Bobby Hamilton Jr.

May 8 in NASCAR: Matt Kenseth gets Darlington Xfinity win after Kyle Busch cuts tire

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It was Kyle Busch‘s race to lose and he lost it under caution.

On May 8, 2009, Busch dominated the Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway, starting from the pole and leading 143 laps.

But Busch’s chances at a victory ended in a whimper.

Busch led when the caution came out on Lap 147 of 153 for a wreck between Joe Nemechek and Scott Lagasse, Jr.

As the field slowly made its way around the 1.366-mile track, Busch’s No. 18 car drove through debris from the wreck on the backstretch.

The team soon realized Busch’s right-rear tire was going down.

After a few more circuits of the track, Busch was forced to bring his car to pit road. That gave Matt Kenseth the lead as Busch returned to the track in 18th.

Kenseth wouldn’t have to worry about keeping the lead very long. Moments after the field took the green flag as part of a green-white-checkered finish, Morgan Shepherd crashed into the inside wall on the frontstretch, bringing out the caution and effectively ending the race.

It gave Kenseth the win, his only Xfinity victory in 15 starts in 2009.

Also on this date:

1955: Tim Flock completed a marathon of running in two races in two states on back-to-back days. After finishing second in a 100-mile race at Hickory (N.C.) Speedway, Flock took the private plane of team owner Carl Kiekhaefer and flew to Arizona. At Fairgrounds Raceway in Phoenix, Flock started second and led all 100 laps on the 1-mile dirt track to claim the win over Marvin Panch. According to “Forty Years of Stock Car Racing: The Beginning,” Panch was able to compete in the race due to receiving a weekend pass from the U.S. Army. After competing in the following weekend’s race in Tucson, he wouldn’t race again until July.

1976: Cale Yarborough led all but 22 laps to win the Music City 420 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. An 18-year-old Sterling Marlin made his first of 748 Cup Series starts. He started last and fell out after 55 laps due to an oil pump failure.

1982: Darrell Waltrip led all but one of 420 laps to win at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville. It was his fifth win in the first 10 races.

1993: Ward Burton led 227 of 300 laps to beat Bobby Labonte in a Xfinity Series race at Martinsville. It was his only national NASCAR victory in his home state of Virginia.

2004: Martin Truex Jr. led 123 laps and won the Xfinity Series race at Gateway International Raceway. He was joined by two other “Juniors” in the top five. Ron Hornaday Jr. placed second and Bobby Hamilton Jr. finished fourth.


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

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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.