Two starts at Martinsville for the 17-year-old makes it a known quantity.
John Hunter Nemechek comes into the Kroger 200 weekend at Martinsville finding himself in a new position as the 2014 season winds down. Having acquired a reputation for making the most in track debuts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series in 2014, the 17-year old prodigy finds himself in unusual territory with two previous starts at the .526-mile oval. With five top-10's in eight starts this season, Nemechek looks to improve on his previous Martinsville finishes of 16th and 11th.
In eight starts this season, Nemechek has fared best at tracks where he had never before raced a lap. His three sixth-place finishes at Dover, Eldora and Bristol and 53 laps led en route to a top-15 at Gateway paved the way for a promising run at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last month, where he did not disappoint. He captured his first career NCWTS top-five.
Sharing with his dad
Nemechek is sharing the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule with his father, Joe Nemechek - a first in NASCAR's three premier series. At 17, John Hunter is restricted to running the 10 events on road courses and tracks 1.25 miles or less. Joe is taking on the balance of the schedule to round out the season. After 18 events, the duo sits sixth in the owner's standings.
"On a track like Martinsville, you never know how it's going to turn out so you have to be on your toes," he says. "It can go from good to bad in the matter of a corner. Whether someone tries to dive bomb you or gets into your bumper while trying to move you, you have to play it lap by lap and just be smart and focused until the end.
"We ran good at Martinsville in the spring but we needed a few more adjustments. We went back on our notes and I think we have a good game plan going in this time. If you look back, that was the second race of the season with our new team and I think now we're much more established and can communicate better as a team. We've made a lot of strides in how we communicate, both me providing feedback and the guys taking that feedback and turning it into what I need.
"Looking back to the first race at Martinsville, I have more confidence overall in the truck. I came into the season with only two prior starts and with the opportunity to run more races this year, I'm getting more and more comfortable with it. You know how hard you can push it, but that's what I'm trying to develop right now as well... finding that little bit extra beyond the limits for the end of the race."