The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular-season champion is making the most of his off week. John Hunter Nemechek will return to the Xfinity Series on Saturday, Sept. 11, for a one-off race at Richmond Raceway. He will join Sam Hunt Racing and drive the No. 26 Toyota Supra.
Nemechek teased the partnership weeks ago, showing his name banner on an Xfinity Series stock car with an Aug. 25 tweet. Sam Hunt Racing waited until Sept. 8 before dropping a reveal video that featured the No. 26 Toyota Supra, the Safeway paint scheme, and some other sponsor logos. Though the team did not show the full stock car until Sept. 9.
Nemechek will now climb into the stock car on Sept. 11 and face off with a wide variety of drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. He will have to make up ground early after starting on the 14th row next to JD Motorsports driver Bayley Currey.
The Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway will take place on Saturday, Sept. 11, at 2:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage as the Xfinity Series drivers fight for points and spots in the playoffs. Nemechek is not eligible due to chasing a championship in the Truck Series, so he will simply try to win and add a trophy to his expanding collection.
Nemechek Has Focused Only on Truck Series Races in 2021
The driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra has not followed the trend set by many of his peers. He hasn’t dabbled in the NASCAR Cup Series or Xfinity Series during the 2021 season. Instead, he has only focused on his Truck Series season and fighting for the championship trophy.
Nemechek has only made one start outside of the No. 4 Toyota since returning to the Truck Series in 2021. He joined Sam Hunt Racing for an Xfinity Series race at Dover International Speedway on May 15, 2021, starting 30th and finishing 32nd while eight other drivers headed to the garage early.
Nemechek will now return to Richmond Raceway, a track where he has three previous Xfinity Series starts. He competed at the .75-mile, D-shaped oval in 2018 for Chip Ganassi Racing and then made two starts in 2019 for GMS Racing. Nemechek finished inside the top-15 all three times, posting a best finish of seventh.
Richmond Serves as a Homecoming for the Team Owner
The trip back to Richmond will be a special one for the 28-year-old team owner. Hunt earned a degree in finance from the Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and he first experienced NASCAR at the .75-mile short track. Virginia is where Hunt fell in love with the sport of stock car racing, and now he will sit atop the pit box while Nemechek fights to put the No. 26 Supra in Victory Lane.
Sam Hunt Racing started out competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East while fielding the No. 18 entry. The team worked with Joe Gibbs Racing during the early days, and the late JD Gibbs provided the first two cars.
Sam Hunt Racing moved over to the Xfinity Series in 2019 and began competing with the No. 26 Toyota Supra. The team later added the No. 24 Toyota in 2021, which Will Rodgers drove during the Xfinity Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s road course.
The young NASCAR team has made 35 starts from 2019-2021 with a variety of drivers in control of the stock cars. Brandon Gdovic currently has the best finish out of the group. He placed eighth in the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 13, 2021.