|2014 NEMCO MOTORSPORTS SEASON IN REVIEW|
2014 was by far one of the most anticipated years for everyone at NEMCO Motorsports as they began their first full season racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS). Announcing a partnership with Sid and Dawna Mauldin of Pampa, TX and with support from their SWM International organization, SWM-NEMCO Motorsports took form.
It was an exciting year for NEMCO drivers as well. Joe and John Hunter Nemechek reached a new summit in not only their relationship as father and son, but as racing teammates. For the first time in NASCAR history, a father and son duo shared the same ride and in their first year as a team, combined for a total of two top-five (one each) and 15 top-10 finishes en route to a seventh-place finish in owner standings.
In addition to their NASCAR program, NEMCO continued to develop their Pro and Super late model program as well starting the year off in fine fashion with a pro late model victory by John Hunter at the Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele, GA in January.
Joe kicked off the NASCAR season in the No. 8 truck at Daytona International Speedway in February with an eighth-place effort, followed by John Hunter’s 11th-place performance at Martinsville Speedway in March.
Joe took the next two stints logging a ninth and 11th at Kansas Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway respectively and John Hunter turned in the first of many exciting performances picking up his career-best finish of sixth at Dover International Speedway. Joe one-upped him with his third-place run and first laps led of the season at Texas, just to be challenged by John Hunter’s head-turning performance at Gateway Motorsports Park where he led 53 of 160 laps. A late-race altercation relegated him to a 15th-place finish.
The middle portion of the season would bring a 14th at Kentucky Speedway, two consecutive 10th-place runs at Pocono Raceway and Michigan Speedway and a ninth-place performance at Chicagoland Speedway for Joe, while John Hunter collected a 10th, sixth, 25th and another sixth-place finish at Iowa Speedway, Eldora Speedway, Canadian Tire Motorsports Park and Bristol Motor Speedway, respectively.
The action heated up again in September as 17-year old John Hunter captured his first NCWTS career top-five at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. His final two races brought finishes of 13th and seventh at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway, while Joe rounded out the season with a 17th and 10th at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Talladega Superspeedway, as well as eighth-place runs in each of his final two events at Texas Motor Speedway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
John Hunter stayed busy with late model racing while free from NASCAR duties and picked up four additional Pro Late Model wins at Milwaukee Mile, Lucas Oil Raceway Park and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. His crowning achievement of the season came on December 7 when he claimed his biggest victory to date, winning the prestigious Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL. It was his first Super late model career win.
2014 also brought expansion to NEMCO by way of a new driver for the late model division. In October, it was announced that 19-year old Dominique Van Wieringen would join the team beginning with the Snowflake 100 during the Derby weekend in December where she raced to a 14th-place finish. Hailing from Amherstburg, Ontario, Canada, Dominique is currently pursuing her Mechanical Engineering degree at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte and is in her sophomore year. She will run select Pro and Super late model events under the NEMCO banner in 2015 as she continues both her studies and her progression in racing.
Early 2015 brought news of a complete transition to Chevrolet for NEMCO Motorsports as well as another twist to the dynamic of the father-son NCWTS effort. With John Hunter turning 18 in June, he will be cleared by NASCAR to compete on all tracks and will take over the remainder of the events in the No. 8 Silverado. This paves the way for a much anticipated on-track battle between the two as Joe plans to run select events in the second half of the season in his familiar No. 87. NEMCO Motorsports will field entries for Joe to compete in select Xfinity Series races in 2015 as well.