John Hunter Nemechek will drive the No. 18 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in three races this season, the team announced Tuesday.

Nemechek, who won in the team’s No. 54 car at Texas Motor Speedway last year, will make his season debut with JGR April 2 at Richmond Raceway with sponsorship from Safeway. He’ll also drive the car at Dover Motor Speedway (April 30) and Texas Motor Speedway (Sept. 24). ACME will sponsor Nemechek at Dover and ROMCO will be featured at Texas.

Jason Ratcliff will be atop the pit box as his crew chief.

“I am really excited to have this opportunity to race again in JGR’s Xfinity Series program after the success we had last season,” Nemechek said in a team release. “We were able to pick up a win in just three starts and hopefully we can add to that success this season. I am also looking forward to working with crew chief Jason Ratcliff, who has found victory lane with a lot of different drivers over the years. I really appreciate the support of my long-term partners Safeway, ACME, and ROMCO for coming on board to support me and of course Toyota.”

Nemechek, driving the No. 4 Toyota full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series, has competed in each of the last two Xfinity races for Sam Hunt Racing in the team’s flagship No. 26 Toyota, earning finishes of 12th at Las Vegas and fifth at Phoenix. Nemechek is also scheduled to drive the No. 26 car at Las Vegas in September.

“John Hunter was impressive in his starts with us last year and we’re excited to have him back this season to work with Jason (Ratcliff) and our 18 team for a few races,” said Steve de Souza, Executive Vice President of Xfinity Series and Development for Joe Gibbs Racing. “He really has made the most of every opportunity and we expect he will run up front again in these races.”

Nemechek finished third in the Truck Series standings in 2021 after a five-win year netted him the regular-season championship. In total, Nemechek has two Xfinity wins and 11 career Truck wins.

Other drivers in JGR’s No. 18 Toyota this year include Drew Dollar (superspeedways), Trevor Bayne (eight races) and Ryan Truex (four races).


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