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Nemecheks Finding Success Their Own Way

This past weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway, it was visible things didn’t go as planned for NEMCO Motorsports with finishes outside of the top-20 for father and son. However, a week before at Daytona International Speedway, the pair both came home with top-five finishes.

Throughout the 200-mile event, both John Hunter and Joe Nemechek were involved in a couple of incidents, requiring repairs on pit road. However, both were able to make the repairs in the allotted time, and get back to the front of the field to finish fourth and fifth respectively. Being able to both be in the top-five was something which meant a lot to the younger Nemechek.

“It definitely feels great after everything that we both of us went through with getting caught up in wrecks, and our guys being able to fix it with the new five-minute clock rule,” John Hunter told POPULAR SPEED. “Plate racing – it’s out of your hands in what goes on so sometimes it’s better to be lucky than to be good.”

The pair of top-fives by the Nemecheks mark the first time since 2004 that a father-son pair has both finished in the top-five in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event. In 2004 at Nashville Speedway, Bobby Hamilton won with Bobby Hamilton Jr. finishing fourth.

“Starting at Daytona, we definitely had our some ups and downs during the race, and then to rebound from it with a fourth and fifth place finish was really cool,” Joe Nemechek said. “The speedway racing is something that you got to have a little luck involved to make it to the end, and we definitely had a bit of luck.”

Coming off the success at Daytona, it made the Atlanta result a little harder stomach, especially after high expectations entering following John Hunter’s win last year.

“We were fast off the truck, and I felt like we were going to contend for the win at the end,” John Hunter said. “We kept making adjustments throughout the day, getting the truck better, but we flew a right front, and it ended our day.”

Despite the rough start, confidence is still high for John Hunter as he feels he has a strong team behind him.

“I feel like we’re going to be able to contend for wins week-in-week-out,” he said. “We’ve kind of changed our mindset a little with the new segment rule coming in. I feel like it definitely be more exciting with the more tracks that that we get to. I feel good about our year. I feel like it’ll be a good year.”

The confidence comes after last season, where the youngster posted a pair of wins and 11 top-10s en route to finishing 11th in the series standings. The success has certainly brought out a lot of pride for Joe when he speaks about his son.

“It’s definitely been entertaining,” Joe said of John Hunter. “You look at how they learn and the things they learn, and how they’re able to adapt and it’s really cool to watch. The same thing as when your kids are growing up, and learn how their minds think and what they do. He’s definitely very talented young man, and a talented racecar driver, and a very smart person.”

This year, John Hunter feels the team can win some races, but also focus on being more consistent on a weekly basis.

“Last year, we were able to win races but weren’t consistent on a weekly basis. We had some great runs, but we had tons of mediocre runs,” John Hunter said. “I want to be able to run up front every week and win races and show our potential.”

The success that the team has been able to have has come as a surprise to many, based on the lack of funding behind the NEMCO Motorsports with John Hunter’s No. 8 Chevrolet Silverado appearing unsponsored several times throughout the season. It’s something that’s come together as a result of team’s direct hands-on approach they’ve always had.

“It’s tough because we have an awful lot of machinery, a lot of parts and pieces, but we do a lot of our own machine work and make 90% of our parts and pieces that go on our trucks,” Joe said. “So to that extent, it’s interesting and gives us some challenges in how we can improve and think of ways we can get better as a team without spending a lot of team. It makes you think outside of the box.”

While admitting there have been frustrating times, John Hunter says it shows the strength of their team.

“We have a lot of guys that work really hard in the shop that are dedicated to working as many hours in the shop as needed to get the trucks done,” he said. “We try to utilize our equipment as best as we can to make sure we have good trucks when we get to the race track. You can have resources, but if you don’t use them correctly or all the time, then they’re not really good. I feel like we’ve been great at utilizing the resources.”

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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Nemecheks Ready for Father-Son Battle at Daytona

NEMCO Motorsports announced their plans for the 2017 season on Friday Afternoon.

John Hunter Nemechek will return for the full 2017 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season behind the wheel of the No. 8 Fire Alarm Services Chevrolet. Joe Nemechek, John Hunter’s father, will drive the No. 87 Fleetwing Chevrolet in a select number of NCWTS races starting at Daytona International Speedway next month.

Should both Nemecheks qualify for the season opener at Daytona, it would be the first time since 2013 that a father and son have competed in the same NCWTS race.

The younger Nemechek recently completed his first full season in the Truck Series last year winning twice (Atlanta, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park) to go with five top-fives and 11 top-10s. He would finish eighth in the final championship standings.

The elder Nemechek brings a wealth of experience going into next month’s race at Daytona where he has made 74 starts across NASCAR’s top three series at the iconic 2.5-mile tri-oval. He has two career victories at Daytona both coming in the NASCAR XFINITY Series in 1998 and 2002. His last Truck Series start came at Texas in 2015, where he finished sixth.

The Nemecheks have done battle head-to-head three times before. Twice in the Allison Legacy Series and once on the ARCA Midwest Tour.

This will also mark the second head-to-head battle in a season-opener between Nemecheks. The first came in 1997 at Walt Disney Speedway, where Joe finished nine spots ahead of his late brother John Nemechek.

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The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.

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The Transformation of Joe Nemechek

There’s a time each weekend when Joe Nemechek transforms. The owner’s hat comes off. Being a driver coach takes a backseat. This is the time when Joe Nemechek is dad to 18-year-old John Hunter Nemechek.

“When he’s not mentoring me before the race he has his iPad out taking pictures of the crew guys down there, the sponsors and I,” John Hunter said. “He still has his dad figure of always taking pictures and being around smiling and joking about everything before the race. Hugging me before I get in the truck and saying ‘go get it, son.’”

The younger Nemechek appreciates the moments when Joe switches roles. It speaks volumes of the close-knit family the Nemechek’s are and those who witness the fresh reminder that NASCAR is a family sport can’t help but smile.

To Joe, dad mode is nothing more than a bit of tradition. Martha Nemechek was the ultimate racing mom when Joe began his career. It continued when he moved into NASCAR. Martha collected everything associated with him such as fire suits, helmets, and gloves. She was the team’s biggest cheerleader on race day, and she can still bring out stacks of photo albums and media clippings.

It spoiled Joe, he admits. But now he’s doing the same with John Hunter while also using the pictures to share with wife Andrea and two daughters who don’t travel to many races. But just like John Hunter, even Joe can chuckle about dad mode.

“I do try taking a lot of pictures,” he said. “Only because, heck, that’s what was done to me when I was growing up and doing it.”

Everything Joe has done lately, including stepping out of the truck, has been for John Hunter’s benefit. As the rookie tackles the remainder of the Camping World Truck Series season as the full-time driver in the family-owned No. 8, Joe is never far. Most of the time the at-track atmosphere is pretty intense because Nemechek knows what it takes to be successful.

The 1992 champion in what is now the XFINITY Series, he’s made over 400 starts with 16 career victories. He has four Sprint Cup Series wins to his resume with over 600 starts. With a storied NASCAR past, Nemechek now holds everyone, including John Hunter, at NEMCO Motorsports to the same standards.

“I put a lot of pressure on the people that work for me to try and provide the best possible product,” he said. “Truck, car, whatever it may be. Whatever we’re racing. I’ve never been one to go to the track without having a shot at winning.”

Granted there was a period of Nemechek’s life he’s not proud of. A few years ago his No. 87 was either starting and parking or logging laps to collect a paycheck. It was not how Nemechek wanted to be at the racetrack, but how he had to make a living all while ensuring John Hunter had a future.

NEMCO Motorsports isn’t immune to the funding battle yet has built itself into a Truck Series contender.

“We always seemed liked we had a shot at winning in whatever we were in, and I’m still like that today,” Joe said. “Especially with all the cars and equipment we have today. I know what we have; I know what we’re capable of doing.”

Going in John Hunter’s favor is the wealth of knowledge and information at his disposal from owner/driver/mentor/dad Joe in addition to crew chief and NASCAR veteran Gere Kennon.

“I’ve been there, done that. So he’s trying to make a career,” said Joe. “You got to do things the best you can. You got to take advantage every moment that you’re doing well, or you’re out there digging. But you can’t make dumb mistakes. If you make a mistake, you better learn by it, so you don’t make it again.

“And being a rookie, being new at this, believe me, we make a lot of mistakes. But (John Hunter) doesn’t seem to make them again. Makes them one time, learns from it and goes on. Probably the biggest thing I push to not only him, our other (late model) development driver, guys in the shop, you gotta have fun doing this.”

John Hunter knows the day he no longer has fun racing, tell dad it’s time for them to go do something else. That, however, doesn’t seem to be an issue for the youngster. So Joe Nemechek spends more time telling him before a race to have fun, enjoy the competition and make the best of what he has.

They hug, pray and then John Hunter climbs aboard his machine. Inside, at the insistence of grandma Martha, is the St. Christopher medal. John Hunter must not only travel with it but also attach it to the seat of racecar or truck.

Then, as quickly as he switched into dad mode, Joe is back to business. Occasionally he spots for his son.

“I get yelled at a lot,” he says with a smile. “Same as I did to all my spotters I had.”

Nemechek aims to provide John Hunter with the necessary information. If he can help put him in the best situations, he’s confident John Hunter will make the best decisions.

“That’s what this whole thing’s about,” Joe revealed. “It’s just not about driving racecars. A lot of it you’re learning how to be a good person, you’re growing up in this sport. So it’s more than just driving.”

The Nemechek’s are a family who lives to drive, however.

Ahead of Wednesday night’s UNOH 200 at Bristol, Joe believed John Hunter could pull off a top-three finish if he stayed in contention until the end. John Hunter finished third.

Looking into 2016, Joe hopes plans of running John Hunter full-time will be fulfilled, but right now, the organization is focused on finding the resources it needs to survive until the end of the year.

“Trying to do a lot with a little and get the most bang for your buck and go on. He’s definitely got a tremendous amount of talent,” Joe said of his son. “We have a very, very small crew, and we do an awful lot with the small crew that we have. I’m proud of what we have; I’m just kind of disappointed we haven’t won a race yet. I think we’ve been close a few times, but we never give up.”

As much as Joe glows when talking about John Hunter’s career, don’t believe for one minute he’s given up on ever driving again. As much as being an owner and dad has its rewards Nemechek will let you know he thinks, “the old man can still outdo (John Hunter).”

If the funding ever came along, Joe would jump at the chance to field two trucks for himself and John Hunter to compete against each other. It’ll happen one of these days, he said.

“I got to win me a truck race before I’m all done,” Joe said. “We’ll get it. Oh yeah, we’ll get there.”

And that moment, the ultimate father-son racing moment, would transcend Joe Nemechek far beyond any role he’s ever played.

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Dominique Van Wieringen Poised to Join Nemechek as NEMCO Success Story

While John Hunter Nemechek prepares to compete full-time in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, starting this weekend at Gateway Motorsports Park, a second NEMCO Motorsports development driver also appears poised to make her own debut by the end of the year.

Dominique Van Wieringen is a 19-year-old from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada and is one of the most impressive newcomers currently driving a Super Late Model in the talent-stacked Deep South hotbed of short track racing.

After becoming the first female to win a CRA JEGS Tour Pro Late Model race, having done so in a family-owner car back in 2013 at IRP, Van Wieringen looked to take her raw talents to an organization that could eventually shape her into a NASCAR-ready prospect.

That search led her to NEMCO Motorsports and team owner Joe Nemechek.

“I had raced against them in the past and it was clear that they had a system going that worked and that this was a team of driven racers that wanted to win,” Van Wieringen said. “This group strives to be the best of the best and that is what I aspire for as well.”

Now a resident of the Queen City, Wieringen is a full-time student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where she is working towards earning her mechanical engineering degree over the next calendar year.

The fact she has been able to maintain her grades while increasing her performance on the track this season is what Nemechek most likes about the mental makeup of her junior driver.

“There are a lot of good things going on in her life,” Nemechek said over the weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. “She’s a full-time student and she has some very tough classes. She has her plate full and she’s still very competitive. She’s working out and doing all the things that it takes to get to the next level.

“We’ll see when that is but hopefully we’re going to run her in a Truck Series race or two and take it one step at a time. There are so many things that have to go right but she’s making incredible progress and I’m very proud of her.”

More than likely, those two starts will come at Martinsville and Phoenix — the two tracks where she has received NASCAR approval to run. Those are also the two tracks John Hunter first ran when he made his Truck Series debut back in 2013.

“To say I’m excited would be an understatement,” Van Wieringen said. “We haven’t finalized everything as far as sponsors go but I’m looking forward to the opportunity.”

While she doesn’t want to stereotype herself, Van Wieringen believes there is an opportunity to market her gender in what is still a male dominated sport. With that said, she also understands that the opportunities to market herself as a ‘female driver’ also delivers scrutiny and extra pressure – aspects she seems prepared to deal with.

“Being a female racer definitely means more support from the fans in the stands,” Van Wieringen said. “They are automatically behind you because they want to see you succeed. So you can take that support to sponsors and tell them that you’ll get more TV time that a lot of other drivers — more screen time.

“At the same time, it’s a double-edged sword because some fans will say you’re abusing the system. But fans like to support the underdog and I see female drivers as an underdog that people like to stand behind.”

For his part, Joe Nemechek believes Van Wieringen is almost ready to take the next step — something he couldn’t say back when they first joined forces back in December during the Snowball Derby weekend.

“She’s come such a long way as a driver,” Nemechek said. “We’ve tried to educate her in the same way that we educated John Hunter in that there is a right way of doing things while trying to get rid of her bad habits.

“She didn’t start with us. She’s been driving for her own team and a lot of the things that happened back then just wasn’t always the best way to go about things. So we’re trying to teach her all the right things and give her the best quality of cars we can — equal to or better than what John Hunter has.”

Joe Nemechek: Wants to Stay in Truck Series to “Kick JH’s Butt.”

Her Super Late Model car chief, Austin Pollak, has taken a hands-on approach with his young driver and says he sees a lot of promise from Van Wieringen.

Pollak first joined NEMCO in 2013, John Hunter’s second season, and believes Van Wieringen is actually advancing a little bit faster than the second-generation Truck star.

“A part of that is we have the experience of working with John Hunter when he was younger,” Pollak said. “We’ve been able to apply that to Dominique but a lot of that is on her too. She is really competitive and wants to be as good as she can be.

“She’s going to win a (Late Model) race this year if not multiple.”

In short, NEMCO Motorsports has built quite the driver development stable and Van Wieringen appears poised to follow her teammate and car owner to the next level — and become just as successful in the process.

EMAIL MATT AT matt.weaver@popularspeed.com

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Trucks

Joe Nemechek on Truck Future: “I’m Going to Kick John Hunter’s Butt”

FORT WORTH, Tex. — Just because Joe Nemechek is about to hand his keys over to his son in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series doesn’t mean that he is simply going to ride off into the sunset and never be seen again.

John Hunter Nemechek will turn 18-years-old next week, making him eligible for every track on the schedule. As a result, the elder Nemechek is suddenly (but willingly) without the competitive part-time ride that has reinvigorated him over the past two seasons.

While neither Nemechek has won since joining the Truck Series last season, “Front Row Joe” is adamant that he has had a lot of fun sharing the No. 8 Chevrolet with John Hunter. He’s having so much fun, in fact, that he wants to keep racing on the tour and ultimately race side-by-side with his highly-touted teenager.

“He keeps telling me that he’s taking my steering wheel away,” Joe said about John Hunter. But I told him, yeah, you might be taking my wheel for a little while, but make no mistake, I’m going to come back and I’m going to kick your butt so be prepared.”

Nemechek says NEMCO Motorsports has the equipment and resources to run a second truck from time-to-time and that the 30-year-veteran hopes to find the funding to keep racing as long as it doesn’t take away from John Hunter. In fact, Nemechek also hopes to enter two or three races with their 18-year-old female development driver, Dominique Van Wieringen, who has been impressive in Super Late Model competition across the Midwest and Deep South.

In short, the Nemecheks have the extra trucks and staff required to field two entries and would like nothing more than to continue racing and perhaps finally score that elusive first career victory in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Friday night will mark his 23rd career start and a win would make him a triple crown winner, posting victories in all three national touring divisions.

“This is a lot of fun,” Joe said. “Believe me, I’m still going to race. It’s just a matter of finding the money to run some races — be it Cup, XFINITY or the Truck Series. I still want to race. I feel like I still have the ability and skills to win races but it’s about finding the right pieces.”

The father and son duo both raced against each other in 2013 in a CRA Super Late Model race at the Milwaukee Mile. (Joe finished sixth and John Hunter was 12th.) While both Nemecheks are de facto teammates and family, there is a strengthened bond defined by their respective competitive edge towards each other.

Joe wants nothing more than to help John Hunter succeed in NASCAR but he also wants to see where he stands against the son and driver that he has developed into a top prospect and Snowball Derby champion over the past five seasons.

“JH adapts so quick in whatever it does,” Joe said of his son. “I have challenged him quite a bit and I push him quite hard … He’s been going to these tracks since he was a little boy, watching and listening to everything I say. He’s been on the spotters stand and he has seen everything that goes on.

“He listens to how we talk, to not only me but his uncle and his cousins and everyone involved in racing in our family. He’s a smart kid who figures everything out very quickly and he’s going to have a much better career than I have when everting is said and done.”

NEMCO Motorsports swapped from Toyota to Chevrolet during the off-season, providing new challenges and opportunities for the small-budget team that has only eight workers at a given time. However, both father and son have only combined for one top-10 this season.

However, Joe Nemechek believes the struggles have been the result of bad luck, poor qualifying, and bad track position — something that should turn around on Friday night at Texas Motor Speedway.

“I would say we are actually better than last year,” Nemechek said. If you look at the speed charts and out lap times and ignore some of the bad luck, we’ve been much faster this year. We had some changes this season with Chevy and rebodying our trucks. It was a huge undertaking but we learned a lot.

“That’s where gains come from — when you start learning things about your trucks and what they want and what’s making them do different things. We’re just starting to explore so for just being a second year truck team, we’re doing extremely well.”

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Nemechek Left Looking For More In Top-10 Finish

Atlanta Motor Speedway was a chance for NEMCO Motorsports veteran @FrontRowJoe87 to show what the team is capable of at a 1.5 mile track.

The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) team redeemed themselves with a tenth place finish at the track after settling with a top-20 finish at Daytona International Speedway in the season opening race.

“I’m disappointed with a top-10, but we’ll definitely take it,” stated Nemechek. “I thought we were going to be a lot better than that. We had a lot of things go on during the race – we were just way too loose all night.

“We’ve been working hard on our Chevrolets. We’re learning more and more about these things. We’re faster and running in the top 10. There are a lot of good trucks that run in the top 10. We still have some more homework to do to build a notebook for John Hunter.”

Nemechek started eighth on the day. He was one of the drivers who wasn’t able to post a qualifying time. Only two trucks posted an official time in the final round of qualifying for the Hyundai Construction Equipment 200.

Joe Nemechek is sharing the driving duties in the No. 8 Chevrolet with his son, @JHNemechek. John Hunter’s first start will be at the next NCWTS race at Martinsville Speedway on March 28.

The NEMCO Motorsports team has a month to look at notes from the last couple of races to help the team face the track that resembles a paperclip in the Kroger 250 on March 28. John Hunter is anticipating the start in that seat.

“We ran good there in the second race there in the fall,” he said. “I’m looking forward getting back to Martinsville and trying to improve on our setup and going faster.”

Nemechek is currently ninth in driver standings.

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John Hunter Ready to Unseat Dad Joe in 2015

Racing is in @JHNemechek’s blood.

By the age of three, he was victorious in go-karts. He has become a threat to win every weekend racing his father’s late model. Now, the young racer prepares for a busy season racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

The seventeen-year-old racer is the son of Sprint Cup Series veteran @FrontRowJoe87 (Joe Nemechek.) The father-son combination will share the Nemco Motorsports No. 8 truck entry to begin the 2015 season, which switched manufacturers from Toyota to Chevrolet over the offseason. Once John Hunter turns eighteen in June, he will pilot the No. 8 for the remainder of the season.

Nemechek raced competitively during his few opportunities last season. A win at Gateway Motorsports Park was within reach until the closing laps, where late-race contact took him out of contention after leading 53 laps. In ten Camping World Truck Series races in 2014, he earned six top-10’s and one top-five finish.

As his father takes a step back in racing, John Hunter Nemechek is next in line to carry the family name. He grew up around the sport, and his dream of racing in NASCAR has now become a reality.

“It’s an amazing thing. It’s something that every kid dreams about when he starts racing. Just to be able to race in NASCAR and have the opportunity to work with my dad in the Camping World Truck Series is an amazing opportunity for me,” said Nemechek.

He won’t strap in behind the wheel until March 28th, when the truck series heads to Martinsville Raceway. Although Nemechek will miss the first two events, he remains confident that he will have success throughout this season.

“I feel like this year is going to be a great year. I feel like we’re going to come out of the box strong. I don’t turn eighteen until June. I have eighteen truck races, so after June I will finish out the year. I feel like it will definitely be a great year,” said the driver of the No. 8 SWM-Nemco Motorsports Silverado.

Together, the Nemechek family has endured the highs and lows that come with racing. Nemco Motorsports has persevered throughout the years, thanks to owner and driver Joe Nemechek. It has been rewarding for John Hunter to grow up in the shop, and work alongside his father.

When asked how his father’s racing business survived while other teams shut down, Nemechek believes that hard work propelled the team and gave them the strength to continue.

“I think it’s the work aspect. He [Joe Nemechek] is the hardest working driver you’ll find around. Luckily he’s passed that off to me, and I’ve learned a great deal from him. If you want to do something you have to work hard at it, and you can’t give up. I think that his drive and motivation to win races and to make me successful before he retires is something he really wants to do,” said John Hunter Nemechek.

“It means everything to me. Without him, I wouldn’t be here right now. He’s put his time, effort, and pretty much life in making my career jumpstart. I can’t thank him enough for it.” continued the driver.

Joe Nemechek is excited to watch his son take the next step in his young racing career this season. The veteran has already seen enough to truly believe his kid has the talent behind the wheel to be successful, no matter what type of vehicle he is racing.

“I think that John Hunter [Nemechek] has exceeded my expectations, especially last year being his first year in the truck series. In our late model program, he is doing phenomenal. Right now when we show up at the race track, he is the guy to beat wherever we go, it doesn’t matter. In the truck series, whenever he gets in and drives, he’s going to be in the top-five guaranteed,” said Joe Nemechek, the owner of Nemco Motorsports.

“This year we’re looking for bigger things – switching over to Chevrolet in the offseason. We just have a lot of stuff going on to try and make our team better, and I think you’re going to see it show up shortly. We’re going to be very competitive, and we’re going to be in victory lane this year.”

Jason Karlavige is a POPULAR SPEED Development Journalist

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Trucks

NASCAR Trucks: Miami Post-Race Notebook

By Matt Weaver (HOMESTEAD, Fla.) — Despite all of his early success, defending ARCA Racing Series champion Mason Mitchell admitted that he still has much to learn, following a 16th-place finish in his NASCAR Truck Series debut on Friday night at Homestead Miami Speedway.

Mitchell hopes to go full-time in the Truck Series in 2015 but hasn’t finalized the pieces to make that a reality — at least for his homegrown Mason Mitchell Motorsports operation. In addition to acquiring the funding needed to go full-time, Mitchell also needs experience and seat time, having never turned a lap in a Camping World Truck prior to the first practice session on Thursday afternoon.

After finishing on the lead lap with a relatively unscathed truck, Mitchell left Miami with an optimistic perspective on his NASCAR debut and learning curve.

“It’s so hard to pass here,” Mitchell told Popular Speed after the race. “So the one thing I had to learn was that keeping momentum up is even more important here than it was back in ARCA. I think we had a 10th-to-12th place truck — speed wise — but didn’t have the track position or the experience needed to pass better.

“I feel like I learned a lot and left here able to remove my Miami rookie stripe. I really enjoyed the weekend and hope that it leads us to where we can do even more next season.”

Mitchell says he has a full-time driver signed for his ARCA Series team and is now placing most of his efforts towards extending this Homestead one-off in the Truck Series into something permanent or full-time.

Joe Nemechek Optimistic for 2015 Trucks Operation

While proud of the efforts of his son and team at NEMCO Motorsports this season, driver-owner Joe Nemechek is actually somewhat disappointed by their overall statistics.

Entering Speedweeks and the start of the 2014 season, the 20-year NASCAR veteran actually expected the first-year Truck squad to challenge for wins against the likes of Kyle Busch Motorsports, Brad Keselowski Racing and ThorSports Motorsports, regardless of which driver was behind the wheel.

Combined, the father-son duo finished with an average result of 10.0 with 15 top-10s in 22 events.

With that said, he doesn’t want those unfulfilled expectations to get misread as disappointment in John Hunter either. Despite the lack of victories, the elder Nemechek remains proud of his son and praised him after the race on Friday at Homestead.

“I thought we were going to be better than we were this year,” Nemechek told Popular Speed. “John Hunter has definitely come through. All of his races on the mile or less tracks, he’s been awesome.

“He’s had 10 really good runs and was close to winning a couple of them. I came close to winning one or two of them too and we’ve made some big gains at the end of the year. I’m looking forward to the beginning of next year. ”

Next season will again see Joe and John Hunter split driving duties at least until the younger Nemechek turns 18-years-old on June 11. By this point, Front Row Joe hopes to have found sponsorship to have a second truck to race against his son on special occasions.

“There are five big track races that I have to run next year before he’s eligible,” Joe Nemechek said. “He’ll take over once he’s 18 and he’ll run them all. We’re desperately trying to find more sponsorship dollars and with more dollars comes the opportunity to keep this truck running full-time and maybe get us a second one for me to run on special occasions.”

Spencer Gallagher Improving in Advance of 2015 Full-Season

Spencer Gallagher has made 12 starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series over the past two seasons and believes that he has methodically improved during that time.

With six top-15s in nine starts this season, the results are starting to pour in at the perfect time as Gallagher recently announced that he will race full-time in the Truck Series in 2015, returning to his family grown GMS Racing.

“This was GMS Racing’s first year in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series,” Gallagher said. “This is my first season here with my assembled team here trying to do this and next year is my first full NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season so there have been some challenges.

“But I’ve had people tell me that I’ve really impressed from where I started to where I am now so I always try to take that into my heart when I’m down. It’s really good to have that supportive group around and I’m really looking forward to next year.”