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NASCAR Xfinity Series: John Hunter Nemechek’s Vehicle Engulfed in Flames Following Martinsville Triumph



  • Nemechek lit his JGR Toyota in front of fans Saturday night in Virginia
  • The 25-year-old took home a grand prize of $100,000, which was handed to him with a huge check.
  • DailyMail.com provides the latest global sports news

John Hunter Nemechek celebrated his second NASCAR Xfinity Series win of the season and his first series win at Martinsville Speedway by setting his race car on fire — perhaps a fitting finale to his hot night behind the wheel.

On Saturday, the 25-year-old took his No. 20 JGR Toyota into the front stretch to do the traditional burnout celebration in front of fans in Virginia, with his car’s left rear wheel on fire before all but one body and part of the car. Eventually the track did too.

‘I can’t say enough about this whole team,’ said Nemechek, whose sponsorship has been derided by Firefighting, ‘If you asked me yesterday if we were going to win, I thought we were the 10th-place car in practice. (Bay Parker Fire and Safety). “Just grateful the guys made the right adjustments.”

‘Let’s celebrate.’

Not only did the son of NASCAR legend Joe Nemechek win the race, he also won the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash incentive prize awarded by series sponsor Xfinity, which was delivered to him in the form of a giant check after this weekend’s event.

Thick smoke billowed from the car

John Hunter Nemechek, 25, celebrated his victory at Martinsville Speedway by lighting his race car on fire Saturday night in traditional fashion in front of NASCAR fans

Saturday night's victory was Nemechek's second of the season, following a victory at Fontana Stadium

Saturday night’s victory was Nemechek’s second of the season, following a victory at Fontana Stadium

All of Nemechek's Toyota body and part of the track eventually caught fire

All of Nemechek’s Toyota body and part of the track eventually caught fire

Overall, Nemechek led 198 of 250 laps to win it all on Saturday, edging out Joe Gibbs Racing teammate Sammy Smith by 1.518 seconds.

The sixth-year NASCAR driver, whose first race was at the 2018 Rinnai 250 (Atlanta), held the lead for good on the race restart with 32 laps to go after winning the first two stages of the race. He, Smith and third-place finisher Cole Custer were easily the class field all night, running some 1-2-3 versions for most of the race.

Smith was able to force his way past Custer on the final lap for this runner-up.

And while Nemechek’s car was the best of the night, there was still plenty of compelling competition at the wheel behind him.

Fourth-place finisher Josh Perry, for example, led the second-most laps (27)—the eighth-placed JR Motorsport Chevrolet looked especially strong until a tire condition forced a long pit stop mid-race. However, he bounced back through the field to claim his seventh consecutive top-ten finish of the year, tying the longest of his career.

Detailed view of the damage to Nemechek's tire after the burnout celebration

Detailed view of the damage to Nemechek’s tire after the burnout celebration

Nemechek poses a $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash check after winning a race Saturday

Nemechek poses a $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash check after winning a race Saturday

Perry’s JR Motorsports teammate Brandon Jones finished fifth—his first top-10 of the season in the No. 9 JRM Chevrolet. He was followed by another teammate, Justin Allgaier, who was able to hold the No. 7 GRM Chevy in the lead pack. Although he did not feel satisfied. He finished using much older tires than the rest of the flagship group.

Nemechek—who won both stages—Smith, Custer, and Berry are now eligible for the next batch of the $100,000 Xfinity Dash 4 Cash prize—next week at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. The best finishing driver out of these four gets the big pick.

“Congratulations to them, they were the best car all night,” said Smith.

Kaulig Racing teammates Daniel Hemrick and Derek Krause, AM Racing’s Brett Moffitt and Kaulig’s Chandler Smith rounded out the top ten.

Austin Hill – who leads all drivers with three wins this season – finished 16th and with Nemechek’s win, the second-generation driver has a 21-point lead over Hill.

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