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John Hunter Nemechek Sizzles in Nashville

Nascar Xfinity Series driver John Hunter Nemechek wins at Nashville NKP

One thing racecar drivers do is battle the elements, whether it be wind, rain or heat. At Nashville Superspeedway Saturday (June 29), the NASCAR Xfinity Series teams dealt with the latter as temperatures rose to the 90s.

At one point in AJ Allmendinger‘s car, it was 129 degrees. At least two driver’s cool suits stopped working, and several cars had voltage issues, likely due to the heat. Many racers had to sit down by their cars and rest with cooling towels after the race.

But there was one who sizzled on the racetrack, leading a race-high 76 laps: John Hunter Nemechek. He took the lead from Cole Custer to win stage two, and after a later restart with about 46 laps to go, Nemechek grabbed the position again and set sail to victory.

Chandler Smith took home second, Jesse Love was third, Austin Hill finished fourth and Noah Gragson rounded out the top five.


Joe Gibbs Racing claimed the top two spots at Nashville and likely would’ve had all four of its drivers in the top 10 or 15 if the other two didn’t have bad luck. But the No. 20 car has now won back-to-back races, with Christopher Bell taking home the checkered flag at New Hampshire Motor Speedway last weekend. The No. 20 team moved up to third in the owner’s points standings behind Stewart-Haas Racing’s No. 00 and JGR’s No. 81.

Nemechek, meanwhile, earned his second win of the year in a race that saw just five lead changes among three drivers. His JGR teammate Smith is starting to string together good finishes, too, has he earned his third top 10 in the last four races. Even more notably, though, is that he took his seventh top five of the season and first since Martinsville Speedway. Will he be able to ride that momentum through the summer before the playoffs? We’ll have to wait and see.

Two Chevrolet teammates of Richard Childress Racing, Love and Hill, also had good finishes. Love, to me, was the most impressive of the top five, as he started from the back after not posting a qualifying lap due to a hole in the radiator. At only 19 years old, Love has shown tremendous capabilities in his rookie season. He also displayed resilience throughout the race, as he had a vibration that set him further back in the field and a cool shirt that didn’t work.

Though it was just his second top 10 in the past seven races, if Love can continue to put out runs like he did Saturday, he’ll be one to watch these next few months.

Gragson had a great run in…

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