John Hunter Nemechek claimed the top-finishing position for Toyota in Saturday’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Nemechek battled through a record number of caution flags to finish third on a day where he is competing in both the truck race as well as the afternoon’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race.
Toyota Racing Post-Race Recap
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series
Atlanta Motor Speedway
Race 3 of 23 – 135 Laps, 208 Miles
TOYOTA FINISHING POSITIONS
1st, Christian Eckes*
2nd, Nick Sanchez*
3rd, JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK
4th, Bailey Curry*
5th, Ben Rhodes*
8th, TIMMY HILL
14th, RYAN VARGAS
17th, AKINORI OGATA
22nd, STEWART FRIESEN
24th, TANNER GRAY
26th, TYLER ANKRUM
28th, LAYNE RIGGS
30th, DEAN THOMPSON
JOHN HUNTER NEMECHEK, No. 17 Berry’s Manufacturing Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 3rd
What happened when you made contact with the 51 truck of Jack Wood?
“Just pushing. Sorry to Brian Pattie and all the guys on the 51 (Jack Wood) truck at KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports). Everybody was pushing each other on corner exit. I apologized to him, but I know I was sideways off the corner a few times. The 99 (Ben Rhodes) about wrecked underneath me. Guys are out here to gain experience and that’s part of the experience, I guess. Sorry to those guys. It wasn’t meant to happen. I was trying to push him away from everybody else so that we could get clear and just race, but that’s part of speedway racing and that’s what they turned Atlanta into.”
What made the bottom so challenging today?
“The spec motors, you turn them super low RPM and the trucks punch a huge hole in the air. Just trying to get the bottom lined up to go forward was the hardest thing. If there were guys that could stay committed to each other on the bottom and stay close, they could get going pretty well.”
COREY HEIM, No. 11 Safelite Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, TRICON Garage
Finishing Position: 34th
What happened in the accident that ended your race?
“Typically, once you get through first gear, I look in the mirror and try to block. I saw Zane Smith was behind me and he can be pretty aggressive, so I wanted to makes sure he wasn’t going to jump me at the line so I looked back and then the 2, I don’t know what happened. I thought I would get a really big run on him, but he didn’t get going. I hate it for TRICON and my Safelite team. We had an okay Toyota Tundra TRD Pro today. We got a little behind on pit road on the sequence before that. If we had still been up front, obviously that wouldn’t have happened, but team effort and we’ll move on.”
What happened on pit road from your perspective?
“With fuel only stops when you’re on pit road for only like two seconds, it’s really hard to judge who’s coming in and who’s going out. Just a communication thing between our team and the 9 team. Could have definitely been resolved in an easier way, but things happen sometimes.”