18-year-old will take full control of No. 8 Chevrolet in Truck Series One day following his 18th birthday (June 11), John Hunter Nemechek will settle back in the driver's seat of the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet for good. Nemechek , who has been sharing seat time with his father Joe in the No. 8 truck, will grow old enough to be eligible to finish the remainder of the NCWTS schedule beginning in Saturday’s American Ethanol presents the Drivin’ for Linemen 200 brought to you by Ameren at Gateway Motorsports Park (8:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM). The NASCAR Next member will spend his first day as a legal adult, not celebrating, but doing what he does every day – improving himself as a race car driver. "I'll be here at the race shop working on my birthday," Nemechek said. "We're non-stop working, trying to get these trucks done, trying to make everything better, so we can go out and contend for wins." If Nemechek races as well at Gateway on Saturday as he did last season, he has a very good chance at visiting Victory Lane. He led 53 laps before a late spin relegated him to 15th. In the process he drew praise on Twitter from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series stars Tony Stewart , Dale Earnhardt Jr . and Danica Patrick . "How cool is it watching @JohnNemechek leading at Gateway in the @CampingWorld Truck Series race! Go get 'em kid!", Stewart tweeted. Nemechek , who will be competing in his third race this season feels ready to attack the 1.25-mile track. "Last year at Gateway we ran very well," he said. "We made huge improvements from hitting the fence in the first lap of practice to contending for a win. We had an unfortunate event that happened at the end of the race that put us out of contention, but I'm really looking forward to going back this year. It's a very fun place. Both corners are different so you have to get you're truck handling in both. "It's more of a driver’s track. You'll see some guys struggle and some guys will prevail. I'm really looking forward to going back." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
John Hunter Nemechek will split the 2015 NCWTS season with his father Joe Play: NASCAR Fantasy Live " Vote: Ultimate Daytona Challenge DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- John Hunter Nemechek might not have years of experience propelling him into NASCAR's national ranks, but he may have something better -- the lessons handed down from his father, entering his 26th year competing in NASCAR's top divisions. But Joe Nemechek , 51, has shown he's not just a grandstand-watching dad with a vested interest in his 17-year-old son's budding career. He's still getting his fingers dirty under the hood and taking his turn in the driver's seat, making his father-son mentorship more hands-on than most. "He's the hardest worker that you'll find around, the hardest-working driver, I should say," the younger Nemechek said. "Luckily, he's passed that off to me and I've learned a great deal from him. If you want to do something, you've got to work hard at it and you can't give up. I think his drive and motivation to win races and make me successful before he retires is something that he really wants me to do." The elder Nemechek's independent spirit hasn't skipped a generation, as John Hunter Nemechek prepares for his third partial season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. The father-son duo will split the schedule in 2015, with Joe Nemechek racing on the circuit's larger tracks until John Hunter turns 18 on June 11, at which point his NASCAR-mandated age restriction to tracks 1.25 miles or shorter will be lifted. That time frame would clear John Hunter Nemechek to get his first whirl at an intermediate track at 1.5-mile Kentucky Speedway on July 9. "I definitely feel like I'm ready for it," he said. "I feel like getting to those bigger tracks is something I've wanted to do for a while. Last year, sitting on the sidelines when Dad was running the big tracks and I was running the short tracks was kind of frustrating, just because, 'OK, I know I can do this. When am I going to get the chance?' Definitely we're counting down the days." In the meantime, the younger Nemechek has methodically begun to add his name to a stellar group of second-generation speedsters such as Chase Elliott and Ryan Blaney, both a few years older and with more experience on their side. John Hunter's 10-race slate on smaller tracks in the Camping World Truck Series last season yielded a career-best fifth place at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and four other finishes of sixth and seventh, efforts he hopes are building blocks to more strides in 2015. Those first steps, plus an offseason victory in the prestigious Snowball Derby race for Late Model cars, have helped John Hunter exceed his father's expectations thus far -- sometimes surprisingly so. "You look at a lot of the kids that are sons of dads that raced, they've all grown up around the sport," Joe Nemechek said. "I think the biggest thing that helps them is just listening to all of us dads just talk about what our cars are doing and this and that, and they learn all that. The first time he was in the car, he's like, 'yeah, it's doing this, this and this,' and I looked at him like, 'how do you know that?' They've heard us talk, our body language and all that other stuff, and they just know." John Hunter Nemechek has certainly picked up on the mechanical know-how, helping his father in the shop by running parts, changing tires and becoming handy with a wrench around the family shop. But the influence has transcended the nuts-and-bolts side of things, as the teenager has also learned by example how to carry himself in the garage. For that, John Hunter Nemechek is grateful. "It means everything to me," the younger Nemechek said. "Without him, I wouldn't be here right now. He's put his time and effort and pretty much his life into making my career jump-start. I can't thank him enough for it." MORE: READ: Latest NASCAR news PLAY: Sign up for Fantasy Live WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView today FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
No. 29 car failed post-qualifying inspection, shuffling lineup RELATED: Play NASCAR Fantasy Live " Sign up for RaceView today Joe Nemechek 's qualifying time for the GEICO 500 (Sunday, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN) was disallowed, NASCAR officials said after Coors Light Pole Qualifying for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series . Nemechek's No. 29 car, which had qualified 24th, failed post-qualifying inspection for an improperly sealed oil tank encasement. Reed Sorenson , who was initially thought to have missed the race, was replaced in the field based on his qualifying speed. Sorenson posted a speed of 189.305 mph in the opening round of group qualifying. The driver of the No. 36 Tommy Baldwin Racing Chevrolet will line up 36th in Sunday's field. Sorenson has one top-10 finish at the 2.66-mile track, which came in 2007. By making the GEICO 500 grid, Sorenson has now been in the starting lineup for every race this year. Nemechek has made 15 Sprint Cup Series starts this year but has failed to make it into the field in both of his tries in the No. 29 Toyota. Nemechek joined Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Justin Allgaier as the drivers who failed to make the 43-car field at Talladega. MORE: READ: Latest Chase news PLAY: Monitor your Chase Grid Game picks WATCH: Latest NASCAR video FOLLOW LIVE: Get RaceView FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Joe Nemechek spins and creates a close call for Trevor Bayne and Austin Dillon.
In 2004 “Front Row” Joe Nemechek swept the weekend at the Kansas Speedway with two close and thrilling victories.
Eleventh-place finish provides learning experience for driver SPARTA, Ky. -- John Hunter Nemechek had every right to enter Thursday's UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway with wide eyes and sweaty palms. Not only was he making his first start at a 1.5-mile track -- his 18th birthday on June 11 allowing him to run on any track length -- he was also hopping into the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet with no practice time due to inclement weather. Tack on the potential hazard of seeping rainwater on the track (fondly known as weepers) and the possibility of a bumpy ride due to the rough surface of Kentucky, and it's enough to make the most experienced driver's heart rate quicken. And while he appeared weary post-race, leaning against his No. 8 truck while sitting on the asphalt surface, Nemechek had a simple answer regarding if he had felt nervous with no practice time before the drop of the green: "Not at all." The young driver's performance seemed to reflect his attitude. After rolling off the grid 13th, Nemechek quickly dipped into the top bracket, running with drivers like Ryan Blaney for the top spot and even leading a lap around the asphalt oval. He finished the 225-mile event 11th. "It felt good," Nemechek said. "It showed what we can do as a team and how fast our truck really is." A fast truck in tow, the No. 8 team also received assistance on pit road from a group of men who know how to win at the highest level: the No. 48 crew of Jimmie Johnson . The crew pitted Nemechek's No. 8 in Thursday's Truck race and will pit Johnson's Sprint Cup entry on Saturday as part of their regular duties. With a strong showing in his first test on a 1.5-mile track -- NASCAR's bread-and-butter -- Nemechek showed the industry he could contend in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Nonetheless, the No. 8 wheelman looks ahead to the remainder of the season, citing areas of improvement in the upcoming races for his team. "It was fun, we had a really good truck. Just took four tires there at the end and we should have taken two or none," Nemechek said, referring to the late-race four-tire call that caused him to drop several positions on pit road. "We hauled the mail on no tires there in the middle of the race, so definitely some learning to do, but I feel like I learned a lot tonight, feel like I adapted pretty quick and can't thank my guys enough for a great truck." FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule
Young driver has four top-10 finishes in six series starts this season
Recently turned 17-year-old leads first career laps in Truck Series
The 16-year-old will make his first Truck Series start of 2014 at Martinsville on March 29
Opening practice leader Kasey Kahne posted top-five speed in final session RELATED: Final practice results " First practice results After posting the a speed just shy of a top-five in Friday's opening practice at Charlotte Motor Speedway , Erik Jones topped the leaderboard in the night's final session. The No. 4 driver wheeled his Kyle Busch Motorsports ride at 180.693 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Behind Jones was NTS Motorsports' Scott Lagasse Jr. , who is in the No. 31 ride this weekend. Lagasse Jr. posted a high speed of 180.668 mph late in practice to move to the second-fastest position on the leaderboard. Jones' KBM teammate Matt Tifft was third-fastest, recording a high speed of 180.608 mph in his No. 51 Toyota. Kasey Kahne , the top performer in the opening practice session, continued to post fast lap times, using a high speed of 180.493 mph to nab the fourth spot on the leaderboard. BK Racing 's Tyler Reddick completed the top five with a high speed of 180.228 mph. After posting the 13th-fastest speed in the opening practice, reigning series champion Matt Crafton climbed the leaderboard in the second session, posting the sixth-fastest speed in the field. The trucks are back on track Friday at 5:45 p.m. ET for Keystone Light Pole Qualifying at Charlotte Motor Speedway (coverage on FOX Sports 1). MORE: Complete weekend schedule for Charlotte and Iowa Practice 1 Related: Full Practice 1 results Propelling his No. 00 truck around the track at 180.258 mph, Kasey Kahne soared to the top of the leaderboard during Thursday's opening three-hour practice for the NC Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway . The Sprint Cup Series veteran will be making his fifth career start in the Camping World Truck Series on Friday -- his first since 2012 -- in the newly minted No. 00 JR Motorsports Chevrolet. NEMCO Motorsports' Joe Nemechek made a late run to grab the second-fastest spot on the leaderboard, wheeling his No. 8 truck at 179.856 mph around the 1.5-mile oval. Rounding out the top five were NTS Motorsports' Daniel Hemric (179.581 mph), GMS Racing's Spencer Gallagher (179.485 mph) and Kyle Busch Motorsports' Justin Boston (179.313 mph). Boston's teammate Erik Jones just missed the mark, his 179.152 mph-lap qualifying him for the sixth spot on the leaderboard. Sprint Cup veteran Brad Keselowski posted the 10th-fastest speed of 178.501 mph. The Team Penske driver will be making his second Truck Series start of the season on Friday night at Charlotte. Reigning Truck Series champion Matt Crafton wheeled his No. 88 ride around the 1.5-mile track at a high speed of 177.626 mph, qualifying him for the 13th spot on the leaderboard. Thursday's opening practice saw a pair of cautions in the first hour for debris, but no wrecks. FULL SERIES COVERAGE • Latest news • Standings • Schedule