NASCAR Truck Series

John Hunter Nemechek wins first NASCAR Truck race of 2022

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Credit: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

John Hunter Nemechek doesn’t care if he spoiled the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series‘ throwback party at Darlington Raceway on Friday night. He’s just happy to finally get his first win of the season.

Nemechek won the pole and was stout in the opening laps before facing challenges from Zane Smith and Parker Kligerman. The latter took the lead with less than ten laps remaining in the first stage to win ahead of Ross ChastainCarson HocevarGrant EnfingerChandler Smith, Nemechek, Tanner GrayBen RhodesMatt Crafton, and Stewart FriesenReaume Brothers Racing team-mates Akinori Ogata and owner Josh Reaume were caught in an early wreck together while Lawless Alan spun at the midway point for the segment’s two cautions.

Stage #2 was the Niece Motorsports Extravaganza as Chastain and Hocevar led every lap save for three under caution (following Tate Fogleman‘s accident) by Todd Bodine, who incidentally produced a yellow flag of his own earlier in the segment. Chastain and Hocevar battled until the latter cleared his ally for good with six circuits left. Chastain, Kligerman, Enfinger, Nemechek, Christian Eckes, Crafton, Ryan Preece, Rhodes, and Chandler Smith rounded out the top ten.

The third stage ended two laps after it began when multiple drivers including David Gilliland Racing‘s Hailie Deegan and Tanner Gray crashed with Austin Wayne Self and Chase Purdy. Three more accidents occurred in the stage including Corey Heim‘s spin, Blaine Perkins and Fogleman wrecking, and Rhodes going around. The Rhodes caution set up overtime, where Hocevar hoped to not “lift until I saw God” in a last-ditch attempt to pass Nemechek but failed.

The win is Nemechek’s twelfth in the Truck Series and first since Pocono in June 2021.

“I thought we gave it away early honestly and we’re able to rebound and battle back so it’s cool,” said Nemechek.

Although Crafton finished fifth, he was disqualified after his truck’s front was ruled too low in post-race inspection; he is the second disqualification of the 2022 Truck season after Zane Smith at Las Vegas, the third of the year in any national series, and second in ThorSport Racing‘s history after Johnny Sauter at Atlanta in 2020. The penalty bumped Matt DiBenedetto into the top ten, while Bodine—who last raced in the Trucks nearly a decade ago before returning for a part-time schedule in an effort to reach 800 career starts—was promoted to ninth for his first top ten since an eighth at Texas in 2012.

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
114John Hunter NemechekKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota149Running
2642Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
3323Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet149Running
4266Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingToyota149Running
5975Parker KligermanHenderson MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
61317Ryan PreeceDavid Gilliland RacingFord149Running
7438Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord149Running
81216Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota149Running
91862Todd BodineHalmar Friesen RacingToyota149Running
10825Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet149Running
112352Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota149Running
121991Colby HowardMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet149Running
131602Jesse LittleYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
143340Dean ThompsonNiece MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
152456Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota149Running
161198Christian EckesThorSport RacingToyota149Running
172024Jack WoodGMS RacingChevrolet149Running
181419Derek KrausMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet149Running
192645Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
202818Chandler SmithKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota149Running
212920Danny BohnYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
22551Corey HeimKyle Busch MotorsportsToyota149Running
233212Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet149Running
241599Ben RhodesThorSport RacingToyota148Running
251041Ross Chastain*Niece MotorsportsChevrolet148Running
263122Austin Wayne SelfAM RacingChevrolet147Running
273633Josh ReaumeReaume Brothers RacingToyota147Running
28251Hailie DeeganDavid Gilliland RacingFord137Accident
292746Brennan Poole*G2G RacingToyota125Running
30309Blaine PerkinsCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet124Accident
313430Tate FoglemanOn Point MotorsportsToyota123Accident
322144Kris WrightNiece MotorsportsChevrolet105Accident
331715Tanner GrayDavid Gilliland RacingFord98Accident
342261Chase PurdyHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota97Accident
353543Akinori OgataReaume Brothers RacingToyota54Engine
36788Matt CraftonThorSport RacingToyota149Running (DSQ)
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for Truck points
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About author
Justin is a History major at San Jose State University and lifelong racing fan who has worked for The Checkered Flag since 2018. His coverage mainly focuses on NASCAR, the Stadium Super Trucks, and off-road series like Extreme E and SCORE International. He also dabbles in other disciplines such as IndyCar, rallycross, and sports cars.
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