Sunday, 19 January 2020

NASCAR Cup Series: Father vs. son? First time since 2005 – Beyond the Flag

NASCAR Cup Series: Father vs. son? First time since 2005 – Beyond the Flag
04 Nov

Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series race at Texas Motor Speedway is set to mark the first father vs. son battle in over 14 years at NASCAR’s highest level.

NASCAR veteran and four-time Cup Series race winner Joe Nemechek entered 2019 having not competed in a Cup Series race since the 2015 season when he drove for Front Row Motorsports in the season’s second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The 54-year-old Lakeland, Florida made his return to the Cup Series in September of this year in the race at Darlington Raceway driving for Premium Motorsports, and he has now made four starts for the team this season.

Son John Hunter Nemechek has competed in NASCAR on some level since the 2013 season. But entering 2019 — in fact, entering this weekend — all of his starts had come in the Truck Series and the Xfinity Series. He is currently in his first full-time season in the Xfinity Series driving for GMS Racing.

The 22-year-old Mooresville, North Carolina native was called by Front Row Motorsports to replace Matt Tifft behind the wheel of the #36 Ford for the remaining three races of the 36-race 2019 season beginning in this afternoon’s round of 8 playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway, the AAA Texas 500.

Tifft suffered a seizure last Saturday ahead of the on-track activity for the round of 8 playoff race at Martinsville Speedway. Full-time Truck Series driver Matt Crafton replaced Tifft in this race before Tifft confirmed he had a seizure and was sidelined by Front Row Motorsports for the rest of the season.

Joe Nemechek is also set to compete in this afternoon’s 334-lap race around the four-turn, 1.5-mile (2.414-kilometer) Texas Motor Speedway oval in Fort Worth, Texas, meaning that a father-son duo will be on the track in a Cup Series race.

It hasn’t happened since 2005.

The last time it happened was on Sunday, October 30, 2005 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Bobby Hamilton started this 325-lap race around the four-turn, 1.54-mile (2.478-kilometer) oval in Hampton, Georgia in 26th place ahead of Bobby Hamilton Jr. in 43rd. The elder Hamilton went on to finish in 30th while his son was forced to retire with an engine issue and had to settle for 39th.

Joe Nemechek qualified for this afternoon’s race in 38th place while his son qualified nine positions ahead of him in 29th.

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Joe and John Hunter Nemechek are set to go head-to-head at Texas Motor Speedway this afternoon beginning  at 3:00 p.m. ET, ending a more than 14-year drought without a father and a son competing against one another in the NASCAR Cup Series. The AAA Texas 500 is set to be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network.



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