DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – As most young drivers are trying to make a name for themselves, John Hunter Nemechek has a familiar last name in the garage area. Being known as Joe Nemechek’s son, the 21-year-old has always dreamt of winning at Daytona International Speedway.
This season, Nemechek will be racing the full season with GMS Racing. Their first battle together is the high banks of Daytona, where he has never run in a NASCAR Xfinity Series car. The North Carolina native’s best finish at Daytona in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series is fourth.
“It’ll be huge to win today at Daytona and there’s a lot of history in my family at Daytona,” Nemechek told POPULAR SPEED. “From my dad winning here back in the day, he has been a really good restrictor plate racer. Just Daytona itself, the atmosphere is huge, the history here is big so it would mean a lot. To kick off the first race with GMS Racing being able to come home with a win would mean a lot.”
His father has won twice in the Xfinity Series at Daytona. Nemechek is hoping to follow his father footsteps in being successful at that historic track.
After running a partial schedule in both the Truck Series and Xfinity Series, Nemechek was able to capture a victory in each series. During the off-season, the North Carolina native was anxious to get the season kicked off with GMS.
“Prepared a lot, a lot of training went in and watching videos. Nemechek said. “I’m just really excited and over the offseason I just got tired of talking about it so I was just ready to get to the race track and see what we can do. We have speed, qualifying didn’t really show it but as far as overall drafting speed I feel like we have it and I’m really looking forward in getting out there and racing later today.”
Taking advice from his victorious father on how to tackle Daytona, Nemechek is confident he has the speed to capture the victory. Furthermore, he is excited to see how the season plays out and prove that his team can compete for a championship.
“I want to be in final four at Homestead and have an opportunity to win the championship, that’s our overall goal.” Nemechek said.
With the big named teams in the garage area, the Xfinity Series is filled with high competition. GMS is looking to turn heads with their new driver behind the wheel. They hired a young driver with experience, but not only that, with a past race winner.
Nonetheless, the No. 23 car is no stranger to reaching victory. Last season, they won at Talladega Superspeedway with Spencer Gallagher behind the wheel. The victory demonstrated that they do have cars with a great deal of speed.
As the season starts off, look for Nemechek to compete in the front of the field as he tries to add more wins to his name.
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