By: Ashley McCubbin
While every driver wants to be in the NASCAR Cup Series, John Hunter Nemechek was able to make that happen – but didn’t experience the success he wanted. After all, he went two years without a trip to victory lane.
Although there were plenty of opportunities, the desire to hold the checkered flag drove him back to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and an opportunity with Kyle Busch Motorsports. The second generation racer was able to accomplish the goal just three races into the season, dominating at Las Vegas Motor Speedway en route to the victory.
Now he has clicked the first one off, how many more wins does he believe he can get through the remaining events? Nemechek isn’t setting a numerical limit there.
“I come into every race hoping to win,” Nemechek told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “So we want to win as many races as possible. If we can win every one from here on out, that’d be amazing, but that’s not realistic. We’re focused every single week.
“We’ll have fun tonight on the plane on the way home and kind of enjoy, soak in this moment. Tomorrow, we’ll be back watching races from here and Sunday, and then in the shop Monday back to work. We just have to do the best that we can and we’ll be ready to go.”
Focused on continued success, Nemechek hopes to become the driver to beat for the championship, set on leading as many laps as he can each week and banking those stage victories.
“We just got to keep the momentum rolling,” he added. “We’ve had three solid weeks and we’ve gathered a lot of stage points as well, so we’re looking forward to the next few races. We’re just taking it week-by-week and hopefully we can win all of them.”
Seeing him score a handful of victories, possibly more, is not out of the realm of possibility. After all, coming up through the ranks gaining experience, he was able to score six wins through four full seasons with his family-owned team. The last of those came in 2018, prior to the past two years where he continued to learn in the Cup Series.
Now returning to the Trucks and comparing himself to the competitor he was seven years ago when he made his debut, he says there’s no words to describe his development.
“I’ve changed a lot,” he commented. “I’ve grown up, I’ve gone through a lot from the ups to the downs, to the highs to the lows, back to the highs, back to the lows, and you just keep focused on the task at hand and what you want to do, and what you need to do to be happy. I’m definitely happy to be here at Kyle Busch Motorsports and we got the win.”
The road that he has taken to get here, combined with the simple fact he hadn’t held the black and white cloth for a couple years certainly explains the emotion experienced on Friday night, too.
“It goes back to I hadn’t won in two years,” he expressed. “That takes a toll on you mentally, that takes a toll on you as a person, as a driver, asking if I can do this. I guess I shouldn’t be shocked, but it’s kind of a star struck moment. I didn’t know if it was going to come this early or not but we have our stuff together it seems like and we’re going to continue to build and keep this going, in getting better on our communication, and hopefully win more.”