Started: 24thFinished: 11th
- Stage One: 11th
- Stage Two: 16th
- Stage Three: 11th
- John Hunter Nemechek took the green flag in the final race of the NASCAR Cup Series regular season on Saturday night in 24th place. After the first 20 laps, Nemechek said his No. 38 Fire Alarm Services, Inc. (FAS) Ford Mustang was a little free on exit, but the balance wasn’t bad. At the Competition Caution, he came to pit road for fuel only and a piece of grille tape. Restarting P8, Nemechek battled within the top 15 for the remainder of the stage, taking the green- and white-checkered flag in the 11th position. Under caution for the Stage 1 Break, Nemechek radioed that he started losing front grip and probably needed to be a little tighter. He would pit for 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment.
- Nemechek restarted the race for Stage 2 in the 8th place. His No. 38 FAS Ford Mustang ran inside the top 10 for much of the all-green segment, running as high as 3rd before dropping back to save fuel towards the end. Nemechek would finish Stage 2 in the 16th position. Under caution, he noted that he was “a little free on the bottom, a little snug up top… might need to tighten me up a little more.” Crew Chief Seth Barbour made the call for Nemechek to take 4 tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment at the Stage Break Caution.
- Nemechek would start the Final Stage of the night in 15th place. On Lap 124, he radioed to the crew that it felt like the previous pit stop adjustment might have made the balance worse on his No. 38 FAS Ford Mustang. He made a quick trip to pit road for fuel only with 30 laps to go, and when a caution came out with less than 20 laps to go, Nemechek pitted again for 4 tires, fuel and a packer adjustment. After a wild wreck that took out several cars with less than 10 laps remaining, Nemechek restarted P16. Not long after taking the green flag, Nemechek was involved in another wreck and sustained heavy right rear damage. After pitting for repairs, Nemechek would restart at the tail end of the field and battle his way up to an 11th-place finish, earning Sunoco “Rookie of the Race” honors.
Nemechek on Daytona:
- “I’ll take P11 for our No. 38 FAS Ford Mustang after all that. It was a wild end to the day, but I’m super proud of my guys for all of their effort and hard work. We had a pretty decent setup and made a few adjustments during the night that helped get us in a position to have a good result. We got caught up at the end in a wreck with some heavy right side damage, but my guys on pit road rallied and we were able to keep rolling to get a good finish for our partners at FAS. Overall it was a good points day for us, so we’ll take what notes we can and move on to the next one.”