(Posted Tue. Sep 22nd, 2015)
A lot of eyes were on the Sprint Cup Race last weekend in Chicago as the race for the Chase began its 10 race showdown. But even though Denny Hamlin won that race there wasn’t a bigger smile on any face than that of John Hunter Nemechek who won the American Ethanol E15 225 Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday.
Stretching his E15 fuel mileage beyond the capabilities of most of his of competitors, Nemechek rolled across the finish line 12.014 seconds ahead of Tyler Reddick, who was also saving fuel, to score his first victory in the series in the American Ethanol e15 225.
At 18 years, 3 months and 8 days, Nemechek is the fourth-youngest winner in the series, and he accomplished the victory with a skeleton crew working on a team owned by his father, Joe Nemechek.
It was a big weekend for E15 American Ethanol in the Windy City because of the media and fan exposure generated by American Ethanol naming rights on the Truck race, compliments of Illinois Corn Marketing Board and Marquis Energy, but also because of the full American Ethanol paint out on Austin Dillon’s car in the Sprint Cup race.
Dillon started from the fifth position after thunderstorms in the area caused NASCAR and track officials to cancel Friday evening’s qualifying session and set the field according to practice speeds. The sophomore Sprint Cup Series driver showed speed from the start of the 267-lap race, using the bottom groove to race into the second position before settling into the top five as a tight-handling condition developed on the No. 3 Chevrolet. He was running eighth on a restart just past the race’s halfway point when he cut a right-front tire, sending his car hard into the wall and bringing out the caution flag. Dillon drove to the garage where the team immediately began making repairs but he lost significant laps in the process and finished 43rd, 69 laps down.
“The beginning of the race was really fun. We had a lot of speed on the American Ethanol Chevrolet and it was awesome to race up front, slicing and dicing in the top three. The changes (crew chief) Slugger Labbe and the crew made during the race really helped the handling of the car. It’s a shame we weren’t able to compete for the win. I haven’t hit the wall that hard on a mile-and-a-half track in a long time, maybe back when I raced in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series days. I feel fine.”
Next, Dillon will drive the No. 3 Cheerios Chevrolet in the Sylvania 300 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Sunday, September 27. The race is live on NBCSN at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.