If John Hunter Nemechek wins the 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship, 2022 will be his title defence campaign. If not, he will get another shot.
Despite speculation about potentially moving up to the Xfinity Series, Nemechek announced Thursday that he will instead remain with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the #4 Toyota for the 2022 season. Crew chief Eric Phillips will continue to serve as his crew chief.
Nemechek joined KBM for his first full Truck season since 2017, and has set the series on fire as he leads all drivers in wins (five), top fives (twelfve), and top tens (fifteen, tied with Todd Gilliland). He won the regular season championship and currently still leads the points with one more race before the Championship Round.
“I came to Kyle Busch Motorsports because it was an opportunity to get back to Victory Lane,” began Nemechek in a press release. “I accomplished my goal of being here for wins and I’m excited to be coming back for more next year. […]
“We have some unfinished business left trying to bring the championship trophy home to KBM this year and then we’ll go to work on the brand new 2022 Tundra so that we can compete for more wins and another championship next year.”
With his successes, fans pondered the possibility pf him ascending the Toyota ladder to the Xfinity Series, where he last raced full-time in 2019. Joe Gibbs Racing, where most KBM drivers graduate to, has a slot open in the #18 with Daniel Hemric‘s departure but will likely be filled by Ty Gibbs, while the #20 is set to be vacated by Harrison Burton as he goes to the Cup Series. In addition to limited starts in JGR’s multi-driver #54, Nemechek has also driven for Sam Hunt Racing in two races, though the team has not revealed their 2022 plans for the #26.
“It’s been refreshing to see John Hunter get the No. 4 Tundra back out front leading laps, winning races and competing for a championship this year like it had in the past and it’s important for us that we are able to keep him in that seat for another season,” said team owner Kyle Busch. Busch and Nemechek finished 1–2 thrice in 2021. “In addition to the accomplishments of the #4 team this season, the efforts that John Hunter and Eric have put in behind the scenes have helped keep that winning edge of performance in our whole programme.”