John Hunter Nemechek will spend the majority of 2022 pursuing more wins in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. However, he will also make his return to Sam Hunt Racing for select starts in the Xfinity Series.
Team owner Sam Hunt announced the news on Tuesday, January 25. He confirmed that Nemechek will return to the No. 26 Toyota Supra for both races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (March 5 and October 15) and that Berry’s Bullets will join him for the two-race campaign. Nemechek will also work with SHR crew chief and technical director Allen Hart.
“Berry’s Bullets has been a long-standing partner of mine. They have been a part of my career since I have been racing full-time in NASCAR,” Nemechek said in a statement from the team. “I look forward to racing for Sam Hunt Racing again and bringing Berry’s Bullets on board for both NASCAR Xfinity Series Races in Vegas in 2022.”
Nemechek Made 2 Starts for SHR in 2021
The return to SHR and the No. 26 continues a partnership that featured two other starts. Nemechek also suited up for races at Dover International Speedway and Richmond Raceway while driving for SHR in 2021.
The North Carolina native’s best performance took place during the September 11 race at Richmond. He started 27th overall in the No. 26 Toyota, but he came within reach of winning at the short track.
The final stage featured several cautions and restarts due to incidents on the track, resulting in Nemechek lining up on the front row next to Noah Gragson for the final race to the finish line. The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet used fresher tires to jump into the lead and build a large advantage while Nemechek battled with Kaulig Racing’s Justin Haley for position on the track. Haley took over second place while Nemechek ended his day in third place.
“Any time we get to go to the track with John Hunter, it’s extremely beneficial for our organization,” Hunt said in a statement. “He’s been a large part of our growth, provides invaluable feedback, and even came close to winning a race for us last year at Richmond — my home track. He comes from a gritty background, and he really embraces our group and how I go about building this team. Having Berry’s Bullets jump on board for both Vegas races this year is exciting for everyone. Tony (Berry) and his wife Sheila are fantastic people, and run a true American business. We couldn’t be more proud to have them join our family and our efforts in 2022.”
SHR Continues To Add Xfinity Series Drivers
The addition of Nemechek is the latest significant move by SHR. The team has continued to add drivers for the upcoming season, a list that currently includes two other men.
The first driver to join the fold for 2022 was Ryan Truex, who most recently competed in the Camping World Truck Series with Niece Motorsports. The New Jersey native will join SHR on a limited schedule that includes a start in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. The goal is for SHR to add more dates to Truex’s schedule.
One day after Truex set his first start of the season, SHR added another driver to the lineup. The team announced that Jeffrey Earnhardt will make an estimated seven starts in the No. 26 with ForeverLawn as his primary partner.
Along with adding new drivers for 2022, SHR also made another significant move to become more competitive. The team brought Allen Hart over from JR Motorsports to serve as the full-time crew chief and as the technical director. A veteran engineer, Hart previously spent several seasons with Justin Allgaier’s No. 7 team at JR Motorsports, resulting in four trips to the championship four (2016, 2017, 2019, 2020) and 13 wins since the 2017 season.