A Competitive Relationship Fuels Nemecheks

NASCAR

Joe and John Hunter Nemechek will look to compete against each other at Daytona next month. (Photo: Getty Images)

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John Hunter Nemechek is a student of the sport, and his educator is his father - 1992 NASCAR XFINITY Series Champion Joe Nemechek. 

It was announced last week that the father-son combination will attempt to race in the NextEra Energy Resources 250 at the Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 24, in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The two will build trucks in their family owned NEMCO Motorsports shop in hopes they get the opportunity to battle on the race track.

“I hope I kick his butt to tell you the truth.” John Hunter Nemechek said. “We’ve run 3 or 4 times against each other and I’m still one up on him as far as finishes.”

“He definitely thinks he knows it all but I’ve been doing it a lot longer than he has.” Joe Nemechek said. “I think experience will play a factor in the race. The biggest thing is hopefully both of us can make it through the wrecks and the fiascos if they happen and we’ll be there at the end with a chance to win.”

John Hunter is a unique race car driver. His father has taught him nearly everything he knows. On race weekends he’s one of the first drivers in the NCWTS to arrive at the race track preparing the truck for race day and he’s one of the last ones to leave. He learned early on that if he wanted to reap the benefits of being a driver he must first know how to work on the cars and trucks.

“The first time I ever wrecked a race car my dad (Joe Nemechek) made me fix it myself before I could go back racing.” John Hunter said. “I had to know what parts did what on the cars and trucks, it’s awesome to be hands on in the shop with the guys and learn how things work, and it can only help you at the race track.”

Joe Nemechek loves being a father, and he also loves being a race car driver. The combination has given him the chance to be John Hunter’s mentor. He’s taught his son to be humble, to win, and the value of patience.  

“I’ve learned a lot from him.” John Hunter said. “Probably the biggest thing is to be patient, you want to win races right off the bat but it takes time to get everything right.” 

“It’s been really cool to be a truck owner and help educate my son.” Joe Nemechek said. “I just try to take all of the knowledge I have and try to pack it all in his brain in a short amount of time. He’s been a very good student and he’s a great race car driver and he gets up on the wheel.”

The Nemechek’s did however want to make one thing clear. When going to Daytona in February yes they will always be family…but when the green flag drops they’re race car drivers and competitors. 

“Going to Daytona and to get the chance to race together makes me very proud.” Joe Nemechek said. “But at the same time I’m a race car driver and it’s what I’ve always done. Only racing a few races the last couple years has been difficult for me because I want to drive, I still feel like I can get out there and win races, but I know he can as well (John Hunter).”

“He’s always itching to get back in the truck” John Hunter said about his father. “we’re competitive at everything we do, whether it’s skiing, snowboarding, wake surfing, or on a mountain bike it doesn’t matter, we always want to beat each other so hopefully I can get the upper hand in Daytona.”

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