In his second start for Joe Gibbs Racing, Truck Series points leader John Hunter Nemechek scored the victory in the Xfinity Series at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday afternoon.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR Xfinity Series
Texas Motor Speedway
Race 30 of 33 – 300 miles, 200 laps
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
2nd, DANIEL HEMRIC
3rd, Noah Gragson*
4th, Justin Allgaier*
5th, Austin Cindric*
8th, HARRISON BURTON
10th, BRANDON JONES
20th, AUSTIN HILL
27th, MASON MASSEY
34th, DAVID STARR
38th, DYLAN LUPTON
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 54 Romco Equipment Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 1st
How did you stay calm when you had to go to the back?
“Stevie Reeves (spotter) and Chris Gayle (crew chief) kept me calm. I think this year I’ve grown a lot as a driver and got put in position in the Truck Series as well. I can’t say enough about this whole team. The 54 has been fast every single week. My goal coming in was to win. I had to win to prove to myself that I can do this. It’s just like taking that step back to the Truck Series. I wanted to get back to Victory Lane. Huge shoutout to Romco Equipment Company. Thank you to all the fans that are here. It’s an amazing accomplishment to get this done – beating a teammate as well. We’re racing for an owners championship. I’m back in the 54 in Phoenix, so double championships for us when we go.”
You battled back and got the victory. How was the comeback from your seat?
“This thing was awesome. It was so fast all day. First, I have to give a shout out to Romco Equipment for everything they’ve done. The fans for being here. My wife and Aspen are back home, sad they didn’t make the trip today but overall so happy to get back to Victory Lane. It’s been a little bit in the Truck Series, and with us having an off week, I was glad to be able to win this thing. An amazing car. This thing hauled the mail. I can’t say enough about this group. I’m looking forward to Phoenix, and going to try to win two championships.”
What did you think when you heard that you had a penalty?
“I was a little frustrated. Chris (Gayle, crew chief) and I have a joke from earlier in the week that we go from zero to the rev chip pretty easy. I got him on the rev chip earlier, and he was on the rev chip there and I got put on the rev chip a little bit. Just an amazing accomplishment by this team. We had to stay calm. We had to do what we needed to do. We knew what we were here for. We had a fast Toyota Supra. I can’t thank the guys enough and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing for this opportunity.”
How does it feel to join your dad (Joe Nemechek) as Texas Motor Speedway winners?
“It feels amazing. It feels really cool to be able to be here in Victory Lane. I won the Truck race earlier this year here, and then won the Xfinity Series race here, so I’m two for two here. Just an amazing accomplishment.”
DANIEL HEMRIC, No. 18 Craftsman Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
I know what you didn’t need which was the late race caution, but what more did you need out of this race car to chase your teammate down?
“They just made a really good call there to take two tires. Obviously clean air was so big. When we had clean air with our Craftsman Supra there at one point, it was really good. We were on the tighter side all day even early when the 54 was better than us, he was just a little free. I just couldn’t quite carry the same mid corner exit speed. Dave Rogers (crew chief) made good adjustments all day to get it better and once we got that clean air, we were pretty well checked out. The caution came out and they just made a good call there to take two. It’s damned if you do and damned if you don’t. Just too tight there and never got far enough into the run to where tires could make a difference and with 20 laps to go, you aren’t going to make up the gap I needed to make up. Just too tight. I was whipping it for all I had, about pounded the fence three or four times trying to catch him. Great job to those guys. Congrats to those guys. Really fast JGR (Joe Gibbs Racing) Supra, just not quite good enough.
On the plus side, you were fast. You went up there and led 54 laps. We go to another mile-and-a-half track next week at Kansas, so how much confidence can you take from this race as you move forward?
“Same as we have all the Playoffs. Keep bringing the same bullets. These guys are doing a hell of a job. Just got to keep working. I don’t know, that’s all you can do. Keep showing up, keep grinding it out. Thankful to be a part of the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Thankful to know that I can leave it all on the line these next three races for Joe Gibbs Racing and that’s what we’re going to do.”
DYLAN LUPTON, No. 26 Toyota Racing Toyota Supra, Sam Hunt Racing
Finishing Position: 38th
What happened out there?
“We had a pit stop and for whatever reason we fired off really tight right there. We kind of got shuffled back and going into turn one, I committed to run the middle and whoever dove down inside of us came up the track and hit us and that sent us directly in the fence. Just really sucks. We keep the nose of our Supra clean and we are always a victim of circumstance, it seems like. We will just regroup and go back next week into Kansas and see if we can put together a clean race.”