Nemechek tops Busch in wreck-marred Richmond Truck race

For the second time this season, John Hunter Nemechek beat his boss, Kyle Busch, and both times its translated into victory.

Nemechek dominated a caution-marred race Saturday at Richmond (Va.) Raceway, leading 114 of 250 laps, and held Busch at bay over the closing laps to win the ToyotaCare 250.

 

The win is Nemechek’s second of the 2021 NASCAR Truck season and he’s quickly established himself as a championship favorite in his first full season with Kyle Busch Motorsports.

Nemechek, 23, now has eight career series victories.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to come out here and do what we were able to do. We had a really fast truck. I’m super proud of all of my guys and thankful for them,” Nemechek said.

“This puts a lot of different things in perspective, but I just can’t thank all of my guys, all of our partners, everyone enough for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. It’s two wins. #HereForWins. Let’s go get more.

“I know (Busch) tried getting me there at the end and this is the third time we’ve raced against each other this year and I’m one up on him so far in his own equipment, so that’s nice. Just super thankful, super-blessed.”

Tyler Ankrum finished third, KBM driver Chandler Smith was fourth and Johnny Sauter rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Todd Gilliland, Ben Rhodes, Grant Enfinger, Sam Mayer and Austin Hill.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead-lap trucks pit with Nemechek the first off pit road.

Austin Hill was penalized for speeding on pit road during his stop and had to restart from the rear of the field.

The race returned to green on Lap 151, with Nemechek followed by Rhodes, Enfinger and Zane Smith.

On Lap 153, Derek Kraus spun and wrecked off Turn 2 which brought out another caution. The race returned to green on Lap 159 with Nemechek still out front.

Chase Purdy spun in Turn 1 on Lap 160 after trucks around him went four-wide and he got knocked around.

The race returned to green on Lap 166 with Nemechek still out front followed by Enfinger, Zane Smith and Raphael Lessard.

Jennifer Jo Cobb spun and wrecked on the backstretch on Lap 167 which brought out the seventh caution of the race. The race went back green on Lap 172 with Nemechek still in command.

On Lap 177, Cobb appeared to intentionally wreck Norm Benning as he came around the frontstretch, which brought out a caution.

NASCAR immediately parked Cobb for the rest of the race and she, her crew chief and spotter were told to report to the NASCAR hauler after the race.

The race returned to green on Lap 182 with Nemechek still in command.

On Lap 189, Rhodes moved into the second position behind Nemechek as Gilliland moved into third.

Codie Rohrbaugh wrecked in Turn 1 on Lap 196 after contact with Austin Wayne Self to bring out another caution.

Most of the lead-lap trucks pit but Crafton stayed out and inherited the lead. Nemechek was the first off pit road among those who pit.

 

On the restart on Lap 210, Crafton was followed by Sauter, Chandler Smith, Danny Bohn and Ankrum. Nemechek lined up ninth.

Chandler Smith took Crafton and Sauter three-wide on the restart and came away with the lead for the first time in the race.

Kris Wright wrecked off Turn 2 on Lap 213 to once again put the race under caution. Chandler Smith continued to lead when the race returned to green on Lap 222.

Nemechek ran down Chandler Smith and finally was able to pass him for the lead on Lap 234, taking control of the race with 15 laps to go.

With 10 to go, Busch had moved back into second and tried to run down leader Nemechek before the finish.

Stage 2

Nemechek cruised to victory over Enfinger in Stage 2.

Rhodes was third, Austin Hill fourth and Busch rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all lead-lap trucks elected to pit with Busch the first off pit road.

Stewart Friesen was penalized for speeding on pit road during his stop and had to restart the race from the rear of the field. Ankrum and Spencer Boyd were both penalized for having an uncontrolled tire during their respective stops.

When the race returned to green on Lap 80, Busch was followed by Enfinger, Nemechek and Rhodes.

On Lap 84, Tate Fogleman spun and wrecked in Turn 3 to bring out a caution. Hailee Deegan also appeared to collect some damage in the incident.

 

The race returned to green on Lap 99 with Busch out front followed by Enfinger and Nemechek.

On Lap 100, Nemechek was able to clear Busch to take the lead for the first time in the race. On lap later, Cobb spun in Turn 3 after contact with Howie DiSivino III to bring out a caution.

The race returned to green on Lap 105 with Nemechek in the lead followed by Busch and Rhodes.

With 15 laps to go in the stage, Nemechek maintained a more than 2-second lead over Enfinger while Rhodes ran third.

Stage 1

Enfinger held off a fast-approaching Nemechek to take the Stage 1 victory.

Busch was third, Rhodes fourth and Austin Hill rounded out the top-five.

Rhodes started on the pole and led the first two laps until Enfinger got around him and grabbed the lead on Lap 3.

After 20 laps. Enfinger had built a 1.7-second lead over Rhodes while Lessard had moved up to third. Busch, who started 12th, had made his way to sixth.

With 35 laps remaining, Enfinger maintained a 1.1-second lead over Rhodes while Lessard remained third and Busch had moved up to fourth.

On Lap 47, Busch made his way to second and set his sights on Enfinger to challenge for the lead.

With 10 laps to go in the stage, Nemechek made his way around Busch to take over the runner-up position behind Enfinger.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 4 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 250 2:25'57.679     114
2 51 United States Kyle Busch Toyota 250 2:25'57.986 0.307 0.307 26
3 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 250 2:26'02.616 4.937 4.630  
4 18 Chandler Smith Toyota 250 2:26'03.754 6.075 1.138 24
5 13 United States Johnny Sauter Ford 250 2:26'04.283 6.604 0.529  
6 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 250 2:26'04.882 7.203 0.599  
7 99 United States Ben Rhodes Ford 250 2:26'05.661 7.982 0.779 4
8 98 United States Grant Enfinger Ford 250 2:26'05.923 8.244 0.262 71
9 32 Sam Mayer Chevrolet 250 2:26'06.564 8.885 0.641  
10 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 250 2:26'07.145 9.466 0.581  
11 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 250 2:26'08.563 10.884 1.418  
12 42 Carson Hocevar Chevrolet 250 2:26'08.828 11.149 0.265  
13 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 250 2:26'09.775 12.096 0.947  
14 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 250 2:26'10.782 13.103 1.007  
15 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 250 2:26'11.328 13.649 0.546  
16 11 United States Spencer Davis Toyota 250 2:26'12.199 14.520 0.871  
17 1 United States Hailie Deegan Ford 250 2:26'14.024 16.345 1.825  
18 88 United States Matt Crafton Ford 250 2:26'15.467 17.788 1.443 11
19 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 250 2:26'15.553 17.874 0.086  
20 30 Danny Bohn Toyota 250 2:26'16.826 19.147 1.273  
21 56 United States Timmy Hill Chevrolet 250 2:26'18.763 21.084 1.937  
22 25 United States Timothy Peters Chevrolet 250 2:26'22.006 24.327 3.243  
23 24 Canada Raphael Lessard Chevrolet 249 2:26'00.528 1 Lap 1 Lap  
24 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 249 2:26'10.334 1 Lap 9.806  
25 41 Dawson Cram Chevrolet 248 2:25'59.487 2 Laps 1 Lap  
26 44 United States Jett Noland Chevrolet 247 2:26'19.117 3 Laps 1 Lap  
27 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 247 2:26'21.466 3 Laps 2.349  
28 23 United States Chase Purdy Chevrolet 245 2:26'01.831 5 Laps 2 Laps  
29 49 United States Ryan Reed Chevrolet 245 2:26'16.829 5 Laps 14.998  
30 33 Keith McGee Toyota 244 2:26'22.768 6 Laps 1 Lap  
31 04 Cory Roper Ford 243 2:26'22.199 7 Laps 1 Lap  
32 6 United States Norm Benning Chevrolet 240 2:26'11.860 10 Laps 3 Laps  
33 34 United States Josh Reaume Toyota 240 2:26'18.035 10 Laps 6.175  
34 3 Howie Disavino Chevrolet 221 2:26'21.086 29 Laps 19 Laps  
35 02 United States Kris Wright Chevrolet 212 2:06'33.146 38 Laps 9 Laps  
36 9 Codie Rohrbaugh Chevrolet 195 1:52'11.252 55 Laps 17 Laps  
37 45 United States Brett Moffitt Chevrolet 186 1:52'03.565 64 Laps 9 Laps  
38 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Chevrolet 168 1:40'07.009 82 Laps 18 Laps  
39 12 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 82 38'32.226 168 Laps 86 Laps  
40 40 United States Ryan Truex Chevrolet 44 18'03.655 206 Laps 38 Laps  
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