Drivin for Linemen 200

NASCAR America: Slugger Labbe praises John Hunter Nemechek after emotional Truck win

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Last Saturday night was an emotional one for John Hunter Nemechek, who won the Camping World Truck Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

It was his first win of the year and it qualified him for the playoffs. But with very few races secured going forward with sponsorship, there is doubt whether NEMCO Motorsports will be able to compete that late into the season.

NASCAR America analyst Slugger Labbe, a relative of Nemechek, spoke about the young driver’s win and his prospects for the future.

“They have run on a shoestring budget for the last five years, they have very little sponsorship, but they’ve done a lot,” Labbe said.

NEMCO Motorsports, owned by Joe Nemechek, has won four races with John Hunter Nemechek driving the No. 8 truck in the last three seasons. In 2015, he was voted the most popular driver in the Truck series and last year made the playoffs.

“This family has a done a lot with very, very little,” Labbe continued. “Gere Kennon has been John’s crew chief for a very long time. He’s struggled through health issues, but no one has ever quit on this kid and hopefully one day he’ll get more sponsorship.”

Watch the above video for more on the Nemechek family.

John Hunter Nemechek gets first Truck win of year with Gateway victory

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John Hunter Nemechek led the final six laps following a restart with eight to go to win the Camping World Truck Series’ race at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Nemechek passed Matt Crafton in Turn 2 and went unchallenged to claim his fourth Truck Series win and his first of the year.

NEMCO Motorsports is the first non-Kyle Busch Motorsports or GMS Racing team to win this year.

The win comes after Nemechek entered the race with no laps led despite two top-five finishes. Outside those two races, Nemechek had finished 21st or worse in every other race.

“It’s definitely an emotional win,” a tearful Nemechek told Fox Sports 1. “All the hard work that goes in, everyone’s worked their tails off. We haven’t had the best luck this year. Getting into victory lane when we needed to, God is great, I can’t thank him enough. I knew all the hard work would pay off. This is an awesome Father’s Day present for dad here and team owner (Joe Nemechek).”

Nemechek later said, “Not knowing how many more races we’re going to get to this year, this definitely means a lot.”

Joe Nemechek said only half the team’s races for this season had sponsorship and that there was doubt whether the No. 8 Chevrolet would be able to go to the next race at Iowa Speedway.

“I hate to see John Hunter go through that, he has so much talent,” Joe Nemechek told FS1. “He’s going to be a Cup champion one of these days. Right now, we’re just trying to get to the next race. He is tough. As far as driving the racecar is one thing, but when you deal with all the financial part of it just to figure out how to keep going, that makes it hard on a young kid. … That was his will tonight. We got the truck close, but he was on it.”

Chase Briscoe, who led a race high 88 laps,  finished second for the second week in a row. The rookie was one of two drivers who pit during the final caution for tires, leading to a frantic charge through the field.

The top five was completed by Chase Briscoe, Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Grant Enfinger.

Stage 1 winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Stage 2 winner: Chase Briscoe

MORE: Race results

MORE: Points standings

WHO HAD A GOOD NIGHT: Christopher Bell was in second on the last lap, but contact with Briscoe cut his left rear tire and sent him to sixth. … Matt Crafton earned just his second top five of the year …. Ryan Truex finished seventh for his sixth top 10 in a row … Grant Enfinger earned his third top five of the year.

WHO HAD A BAD NIGHT: The 11 trucks that failed to finish due to some sort of mechanical failure … Todd Gilliland earned his second DNF in as many starts after a transmission problem on Lap 114 … Jennifer Jo Cobb failed to start after the team discovered a hole in her radiator on the starting grid and was unable to make repairs. … Josh Reaume brought out the only caution outside of the stage endings. His No. 50 truck stalled on pit road with 12 laps to go.

NOTABLE: The No. 02 of Austin Hill failed front heights in post-race inspection. Any penalties will be announced later in the week.

QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Those guys just took two tires and I was on no tires and we had a lot of laps on them right side tires and we were just done. You win some, you lose some and everybody is upset but at the same time they knew we were here tonight.” – Matt Crafton after finishing fourth.

WHAT’S NEXT:  The Iowa 200 at Iowa Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET on June 23 on Fox Sports 1.

Matt Crafton tops final Truck practice at Gateway

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Matt Crafton was fastest in final Camping World Truck Series practice session at Gateway Motorsports Park.

Crafton and his No. 88 truck posted a top speed of 135.976 mph.

Completing the top five: John Hunter Nemechek (135.722), Ben Rhodes (135.359), Justin Haley (134.928) and Austin Cindric (134.799).

Chase Briscoe recorded the most laps in the session with 36.

Nemechek had the best 10-lap average at 133.083 mph. Only three drivers made 10-lap runs.

Johnny Sauter and Grant Enfinger each made contact with the wall during the session. Sauter’s contact came on his first lap of the session. He did not return to the track and was 16th fastest. Enfinger also only made one lap and was 18th fastest.

Click here for the full practice report.

Weekend schedules for Michigan (Cup, Xfinity) and Gateway (Trucks)

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For the second consecutive weekend, NASCAR’s three national series will be racing in two different locations.

Michigan International Speedway will play host to both the NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series, while Gateway Motorsports Park near St. Louis will host the Camping World Truck Series.

It’s also the first of two consecutive one-day standalone races for the Truck Series, which visits Iowa Speedway on Friday, June 23. The Trucks will also have another one-day standalone event on July 19 at Tony Stewart’s Eldora Speedway in Ohio.

Here’s the full weekend schedule for both venues:

(All times are Eastern)

Friday at Michigan

8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. – Cup garage open

9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. – Xfinity garage open

11 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. – Cup first practice (Fox Sports 2, Motor Racing Network)

12:30 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. – Xfinity practice (FS2)

3 – 3:55 p.m. – Final Xfinity practice (FS2)

4:15 p.m. – Cup qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds) (FS2, MRN)

Saturday at Michigan

6:30 a.m. – Xfinity garage opens

7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Cup garage open

9 – 9:55 a.m. – Cup practice (FS2, MRN)

10 a.m. – Xfinity qualifying (FS2)

11:45 a.m. – Xfinity driver/crew chief meeting

12 p.m. – Final Cup practice (FS2, MRN)

1 p.m. – Xfinity driver introductions

1:30 p.m. – Irish Hills 250 Xfinity race (125 laps, 250 miles) (FS1, Motor Racing Network, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Saturday at Gateway

8:30 a.m. – Truck garage opens

10:30 a.m. – 11:25 a.m. – Truck practice (no TV)

12:30 p.m. – 1:25 p.m. – Final Truck practice (no TV)

5:45 p.m. – Truck qualifying (airs at 7 p.m. on FS1)

7 p.m. – Truck driver/crew chief meeting

8 p.m. – Truck driver introductions

8:30 p.m. – Drivin’ For Linemen 200 Truck race (160 laps, 200 miles) (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

Sunday at Michigan

9:30 a.m. – Cup garage opens

1 p.m. – Cup driver/crew chief meeting

2:20 p.m. – Cup driver introductions

3 p.m. – FireKeepers Casino 400 Cup race (200 laps, 400 miles) (FS1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio)

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Results of Saturday’s Drivin for Linemen 200 Truck race at Gateway

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Christopher Bell was the winner in the Drivin for Linemen 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event Saturday night at Gateway Motorsports Park, a race that was wild, wreck-filled event that even included a little wrestling and punching for added measure.

Here’s the final results:

Gateway truck results 6-25-2016