Nemechek Wins His First NASCAR Truck Race at Chicagoland

John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #8 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway
John Hunter Nemechek
John Hunter Nemechek, driver of the #8 Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway

John Hunter Nemechek combined the knowledge of his father and his own youthful exuberance to win the Ethanol E-15 225.  This was his first NASCAR Camping World Truck series win of his career, at the Chicagoland Speedway, beating Tyler Reddick by 12.014 seconds.

Nemecheck stretched his fuel mileage just far enough to be the first driver to cross the finish line after passing a coasting Kyle Larson, who ran out of gas with two laps to go.  He carried out his crew’s pit strategy that kept him consistent, but at a greatly reduced speed, and that proved to be the award-winning formula in the rain-postponed Saturday morning race.

Nemechek conserved fuel the final 56 laps, running out himself coming off turn four on the final lap.

Timothy Peters, leading with 20 laps to go, was one of the first to pit with 15 laps to go followed by contenders Johnny Sauter, Daniel Suarez, Kyle Larson, Erik Jones, and Matt Crafton all hitting pit road for needed fuel, leaving only Nemechek on the track waiting out the final laps in his moderate mode of fuel saving.

Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota, and Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 Stoney Creek Records Ford, lead the field on a restart during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway
Johnny Sauter, driver of the #98 Nextant/Curb Records Toyota, and Tyler Reddick, driver of the #19 Stoney Creek Records Ford, lead the field on a restart during the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway

“We got to top off there with one to go, and he [crew chief, Gere Kennon] told me to save fuel on that last run, and that’s what we ended up doing,” said a beaming John Hunter Nemechek.  “I ran out coming out of Turn 4.  It was great strategy that he had worked up in his mind.  I should know never to doubt him.”

When the green flag waved for the last time on Lap 96, Kennon did his math, figuring his Chevy truck was four laps short of finishing the race but didn’t give his driver the specific numbers.

“I just told him to save,” Kennon said.  “It got to 10 [laps] to go, and I said, ‘Just slow down—just save.’  He didn’t say anything back, and I was like, ‘He may not know how to save.’  I told him to slow down even more, and it all worked out.”

The top five finishing positions belonged to Nemechek, Tyler Reddick, Timothy Peters, and Daniel Suarez with Johnny Sauter rounding out the Top five.

The average speed of the Ethanol E-15 225 was 120.715 mph slowed by three cautions for 23 laps.  There were 11 lead changes among 7 different drivers.

Erik Jones with his sixth place finish now assumes the points lead of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series with 628 points.  Reddick finds himself second, 10 points behind with defending champion, Matt Crafton 12 out of first place with only seven races to go.

Kyle Larson, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway
Kyle Larson, driver of the #00 Haas Automation Chevrolet, leads the field at the start of the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway

The next NASCAR Camping World Truck event will be the UNOH 175 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, September 26, starting at 12:30 p.m. on FOX Sports 1.

About Jay Wells 321 Articles
Jay Wells, 61, is a veteran motorsports public relations and marketing official. He spent 33 years at the track working with NASCAR, IndyCar, IMSA, and NHRA series' before retiring in 2009. He began writing for RacingJunk.com in September of 2013 covering the NHRA and NASCAR circuits with post race coverage along with feature and breaking news stories. Wells resides in Mooresville, North Carolina. Follow Wells on Twitter @ jaywells500.
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