Joe Nemechek announces 2014 NASCAR plans

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“Front Row” Joe Nemechek has his 2014 plans set, as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series continues to confirm more mid-level entries to grow the field size. He’ll have a busy season between Cup and the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.

Jay Robinson Racing has partnered with Michael Waltrip Racing, and Nemechek will race anywhere from 27 to 29 races in the partner’s entry, the No. 66 Toyota. Waltrip will drive that car at the Daytona 500, and Jeff Burton at the remaining six to eight events.

Nemechek will also race 12 of 22 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races in the No. 8 SWM-NEMCO Motorsports truck, with son John Hunter racing the other 10 events where at age 16, he’s eligible to compete. That was revealed Wednesday in a team release.

“We all have our bucket lists and racing the truck for a win is on mine,” Joe Nemechek said in the release. “Trucks are a lot of fun with the high downforce and less horsepower. And what better way to make a run for it than with the excitement of sharing the season with my son, and giving him the best possibility to run well.”

Nemechek, 50, has run his own NEMCO Cup team the last five years, since racing with Furniture Row Racing in 2008. He has four career wins in 651 starts. He has not won in seven career truck starts, the last of which came in 2006. As he was the 1992 NASCAR Busch Grand National (now Nationwide) champion, a win in trucks would add his name to the list of drivers with victories in all three of NASCAR’s major national touring series.

Andretti Autosport picks James Hinchcliffe for last 3 races of season

Andretti Autosport James Hinchcliffe
Chris Owens/IndyCar
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James Hinchcliffe will finish the NTT IndyCar Series season for Andretti Autosport, replacing Zach Veach in the No. 26 Dallara-Honda.

The team made the announcement Friday afternoon that Hinchcliffe will return after racing for Andretti at Texas Motor Speedway, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Indianapolis 500.

Hinchcliffe, who also has worked as an IndyCar on NBC analyst and pit reporter, will race in the Oct. 2-3 doubleheader race weekend at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course and the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

“It’s always unfortunate to have to change drivers this far into a season, but we have to look at finishing the year the best we can for the 26 team and start evaluating and looking at options for 2021,” team owner Michael Andretti said in a release. “James has an existing relationship with our team that we’d love to build on and it makes the most sense for him to step in for these last three races. We are looking forward to seeing what he can do.”

Hinchcliffe has a season-best finish of seventh in the Indy 500. He had been working on trying to put together a deal for next season after scrambling to secure a partial schedule this year when he lost his ride at Arrow McLaren SP after 2020 with a year left on his deal.

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“I know, probably better than most, what Zach is feeling right now, and I have to say that he has handled everything about as class act as you can,” Hinchcliffe said. “I’ve known Zach as a teammate, before that as a colleague and even before that as a friend, and he is a guy that I respect in every way. I know he is a fighter and will fight back to where he wants to be.

“For me now, my focus is 100% on racing the Harvest GP and getting the best possible results for Gainbridge, for Honda, for Michael and for the team. I obviously haven’t been on a road course in a while, but at least the last time I was, it was here at IMS! Hopefully that puts us in a good position to go out there and have a strong weekend.”