KANSAS CITY, Kan. — John Hunter Nemechek received congratulations for his first NASCAR Xfinity Series win from members of his team, team owner Chip Ganassi and his father Joe on the phone in Victory Lane at Kansas Speedway Saturday.
But one of the first to offer their congratulations was from a fellow competitor in the Kansas Lottery 300 field.
As Nemechek celebrated with his burnout on the frontstretch, JD Motorsports driver Ross Chastain methodically inspected the damage on his No. 4 Chevrolet, a racecar that suffered cosmetic damage on the first lap of the race.
“Here we are, no fenders or hood,” Chastain said to The Racing Experts. “It doesn’t handle well at 180 miles per hour.”
Nemechek brought his No. 42 machine down pit road and drove towards Victory Lane. Chastain walked from where his car was parked on pit road and waited for the No. 42 to pass by him.
“He said ‘Congrats,’” Nemechek said to The Racing Experts. “Ross and I have been buddies ever since before I started racing Trucks. We’ve hung out together, we’ve been buddies the whole time, so it was awesome to see him do great in the car and for myself to go and win and then him come and say congrats, is definitely very special as well.”
Nemechek and Chastain are the two of the most recent first-time winners in NASCAR’s second-tier series. Both drivers won in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing-owned Chevrolet.
Nemechek became the 158th driver to become a winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
The other first-time winners in 2018 are Spencer Gallagher (Talladega), Ross Chastain (Las Vegas) and Chase Briscoe (Charlotte Road Course).
I am a co-owner and reporter for TheRacingExperts.com.