to be a Truck owner and have me drive it.

Neff: How long ago were you running quarter-midgets?

Nemechek: When I turned four I started racing quarter-midgets and I’ve been racing for 12 years.

Neff: You’ve been running Super Late Models for a little while. How long have you been in those cars?

Nemechek: Last year we ran the Allison Legacy series, my second full year in that, and ran a couple of races in a Super Late Model to get my feet wet in those cars. We ran very well. This year was my first full year in a Super Late Model schedule. It has been a good year and it is time to move up.

Neff: Your dad races in the Cup series to fund his Nationwide deal. Are you running the Truck series to help fund your Super Late Model ride or are you hoping, now that you have a shot here, to run this full-time?

Nemechek: I’m hoping to stay up here. You don’t make a lot of money running the Truck deal, there isn’t a lot of purse money to win. Definitely going to try and stay up here and run as many races as we can.

Neff: What are your plans for next year at this point in time?

Nemechek: It all depends on funding. We’ll see at the first of the year and see what it brings.

Neff: Are you going to run the Snowball Derby?

Nemechek: Yes we are.

Neff: How much longer is the old man going to do this racing deal?

Nemechek: I don’t know, we’ll have to see about that. He likes to come and race with me and helping me out so it all depends on what he’s going to do in the future and what is brought to the table to me.

Neff: Is it a goal of yours to run a race against your dad?

Nemechek: We have before. We’ve run three of them. I’ve beaten him twice and he’s beaten me once. I don’t let him live that down.

Neff: Do you ever look at running the perimeter chassis NASCAR Late Models vs. the straight rail Super Late Models?

Nemechek: The Supers teach you a lot more about throttle control when you’re driving, in my opinion. Kind of like Sprint Cup cars that have a lot of horsepower. I know they weigh a lot more and Supers don’t weigh anything. Late Models will certainly teach you some stuff. If I have the opportunity to drive a Late Model I definitely will and try and learn. I’m up for driving anything I can get in.

Neff: What do you think of this Martinsville place?

Nemechek: It is definitely tricky. It is another short track but you drive it differently than any place else. I’d say the closest place that I’ve been to is Little Rock, out behind Rockingham Speedway, driving an Allison Legacy car. It is probably the closest place.

When the checkered flag flew at Martinsville, Nemechek was on the lead lap and in 16th position after starting 30th. He did receive a lucky dog on the next to last caution of the event but finished ahead of six cars who also finished on the lead lap. As for Phoenix, Nemechek will be back in the No. 22 truck looking to gain more experience and take another step toward becoming a full-time NASCAR National Touring series driver.

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11/07/2013 05:41 PM

Thank you for doing this interview!! Love Joe, and love John as well. Hope to see more and more coverage of them on this site.


Contact Mike Neff

Recent articles from Mike Neff:

Thinkin' Out Loud – The Off Week Season Review
Special Winter Sprint Car Series set for January debut at Cocopah Speedway
Beyond the Cockpit with Ben Rhodes
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Want to find out more about Mike Neff? Maybe see all the articles he's written here at the Frontstetch? Check out his article archive and bio page then!