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Kickin The Tires

Nemechek opens up about promising 2020 season start

Photo by Chris Owens / Harold Hinson Photography

By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer

The 2020 NASCAR Cup Series season has shown promise for Front Row Motorsports rookie John Hunter Nemechek.

The son of NASCAR veteran Joe Nemechek finished 11th in his first Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. The younger Nemechek also looked to have top-15 finishes at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Phoenix Raceway until the late stages of those two races.

In the Pennzoil 400 presented by Jiffy Lube at Las Vegas, the 22-year-old lined up inside the top-10 on the final restart. Contact on the final lap sent Nemechek spinning and relegated him to a 24th-place finish. Two late cautions in the Fan Shield 500 at Phoenix Raceway also shuffled him out of the top-15.

Nemechek optimistically looked at the positives from both races:

“For us at Front Row Motorsports, that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment to be able to run top-15 all day and have speed like we did. We’re continuing to try and build the organization where we can be a contender every single week.

“It’s frustrating to not have the finishes to show what we’ve been able to accomplish as a team and the speed that we’ve had. But, there’s positives to take away from that if we keep running like that, eventually the finishes will come that we deserve.”

In light of the heightened recommendations from the CDC, NASCAR postponed several race weekends due to the COVID-19 outbreak. One way in which racing will continue is iRacing. NASCAR teamed with the motorsports simulation service and FOX Sports to create the eNASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series.

In the iRacing Series, Nemechek will drive the virtual No. 38 CITGUARD Ford Mustang at the laser-scanned Homestead-Miami Speedway. Also on the car in the 100-lap, 150-mile race will be longtime Front Row Motorsports and Nemechek sponsors Berry’s Bullets, Fire Alarm Services, MDS Transport. ROMCO, Speedy Cash, YANMAR.

“You’ll see me out there for the first time Sunday,” Nemechek explained. “I haven’t been on there (iRacing) too much actually. I know that I’m set for the next three weeks to do that. I’m sure that if we continue to do it, there will be guys that continue to jump on it and have fun.”

The sponsor line-up for the two other confirmed eNASCAR races that Nemechek will compete in are to be determined.

In an attempt to keep the playing field relatively level, and keep costs down, NASCAR outlawed testing, wind tunnel time, and simulator time during the prolonged postponement. That leaves iRacing as the only available medium in which drivers like Nemechek can continue to work on their skills.

Several eNASCAR iRacing events have already taken place. Kevin Hamlin and TJ Majors organized The Replacements 100 and Ryan Vargas organized a charity race. Several leagues including ones organized by Anthony Alfredo and Speed 51 have also been running.

“I think the biggest thing for us drivers with the ban right now, is just being able to turn laps. As a driver you turn as many laps as you can and whenever you’re turning laps you’re learning something. I’m sure that here (eNASCAR) we’ll have competition. Going out with some friends to see who could set the fastest lap at certain racetracks that we go to.

“Hopefully it will be me. At the same time, it’s more fun for us to get together. But from a driver perspective, being able to get on and race is pretty big. I know this weekend was the NASCAR invitational deal; it’s going to be a lot of fun. Being able to compete against guys that we race with on a weekly basis just now, virtually online. So, it would be interesting for watch for sure.”

During the downtime, Nemechek has been completing different chores around the house. He’s had several projects that have started recently. Nemechek has also turned to his faith to stay positive with the current news cycle.

The rookie of the year contender explained that his faith has helped him stay positive recently:

“I’ve always lived my life in the sense that I’ve always been a Christian. I’ve always believed that everything has happened for a reason and everything does happen for a reason. We may not know the reason for why that’s happening right now.

“But when it comes down to that, everything happens for a reason. And we just got to look at the positives. God has a plan for us all. I live by that motto every single day. Who knows what may happen or what the outcome may be, but at the same time we got to live life every day. Life’s too short to worry, that’s for sure.”

For Nemechek, the start of the 2020 NASCAR has shown promise, and he’s keeping that in perspective moving forward.

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  1. Pingback: Nemechek opens up about promising 2020 season start – Kickin’ the Tires | Philanthropy Media Network

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