- After a third-place finish at Atlanta (Ga.) Motor Speedway, John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team return to action Saturday night in the Pinty’s Truck Race on Dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway. After four races, Nemechek sits at the top of the Camping World Trucks championship standings, 47 tallies ahead of Ben Rhodes. Nemechek currently leads the field in average running position (6.539), stage wins (five), laps led (143), and driver rating (126.6).
- While this will be the first dirt race at Bristol Motor Speedway for the Camping World Truck Series, the series competed at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio from 2013 to 2019. Kyle Busch Motorsports captured two victories at Eldora. Darrell Wallace Jr. led a race-high 97 laps en route to victory in the 2014 event and Christopher Bell led a race-high 106 laps in his 2015 triumph. The truckers will race a second dirt race July 9 at Knoxville (Iowa) Speedway.
- The second-generation driver has made five starts in Camping World Truck Series action at Eldora. Nemechek has four top-10 finishes at Eldora with a best finish of fifth in 2017.
- Nemechek will get two 50-minute practice sessions on Friday and a 15-lap heat race on Saturday to dial in his Mobil 1 Tundra before Saturday night’s 150-lap race. While the lineups for the heat races will be determined by a random draw, the starting grid for the race will be determined by a formula that weighs finishing position plus positions gained during each heat race. Drivers finishing first in their heats earn 10 points, second place earns nine, third place earns eight and so forth. Additionally, drivers earn one passing point for each position gained in their heat; there are no points deductions or “negative points” for drivers who lose positions in their heats. One other noticeable difference you will see during Saturday’s race is that there will not be live pit stops. The only time that teams will be permitted to change tires, add fuel or work on their vehicles will be during the stage breaks. Scoring will be frozen during stage breaks, but those who elect not to pit will be scored ahead of those who elect to hit pit road during the break for the ensuing restart.
- Nemechek is a seven-time winner in Camping World Truck Series action, winning at least one race each season from 2015 to 2018 for his family-owned team, NEMCO Motorsports, and returning to victory lane this year with KBM. Across 106 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 752 laps led, 31 top-five and 54 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.8. The North Carolina native qualified for the Camping World Truck Series playoffs in each of his two full-time seasons, finishing eighth in the championship standings in both 2016 and 2017. He was voted the series most popular driver in 2015.
- The 23-year-old driver produced three top-10 finishes and an average result of 22.4 while competing for rookie of the year honors in the NASCAR Cup Series in 2020. He recorded a career-best eighth-place finish twice, both coming at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway, earned the Sunoco Rookie of the Race award four times and finished 23rd in the championship standings.
- Eric Phillips returns to KBM to lead the No. 4 team this season. Phillips led the No. 18 team at KBM in its debut season in 2010 and helped build the organization into one of the premier teams in all of NASCAR before departing at the end of the 2014 season. Under his guidance, the No. 18 team won eight races in its inaugural campaign and became the first team in Truck Series history to capture an owner’s championship in its first season of competition. In 2014, the Illinois native led the No. 51 team to an owner’s championship and his team’s 10 wins spearheaded KBM to a single-season Truck Series record of 14 wins. His 38 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 28 of those coming while at KBM. On dirt, Phillips has one start in Camping World Trucks competition. He captured the pole with Erik Jones and led the first 24 laps but was relegated to a 29th-place finish after suffering suspension damage.
- The world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1, features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 to meet or exceed the toughest standards of car builders and to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
What is your take on racing on the dirt at Bristol?“Racing trucks on dirt is fun. Luckily having some experience from racing on Eldora will transfer to racing at Bristol this weekend. They like to slide around. They feel kind of slow and sluggish, but it’s still a blast being able to throw slide jobs, run the bottom, and run the top to search around for grip. I feel like it is every driver’s dream to be able to go and run.”
What are the similarities and differences between racing at Eldora and racing at Bristol?“I think racing at Eldora is that it is a purpose-built dirt track, so you normally get a cushion up against the wall and are able to move around a lot. From watching the dirt event last week and the World of Outlaws race, it is one of those things that didn’t really happen and move around a lot. It seemed like the track chunked out quite a bit. It seemed like there were some big holes in the racetrack. It turned black really fast. I’m not really sure how the trucks are going to drive on it this weekend or what the track conditions will be, but hopefully, we are able to move around and it’s not all around the bottom.”
Is it a relief having a win and stage points heading into the weekend?“I definitely think it is a relief having a win underneath our belt and winning stages. We’ve won a stage in every race so far this year, so hopefully, we can do it this weekend on the dirt track at Bristol and keep the momentum rolling. Our attitude doesn’t change. We want to go and win practice, win our heat race, win all the stage, and the feature. Hopefully, we can do that. I am confident in our guys. KBM has won two races at Eldora on dirt. Hopefully, a lot of that information will transfer over and I can go get the job done.”