Friday, October 13, 2017

Stage points key for Nemechek at Talladega


John Hunter Nemechek at the NCWTS Playoff Media Day
Credit: Bob Leverone

by Courtney Horn

John Hunter Nemechek enters this weekend eighth place in the standings in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 14 points below the cutoff. 

The NEMCO Motorsports driver is looking for his third win of the season to advance into the second round of the CWTS playoffs. 

“We have some points to make up, but the stage points definitely play a factor into this year,” Nemechek said. “If this was last year, it would be a must win situation.”

A blown engine took Nemechek out of contention a year ago, but the 20-year-old looks to turn his luck around this year for the first superspeedway victory of his career. 

“We’re just going to go out and do the best we can," he said. "We stayed a lot at the shop this week, late nights working on our truck making sure that everything that’s in our control. We eliminated all mistakes. We just have to run our race, hopefully run up front, win stages, and win the race would be the best thing for us.”

A win would guarantee Nemechek a spot in the next round, but with some help he could make it on points.

“There’s some great guys that are in the field,” he said, “I know Johnny Sauter is a really good friend. There’s been a few guys that I’ve been able to work with in the past running at Talladega twice and Daytona twice. So just being able to work with them in the draft in years past, I think we all gained respect for each other.”

Nemechek’s best showing at Talladega came two years ago when he finished 11th. 

The fred’s 250 Powered by Coca-Cola runs Saturday at 1 p.m ET on FOX, where two Truck Series drivers will be eliminated. Then the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coors Light Pole Qualifying begins at 4:15 p.m ET on the NBC Sports Network. 

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