The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular season champion is making the most of his week off. John Hunter Nemechek will return to the Xfinity Series on Saturday September 11 for a one-off race at Richmond Raceway. He will join Sam Hunt Racing and drive the # 26 Toyota Supra.
Nemechek teased the partnership weeks ago, showing off his name banner on a stock Xfinity Series car with a Tweet of August 25. Sam Hunt Racing waited until September 8 before posting a revealing video featuring the # 26 Toyota Supra, the Safeway paint scheme and other sponsor logos. Although the team did not show the full stock car until September 9th.
Nemechek will now move up to the stock car on September 11 and face a wide variety of drivers, including Dale Earnhardt Jr. He will have to catch up after starting 14th alongside JD Motorsports driver Bayley Currey.
The Go Bowling 250 at Richmond Raceway will take place on Saturday, September 11 at 2:30 p.m. ET. NBC Sports Network will provide coverage as the Xfinity Series drivers battle for points and playoff spots. Nemechek is not eligible due to his run for the Truck Series Championship, so he will simply try to win and add a trophy to his expanding collection.
Nemechek focused only on truck series races in 2021
No.4 Toyota Tundra driver Kyle Busch Motorsports has not followed the trend set by many of his peers. He did not compete in the NASCAR Cup Series or the Xfinity Series during the 2021 season. Instead, he only focused on his Truck Series season and the championship trophy fight.
Nemechek has only taken one start apart from the # 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 early for the garage.
Nemechek will now return to Richmond Raceway, a track where he has already competed in three Xfinity Series starts. He competed on the 0.75 mile D-shaped oval in 2018 for Chip Ganassi Racing, then made two starts in 2019 for GMS Racing. Nemechek has finished in the top 15 three times, posting a better seventh place.
Richmond serves as a homecoming for team owner
The return to Richmond will be special for the 28-year-old team owner. Hunt received a finance degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, and he first experienced NASCAR on the 0.75 mile short track. It was in Virginia that Hunt fell in love with the sport of stock car racing, and now he’ll be sitting atop the stand as Nemechek battles to put the # 26 Supra in Victory Lane.
Sam Hunt Racing started competing in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East while fielding entry No.18. The team worked with Joe Gibbs Racing for the first few days, and the late JD Gibbs supplied the first two cars.
Sam Hunt Racing switched to the Xfinity series in 2019 and started competing with the # 26 Toyota Supra. The team then added the # 24 Toyota in 2021, which Will Rodgers drove in the Xfinity Series race on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course.
The young NASCAR team made 35 starts from 2019 to 2021 with a variety of drivers at the helm of the stock cars. Brandon Gdovic currently has the best result in the group. He placed eighth in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 13, 2021.
READ NEXT: Kyle Busch explains why he’s always raced in Xfinity