John Hunter Nemechek has joined Chip Ganassi Racing for an opportunity to compete in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Announced Tuesday, Nemechek will drive the No. 42 Chevrolet in what’s described as multiple races in 2018. He will split time in the car with Kyle Larson and work with crew chief Mike Shiplett.
Nemechek will have sponsorship support from Fire Alarm Services, Inc. The company has been a supporter of the 20-year-old at NEMCO Motorsports in the Camping World Truck Series the last two years.
“We are happy to have John Hunter join our organization and also announced the relationship with Fire Alarm Services,” said owner Chip Ganassi. “We had a very successful 2017 with our Xfinity program and look to improve upon that. We feel that John Hunter has the talent to be a future star in the sport and can’t wait to get him behind the wheel.”
It was not announced when Nemechek will make his series debut with Ganassi.
This is a move up for Nemechek, who has competed in the Truck Series for family-owned NEMCO Motorsports since 2013. Nemechek has five career wins in the series and won the Most Popular Driver Award in 2015. He finished eighth in points the last two seasons after making the playoffs.
The move also has a bit of family history to it. Nemechek’s father, former Cup Series driver and 1992 Xfinity Series champion Joe Nemechek, competed for SABCO Racing from 1997-99. SABCO was owned by Chip Ganassi Racing co-owner Felix Sabates.
“I couldn’t be more excited to join Chip Ganassi Racing,” said Nemechek. “I feel like their cars and organization were the talk of the garage in 2017 and I hope to play a part in continuing their run of success in 2018 and beyond.
“Also, Fire Alarm Services has been a supporter of my career since 2016 at our family-owned team and I am looking forward to continuing that partnership at Chip Ganassi Racing. I am extremely grateful to Shannon and Connie Smith, owners of Fire Alarm Services, Inc. I also want to thank my father for all that he has done to help grow my passion for racing.”
The Xfinity Series season opens at Daytona International Speedway on Feb. 17.
NEMCO is not shutting down its operations. Joe Nemechek recently said the team will again be on track in 2018 and is seeking sponsorship and discussing options with different drivers.