- Entering the second half of the season, John Hunter Nemechek and the No. 4 Mobil 1 team roll into Nashville Superspeedway riding momentum after capturing the team’s fourth win of the 2021 season at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. So far in 2021, Nemechek leads the series in wins (four), stage wins (eight), top fives (seven), and laps led (473). Nemechek continues to lead Ben Rhodes by 78 points in the driver point standings with four races remaining in the regular season.
- Friday’s race will mark the first time that the Camping World Truck Series has raced at Nashville Superspeedway, a 1.33-mile concrete oval since July 2011. Across five starts, KBM has collected two wins (Kyle Busch: 2010 & 2011), two top fives, three top tens, 271 laps led and an average finish of 9.2. Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) earned its first-ever Camping World Truck Series victory at the Tennessee track in April 2010 with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel and Nemechek’s crew chief Eric Phillips on the pit box. Busch also was victorious there in April 2011 with Phillips.
- While Nemechek has never made a start at Nashville Superspeedway, he was a fixture in the prestigious All-American 400 weekend held at Nashville (Tenn.) Fairgrounds Speedway, a half-mile oval, from 2013 to 2015. In 2014, Nemechek dominated the All-American 400 by leading 294 out of 300 laps en route to his sole victory.
- Nemechek is a 10-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 113 career starts in NASCAR’s third division, the second-generation driver has compiled two poles, 1082 laps led, 35 top-five and 59 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 12.6. 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.
- 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 41 career Truck Series victories make him the winningest crew chief in Truck Series history, with 31 of those coming while at KBM. Across 10 starts at Nashville, Phillips has collected two wins, two top fives, three top 10s, and an average finish of 15.8. Phillips won with Kyle Busch in 2010 and 2011.
We’re halfway through the season. How would you evaluate the first half?“I feel like our season is going pretty good so far. We have four wins at this point. I wish we had more, but at the same time, having four is a great ordeal for our No. 4 team. I’m excited to see what the next 11 races bring. Hopefully we can score quite a few more.”
With a handful of drivers having experience at Nashville and the success of Eric Phillips there, will it help to have someone that knows what’s going on?“I think having Eric as a crew chief that knows what to expect when going to Nashville having won there twice, I’m very thankful for that. I can pick his brain. He’s been a huge help to me as well as Kyle. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can. He’s always been super successful and super fast there. I’m trying to pick his brain and learn as much as I possibly can and soak it up like a sponge. The more information the better. Sadly, I was too young to race there before they shut it down, but I’m glad to be going back.”
Nashville gives out the Gibson Guitar trophy. Do you have any trophies that stand out?“I wouldn’t say that there is one that stands out. I feel like everyone is cool. I will say from Nashville and having won the All American 400 and bringing a guitar home from the Nashville Fairgrounds is awesome. Hopefully we can bring another guitar home to hang from Nashville Superspeedway. Hopefully we can get that done.”
Nashville is the home of country music. If you could trade spots with a country music star or band, who would it be? “I would say I would have to swap spots with Eric Church, Kenny Chesney or Jason Aldean. I think that those three guys have a lot of fun. Their concerts are packed. Kenny Chesney is always somewhere on a beach so that’d be a lot of fun. It would just be a fun experience. It’s all about just having fun, smiling and enjoying life.”