John Hunter Nemechek earns first career Truck win

(Getty Images)

JOLIET, Ill. – John Hunter Nemechek wasn’t going to let anything keep him from his first career Camping World Truck Series victory – not even an empty gas tank.

The 18-year-old Nemechek coasted most of the last lap to win Saturday’s American Ethanol E15 225 at Chicagoland Speedway, becoming the fourth different driver to earn his first career Truck win this season.

“Gere (crew chief Gere Kennon) kept saying over the radio, save, save, save,” Nemechek said. “We kept saving gas. It’s definitely rewarding and makes all the hard work pay off on this deal. We’ve been close for a few times, but this one has been coming and I can’t thank these guys enough.”

Added team owner and father Joe Nemechek, “What an incredible day. We’ve had such a tough year. We’ve done this with (nine full-time members) on our team. Just an incredible day. I knew we were going to be good. He did an awesome job driving and saving gas.

It was the younger Nemechek’s 23rd career start in a Truck, including 10 thus far in 2015.

Tyler Reddick finished second, followed by Timothy Peters, Daniel Suarez, Johnny Sauter, Erik Jones, pole-sitter Kyle Larson, Spencer Gallagher, Matt Tifft and John Wes Townley.

“It takes a lot of luck and fuel to win one of these things,” Jones said. “I’m happy for John Hunter and to see him win.”

MORE: Results from American Ethanol E15 225

MORE: Erik Jones remains No. 1 in Truck standings, Tyler Reddick No. 2

How Nemechek won: With several leaders and front-runners being forced to pit in the closing laps, including race leader Kyle Larson, Timothy Peters, Erik Jones and Daniel Suarez, crew chief Gere Kennon elected to gamble by keeping his driver on-track and go for the finish. Nemechek ran out of fuel on the backstretch, but had enough of a lead over Tyler Reddick to coast all the way around Turns 3 and 4 and cross the start-finish line.

Who else had a good race: Tyler Reddick finished second and regained second place in the standings from Matt Crafton, who struggled to a 14th place finish. … Timothy Peters celebrated his 200th career Truck race by finishing third. … Daniel Suarez continues to knock at victory’s door. Had he not been forced to pit for fuel, Suarez might have had a chance to win his first career Truck race.

Who had a bad race: Rookie Daniel Hemric had quite the eventful day. First, his truck started smoking on the parade lap, forcing him to pit road. That was after having to start at the back of the field due to an engine change. Then his Truck appeared to suffer a transmission issue on Lap 14. His team repaired the damage and he was able to return on Lap 71. As if that wasn’t enough, Hemric didn’t stop fast enough coming into his pit stall and struck his jackman on Lap 128. The jackman was taken to the infield care center as a precaution, but he was uninjured. Hemric ended with a 25th place finish. He came into the race with four top-five and six top-10 finishes in his previous 12 starts. … While coming off Turn 4 on Lap 82, Mason Mingus hit the commitment cone and lost control of his truck. When the truck hit the infield grass, the front end flew about five feet up in the air and incurred significant damage. Mingus ultimately finished 26th.

Notable: At 18 years, 3 months and 8 days, Nemechek becomes the fourth-youngest winner in Truck series history behind Cole Custer, Erik Jones and Chase Elliott. Nemechek now has one win, four top-five and 11 top-10 finishes in just 23 career Truck Series starts. … Erik Jones remains in the lead in the point standings. … Johnny Sauter had one of his stronger runs of the season, finishing fifth. … Because of all the late pit stops for fuel, only six drivers finished on the lead lap.

Quote of the day: “He has what we call the ‘want-to.’ It’s determination, focus and he knows what he wants. You don’t see that much in the sport anymore. He wants to win and the determination of that is cool and is what drives the small group  of guys we have.” — Team owner and father of the winner, Joe Nemechek.

What’s next: The Truck Series moves to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the UNOH 175 on Sept. 26.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Portland Xfinity race results, driver points

Portland Xfinity results
Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Cole Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when the top three cars made contact and went on to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Portland International Raceway. Custer is the 10th different winner in 13 races this season.

MORE: Portland Xfinity race results

MORE: Driver points after Portland Xfinity race

JR Motorsports took the next three spots: Justin Allgaier placed second, Sam Mayer was third and Josh Berry was fourth. Austin Hill completed the top five.

John Hunter Nemechek remains the points leader after 13 races. He has a 14-point lead on Hill. Nemechek leads Allgaier by 44 points.

Cole Custer wins Xfinity race at Portland in overtime


Cole Custer held off Justin Allgaier at the finish to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race in overtime at Portland International Raceway. It is Custer’s first victory of the season.

JR Motorsports placed second, third and fourth with Allgaier, Sam Mayer and Josh Berry. Austin Hill finished fifth.

MORE: Race results, driver points

Custer went from fourth to first on the overtime restart when Parker Kligerman, who restarted third, attempted to pass Allgaier, who was leading. Sheldon Creed was on the outside of Allgaier. All three cars made contact entering Turn 1, allowing Custer to slip by. Creed finished seventh. Kligerman placed 14th.

Custer won the second stage when John Hunter Nemechek made contact with Creed’s car while racing for the lead on the final lap of the stage. The contact spun Creed and Custer inched by Nemechek at the line.

Early in the final stage, Creed gained revenge with contact that spun Nemechek, who went on to finish 10th. A few laps later, Nemechek and Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith had issues. Smith spun Nemechek. After getting back around, Nemechek quickly caught Smith and turned into Smith’s car, damaging it.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Sheldon Creed

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Despite the contact on the overtime restart, runner-up Justin Allgaier managed to score his fourth consecutive top-three finish. … Sam Mayer’s third-place finish is his best on a road course. … Austin Hill’s fifth-place finish gives him four consecutive top-five results.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Daniel Hemric finished 33rd after a fire in his car. … Riley Herbst placed 32nd after an engine issue. After opening the season with six top 10s in a row, Herbst has gone seven races in a row without a top 10.

NEXT: The series competes June 10 at Sonoma Raceway (8 p.m. ET on FS1).

Truck race results at WWT Raceway: Grant Enfinger wins


Grant Enfinger took the lead when the leaders wrecked in the final laps and held off the field in overtime to win Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at World Wide Technology Raceway.

It is Enfinger’s second win in the last five races. He also collected a $50,000 bonus for winning the Triple Truck Challenge.

MORE: Truck race results

MORE: Driver points after WWT Raceway

Christian Eckes finished second and was followed by Stewart Friesen, Carson Hocevar and Chase Purdy.

Ty Majeski and Zane Smith wrecked while racing for the lead with six laps to go. Majeski, running on the inside of Smith, slid up the track and clipped Smith’s truck. Both hit the wall. That put Enfinger in the lead.

Smith finished 20th. Majeski placed 30th.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Grant Enfinger

STAGE 2 WINNER: Stewart Friesen

WHO HAD A GOOD RACE: Grant Enfinger’s victory is his fourth top 10 in the last five races. … Carson Hocevar’s fourth-place finish is his fourth consecutive top-five result. … Stewart Friesen’s third-place finish moved him into a playoff spot with four races left in the regular season. … Matt DiBenedetto‘s sixth-place finish is his third consecutive top 10. … Jesse Love finished ninth in his series debut.

WHO HAD A BAD RACE: Ty Majeski had a chance to take the points lead with series leader Corey Heim out because of illness, but Majeski’s 30th-place finish after running at the front most of the day, leaves him behind Heim. … Hailie Deegan finished 32nd after contact sent her truck into the wall hard. … After finishing a career-high third last week at Charlotte, Dean Thompson placed 34th Saturday due to an engine issue.

NEXT: The series races June 23 at Nashville Superspeedway (8 p.m. ET on FS1)

Xfinity starting lineup at Portland: Sheldon Creed wins pole


Sheldon Creed scored his first career Xfinity Series pole by taking the top spot for Saturday’s race at Portland International Raceway.

Creed, making his 50th career series start, earned the pole with a lap of 95.694 mph on the 1.97-mile road course.

MORE: Portland Xfinity starting lineup

Cole Custer will start second with a lap of 95.398 mph. He is followed by Josh Berry (94.242 mph), John Hunter Nemechek (95.127) and Charlotte winner Justin Allgaier (94.897). Road racing specialist Jordan Taylor, driving for Kaulig Racing, qualified sixth at 94.772 mph.

The green flag is scheduled to wave 4:46 p.m. ET Saturday on FS1.