Joe Gibbs Racing has revealed the identity of its second full-time Xfinity Series driver. John Hunter Nemechek will join the team and control an entry that has extensive success.
JGR announced the news on December 8 with a video. The team confirmed that Nemechek will be full-time in 2023 and that he will drive the No. 20 Toyota GR Supra while becoming teammates with Sammy Smith (No. 18). He will bring back the winning number after it went on hiatus for the 2022 Xfinity Series season.
“John Hunter has shown the dedication it takes to be a successful racecar driver,” said Steve DeSouza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Driver Development. “He has experience at all levels of NASCAR that will be valuable to the team in 2023. We are excited to add him to our driver lineup for the year and look forward to the success the No. 20 team will see.”
Nemechek will have a sizable group of sponsors as he takes on the full Xfinity Series schedule for only the second time. He will work with Berry’s Bullets, Pye Barker Fire and Safety, Romco Equipment, and his grocery store brands.
The No. 20 Has Featured Numerous Drivers
The return of the No. 20 provides Nemechek with an opportunity to build upon a strong foundation. He will take over a number that has featured several drivers as they have fought for wins.
Harrison Burton was the last driver to take over the entry. He was in control of the No. 20 in 2020 and 2021, and he delivered four trips to Victory Lane before moving up to the Cup Series. This run includes a win at Texas Motor Speedway when he passed Noah Gragson on the final turn.
The No. 20 Xfinity Series entry has also featured drivers like Denny Hamlin, Aric Almirola, Mike McLaughlin, Mike Bliss, Tony Stewart, Joey Logano, Kyle Busch, Matt Kenseth, Ryan Preece, Christopher Bell, and Erik Jones. These men all combined to win another 57 races in the entry.
Nemechek will now be the latest to take over the No. 20, and he will aim to add another win to his Xfinity Series resume. He has two previous wins in the series, one with Chip Ganassi Racing and one with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Nemechek Will Join Forces With a Winning Crew Chief
Part of the announcement also focused on the man who will guide the No. 20 team each week of the Xfinity Series season. Nemechek will have Ben Beshore as his crew chief.
Beshore most recently served as the crew chief of the No. 18 Cup Series team. He took over for Adam Stevens in 2021, and he remained atop the pit box through the end of the 2022 season while celebrating three wins with Kyle Busch.
Beshore also has two seasons of crew chief experience along with multiple wins. He guided a variety of drivers in 2019, which included Matt DiBenedetto, Busch, Jeffrey Earnhardt, and Riley Herbst. Busch, in particular, won four of his seven starts in 2019 while working with Beshore.
Beshore spent the 2020 season as the full-time crew chief for Burton. He was instrumental in the young driver celebrating four wins and finishing eighth in the championship standings.