Tha Sports Junkies 101

John Hunter Nemechek Interview



Whether new to the sport of lifelong followers, many NASCAR fans know the Nemechek name. Joe Nemechek is a journeyman driver with a storied career in all levels of the sport. In addition, Joe’s son John Hunter is a current rising star in the Truck Series. In just over 60 career starts, he has 5 wins. 2 of them came this season, in back to back efforts at Gateway and Iowa. With the Truck series Playoffs rapidly approaching, John Hunter is as busy as ever in trying to secure a championship.

At 20 years old, John Hunter has been around racing his entire life. “My earliest racing memory was dad winning his first Cup race in 1999 (at New Hampshire).” Even with a life in racing, John Hunter has not forgotten the value of hard work and dedication. “I always tell people to never give up on their dreams. Working hard eventually pays off and it makes achieving whatever goal that much sweeter.”

Away from the track, the young Nemechek remains honed in on the task at hand. “I’m always in the shop early in the morning, working with the guys. We are always building fast trucks, getting them set up and ready to go for the next race. At the end of the day, I like to get on my bike and ride, to make sure I stay in shape. But everything at the race shop has to get done first.”

Nemechek has been focusing on winning his first championship for many months. “The 1 race left this year I want to win the most is Homestead. I would love to be in the Final 4, racing for the title. My family has a lot of history there. Wheeling Uncle John’s number in the Truck race at Homestead would be a very special win for myself and my whole family and team. The championship would be great as well.”

Nemechek’s Racing Roots

John Hunter calls his dad his biggest racing mentor. However, he has gone to several different drivers with questions and received guidance, especially in the Truck series. “There’s been quite a few drivers that I’ve been able to go up to and ask questions and have them tell me the correct answers. Growing up in the sport you create a lot of relationships with a lot of different drivers. You can go up to a lot of them and ask them pretty much anything.”

“I would say I’m the most like Cole Trickle (Tom Cruise) in Days of Thunder,” said Nemechek when asked which TV or movie character resembles his personality. John Hunter has the work ethic of a champion, as he stated that “I don’t watch much TV, I usually watch old races to learn how to run at a track better. The TV shows I do watch are usually DVR’d because of my intense racing schedule.”

Racing for a family-run team has more challenges and limitations than a traditional corporate race team. Even so, John Hunter and his blue collar crew have shown that success in racing is possible without large sponsorship dollars. In closing, John Hunter Nemechek is one of NASCAR’s many future young stars. He has proven that the uphill battle can pay off in the long run.