Texas Cup race to be family affair for Joe Nemechek, John Hunter Nemechek


FORT WORTH, Texas — For the first time since 2005, father and son will compete together in a Cup race.

Joe Nemechek and son John Hunter Nemechek will both drive in today’s race at Texas Motor Speedway (3 p.m. ET on NBCSN).

Adding to the momentous family moment is that today will be John Hunter Nemechek’s first career Cup start.

“It’s pretty cool to compete against my dad in the top level of this sport,” John Hunter Nemechek said after qualifying 29th. “I feel like there’s not many other sports that father and sons can say that.”

Joe Nemechek, who qualified 38th, said racing with his son in Cup will be “a very, very special moment.”

John Hunter Nemechek, 22, has this opportunity because he’s running the season’s final three Cup races for Matt Tifft, who suffered a seizure before practice last weekend at Martinsville and is out the rest of the year (Tifft is scheduled to meet the media Sunday morning). Joe Nemechek, 54, got the call Wednesday to drive for Premium Motorsports this weekend.

The last time a father raced against his son in a Cup event was when Bobby Hamilton and Bobby Hamilton Jr. did so in the October 2005 race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Joe Nemechek said he will keep track of where his son is on the track today but noted John Hunter Nemechek “could care less where I’m at.”

Not true, John Hunter Nemechek said.

“You know when you pass them,” he said.

Next week will be a big week for both of them. Joe Nemechek and John Hunter Nemechek are both scheduled to compete in the Cup, Xfinity and Gander Outdoors Truck Series races at ISM Raceway.

“It’s pretty neat to say we’re going to be racing all three,” John Hunter Nemechek said of next week.