Nemecheks to make NASCAR history at ISM Raceway

Terrin Waack

Double the Nemechek. Triple the fun.

For the first time in NASCAR history, a father-son duo will race in all three of the national series in one weekend. John Hunter Nemechek and his dad, Joe, are set to run the tripleheader at ISM Raceway.

“It’s pretty cool to be able to compete against my dad at the top level of this sport,” John Hunter said last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. “I feel like there’s not many other sports that fathers and sons can say that. … Being able to make history together and run all three together is pretty special.”

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RELATED: Full schedule for ISM Raceway

The Nemecheks will be in Friday‘s Lucas Oil 150 (8:30 p.m. ET, FS1/Fox Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Gander Outdoors Truck Series, Saturday‘s Desert Diamond Casino West Valley 200 (3:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio) for the Xfinity Series and Sunday‘s Bluegreen Vacations 500 (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC/NBC Sports App, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, MRN) for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Joe and John Hunter have competed against each other before including several times in both the Xfinity and Gander Trucks Series. Texas was their first time in a Cup Series event together.

“This is what my ultimate goal was when I started racing,” the elder Nemecheck said. “And since he started racing, this is what his goal was. He wants to get into Cup.”

Said the younger Nemechek: “I didn‘t know when I would be going to the Cup Series. But with dad, I knew that he wasn‘t going to retire any time soon, so I knew he was going to be around for a while.”

John Hunter finished 21st in his first career start, taking over the No. 36 Front Row Motorsports Ford as Matt Tifft is sidelined for the rest of the season due to medical reasons. Joe was further back in 29th, driving the No. 15 Premium Motorsports Chevrolet as a substitute.

This weekend, John Hunter will be in the same car and Joe will be in Premium Motorsports‘ No. 27 instead.

The last time a father and son race together in NASCAR‘s premier series was 2005, when Bobby and Bobby Hamilton Jr. placed 30th and 39th, respectively, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The best a pair has even done was Bobby and Davey Allison in the 1988 Daytona 500 or Lee and Richard Petty at Lakewood Speedway in June 1959 and at Heidelberg Speedway in July 1960 — both families crossing first and second in order of names.

“He could care less where I‘m at,” Joe said. “Our spotters all keep up with that.”

Joe has been in the sport for 31 years now. He started in the Xfinity Series in 1989, had his first Cup Series showing in 1993 and then did Gander Trucks Series in 1996. Anything he does now is part time. Joe is actually three starts away from tying Richard Petty’s all-time 1,185 record, meaning he’ll do so once the Cup Series race goes green.

John Hunter had his Gander Trucks Series debut in 2013, went to the Xfinity Series in 2018, and made his Cup Series debut this year.

Now, here they are, racing in all three together.

“I‘m sure it was a dream he had,” John Hunter said. “It‘s not something that I‘ve necessarily dreamt about. But looking at the scenario right now, it‘s history for our sport, so it‘s pretty amazing.”

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