By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
After running for his family’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team since 2013, John Hunter Nemechek will be moving on in 2018, taking over driving duties on a part-time basis in the No. 42 Chevrolet for Chip Ganassi Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
About a week ago, Nemechek posted a video to Twitter showing him walking out of the NEMCO Motorsports shop for the final time, but his destination was still unknown at that point. On Tuesday, Ganassi made the move up to the Xfinity Series official with Fire Alarm Services coming on board as a sponsor as well.
“We are happy to have John Hunter join our organization and also announce the relationship with Fire Alarm Services,” said team owner Chip Ganassi. “We had a very successful 2017 with our XFINITY program and look to improve upon that. We feel that John Hunter has the talent to be a future star in the sport and can’t wait to get him behind the wheel.”
The exact number of races that Nemechek will drive for the team was not specified in the press release, only stating that his schedule would consist of multiple races. It is likely that Nemechek will split time with Cup Series regular Kyle Larson and possibly others over the course of the year. Veteran crew chief Mike Shiplett, who has helmed the team for the last four years, will be back on top of the pit box in 2018.
Over the last five seasons driving for NEMCO, Nemechek has scored five wins, including two in each of the last two seasons, finishing eighth in points both years. His first career win in the Truck Series came back in 2015 while still driving part-time. In addition to the wins, Nemechek has scored 22 top-five finishes, 38 top-10 finishes, one pole, 321 laps led and an average finish of 11.9 in 76 starts.
Nemechek’s move to Ganassi continues his family’s ties to the team as his father Joe Nemechek drove for the team from 1997 to 1999, and his uncle John Nemechek drove for the team in the Truck Series from 1995 to 1997 before he passed away following a racing accident.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Nemechek. “I feel like their cars and organization were the talk of the garage in 2017 and I hope to play a part in continuing their run of success in 2018 and beyond. Also, Fire Alarm Services has been a supporter of my career since 2016 at our family-owned team, and I am looking forward to continuing that partnership at Chip Ganassi Racing. I am extremely grateful to Shannon and Connie Smith, owners of Fire Alarm Services, Inc. I also want to thank my father for all that he has done to help grow my passion for racing.”