John Hunter Nemechek hangs on for Charlotte Truck win

John Hunter Nemechek navigated a dangerous wreck and held off a furious challenge from a newcomer to earn his third NASCAR Truck Series victory of the 2021 season.

Nemechek was comfortably in command late in Friday night’s N.C. Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway when his No. 4 Toyota was hit by debris from a nasty wreck between Johnny Sauter and Trey Hutchens III on Lap 115 of 134.

Despite the damage to the roof of his truck, Nemechek was able to hold off Carson Hocevar over the final 10 laps and held on for his ninth career victory.

With the win, Nemechek also collected the final $50,000 bonus this season from the Triple Truck Challenge.

 

It was an eventful day for Nemechek, who tagged the wall and damaged his truck in the first two laps of Friday morning’s practice session.

“We only ran about 10 laps total in practice,” Nemechek, 23, said. “Hats off to all my guys that work on this thing. I’m just so thankful and blessed to be in this spot.

“How about this crowd? It’s awesome to have all you guys back. It’s so cool to have the crowd here.”

Hocevar’s runner-up finish was a career-best in 19 races.

“I’ve never been in that position too many times, I just let it slip away,” he said. “I finally caught (Nemechek) in the last few laps, but it was one or two too late. I don’t know if I could have cleared him, but I could have put up a fight.

“Second is bittersweet. You’re the first loser, but you also run second. It’s a good points day.”

Ben Rhodes was third, Stewart Friesen fourth and last weekend’s winner at Circuit of the Americas, Todd Gilliland, rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Chandler Smith, Ty Majeski, Derek Kraus, Austin Hill and Zane Smith.

Stage 3

Following the break between Stages 2 and 3, most of the lead-lap trucks pit with Austin Hill the first off pit road.

During pit stops, Zane Smith was penalized for having a crew member over the wall too soon and Majeski for having equipment over the wall too soon. Both were required to restart from the rear of the field.

The race returned to green on Lap 69 with Hocevar out front followed by Friesen and Grant Enfinger. Austin Hill, the first off pit road, lined up 12th.

Friesen powered to the lead through Turns 1 and 2 on the restart to grab the lead only to see Nemechek use a three-wide move on the backstretch on Lap 70 to return to the top spot.

 

With 50 laps remaining in the race, Nemechek had built up a 1.6-second lead over Hocevar while Friesen ran third.

Several lead-lap trucks kicked off a round of green-flag pit stops on Lap 101 to take on tires and fuel to make it to the end of the race.

Once the cycle of stops was completed on Lap 114, Nemechek remained in the lead but Austin Hill had made his way up to second.

On Lap 115, Trey Hutchens III slowed dramatically coming off Turn 4 after hitting the wall and Johnny Sauter slammed into him nearly at full speed. The impact destroyed the right-side of Sauter’s truck and did significant damage to Hutchens’ No. 14. Both drivers were unhurt.

 

Drew Dollar and Nemechek also appeared to receive some damage from debris scattered in the incident.

A handful of trucks elected to pit under the caution. When the race returned to green on Lap 125, Nemechek remained in the lead followed by Austin Hill and Hocevar.

Hocevar moved back into second on the restart as Austin Hill struggled to keep pace. Rhodes moved into third.

With five laps remaining, Tanner Gray tagged the wall but the race remained green with Nemechek out front with a half-second lead over Hocevar.

Stage 2

Zane Smith held off Austin Hill in a one-lap dash to claim the Stage 2 win.

Majeski was third, Kraus was fourth and Ryan Truex rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Matt Crafton, Hocevar, Friesen, Enfinger and Nemechek.

Stage 1

Sheldon Creed easily bested Gilliland to take the Stage 1 win, his first of the 2021 season.

Nemechek was third, Austin Hill fourth and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Tyler Ankrum, Kraus, Crafton, Rhodes and Hailie Deegan.

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 4 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 134 1:45'28.760     71
2 42 Carson Hocevar Chevrolet 134 1:45'29.179 0.419 0.419 5
3 99 United States Ben Rhodes Ford 134 1:45'31.242 2.482 2.063  
4 52 United States Stewart Friesen Toyota 134 1:45'31.851 3.091 0.609 1
5 38 United States Todd Gilliland Ford 134 1:45'32.809 4.049 0.958 5
6 18 Chandler Smith Toyota 134 1:45'33.052 4.292 0.243  
7 66 United States Ty Majeski Toyota 134 1:45'33.535 4.775 0.483  
8 19 United States Derek Kraus Toyota 134 1:45'34.575 5.815 1.040  
9 16 United States Austin Hill Toyota 134 1:45'35.841 7.081 1.266  
10 21 Zane Smith Chevrolet 134 1:45'36.205 7.445 0.364 13
11 98 United States Christian Eckes Ford 134 1:45'36.758 7.998 0.553 3
12 40 United States Ryan Truex Chevrolet 134 1:45'42.228 13.468 5.470 1
13 1 United States Hailie Deegan Ford 133 1:45'37.213 1 Lap 1 Lap  
14 9 United States Grant Enfinger Chevrolet 133 1:45'38.054 1 Lap 0.841  
15 24 Jack Wood Chevrolet 133 1:45'38.307 1 Lap 0.253  
16 26 United States Tyler Ankrum Chevrolet 133 1:45'38.890 1 Lap 0.583 2
17 22 United States Austin Wayne Self Chevrolet 133 1:45'39.513 1 Lap 0.623  
18 56 United States Timmy Hill Chevrolet 133 1:45'39.561 1 Lap 0.048  
19 45 United States Bayley Currey Chevrolet 133 1:45'39.619 1 Lap 0.058  
20 51 Dollar Drew Toyota 133 1:45'40.376 1 Lap 0.757  
21 41 Dawson Cram Chevrolet 133 1:45'40.700 1 Lap 0.324  
22 15 United States Tanner Gray Ford 133 1:45'41.834 1 Lap 1.134  
23 02 United States Kris Wright Chevrolet 132 1:45'45.224 2 Laps 1 Lap  
24 30 Danny Bohn Toyota 131 1:45'45.928 3 Laps 1 Lap  
25 04 Cory Roper Ford 129 1:45'49.659 5 Laps 2 Laps  
26 20 United States Spencer Boyd Chevrolet 128 1:46'01.519 6 Laps 1 Lap  
27 34 CJ Mclaughlin Toyota 127 1:45'55.589 7 Laps 1 Lap  
28 33 Akinori Ogata Toyota 125 1:45'30.872 9 Laps 2 Laps  
29 3 Keith McGee Chevrolet 123 1:45'44.395 11 Laps 2 Laps  
30 88 United States Matt Crafton Ford 114 1:25'55.655 20 Laps 9 Laps  
31 13 United States Johnny Sauter Ford 111 1:25'32.880 23 Laps 3 Laps  
32 14 United States Trey Hutchens Chevrolet 108 1:25'24.397 26 Laps 3 Laps  
33 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb Chevrolet 71 1:05'09.688 63 Laps 37 Laps  
34 23 United States Chase Purdy Chevrolet 59 52'16.624 75 Laps 12 Laps  
35 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 55 42'14.364 79 Laps 4 Laps 33
36 32 Bret Holmes Chevrolet 49 34'23.052 85 Laps 6 Laps  
37 12 Tate Fogleman Chevrolet 38 28'18.437 96 Laps 11 Laps  
38 25 United States Timothy Peters Chevrolet 13 8'54.976 121 Laps 25 Laps  
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