Nemechek earns full-time Xfinity opportunity with GMS

Nemechek earns full-time Xfinity opportunity with GMS
John Hunter Nemechek celebrating victory in October at Kansas Speedway--CREDIT: Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images

John Hunter Nemechek will pilot the No. 23 GMS Racing Chevrolet full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2019.

Along with the NXS Championship, Nemechek, 21, will also compete for the rookie honors with the Maurice Gallagher owned team.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Gallagher and the whole GMS organization has presented to run full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the championship,” Nemechek said. “We had a great, strong run last year running a partial schedule. We finished 13th in points.

“So I’m excited to see what our group can accomplish and how we can win Mr. Gallagher a trophy or two along the way. It’s going to be fun.”

The second-generation racer cut his teeth in the Camping World Truck Series where he piloted the No. 8 NEMCO Motorsports Chevrolet for the majority of races. In 94 starts, Nemechek posted six wins, two poles, 28 top fives and 48 top 10 finishes. He led 607 laps.

Last year, Nemechek made his Xfinity Series debut with Chip Ganassi Racing behind the wheel of the No. 42 Chevrolet. His first career win came at Kansas in October. In addition to the victory, Nemechek earned the pole at Phoenix in November and posted six top fives and 11 top 10s in 18 starts overall. He led 211 of 3,362 laps with an average finish of 10.1.

“John Hunter is a wheelman,” said Mike Beam, President of GMS Racing. “We are excited to have him on board this coming 2019 season. With how much progress we showed last year in our Xfinity program, I know that John Hunter will take us to the next level.”

Chad Norris will continue in his role as crew chief for the No. 23 team. A sponsor will be announced at a later date.

Nemechek replaces Spencer Gallagher, who earned the first Xfinity win for the team last April at Talladega Superspeedway. Gallagher has elected to shift his focus towards the business side of the company, which also campaigns three teams in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

“The results that GMS Racing showed last year in their NASCAR Xfinity Series program were impressive," Nemechek added. "Their goal is to create a championship-caliber team, like their truck series program, and I believe that we can achieve that goal in the 2019 season.”

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