John Hunter Nemechek
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Atlanta could bring Round 2 of Kyle Busch Motorsports battle

John Hunter Nemechek won in his third NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start for Kyle Busch Motorsports — holding off team owner Kyle Busch in the process to take the checkered flag March 5 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Even though Nemechek has a victory and playoff spot in the bank, the mission hasn’t changed for the driver of the No. 4 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota, as he heads for Atlanta Motor Speedway and Saturday’s Fr8Auctions 200 (2:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

“I don’t think we’re going to change our plan of attack whatsoever,” says Nemechek, who will start from the pole in the first leg of a Saturday doubleheader with the NASCAR Xfinity Series. “We’re here to win races. #Here4Wins is the hashtag we’ve been using since the announcement of myself coming to Kyle Busch Motorsports. 

“(Crew chief) Eric (Phillips) and I are on the same page. Kyle, Toyota and all of our partners want to win, and that’s why we’re here. We are going to go try and win everything we can from poles to stages to practice to races. Anything and everything that we can win, we want to.”

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Nemechek, who triumphed at Atlanta in 2016 in family-owned NEMCO Motorsports equipment, is one of five former winners in the field. The list includes Matt Crafton (2015), Brett Moffitt (2018), Busch (2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2019) and Grant Enfinger (2020). 

Busch’s presence sets up another potential showdown between the team owner and his marquee driver. And Busch would loath to lose two in a row. 

“At Las Vegas, John Hunter was a little bit better than us at the end of the race, and I hate I finished second, obviously, but it’s nice to see our Tundras getting used to their full potential and running up front,” Busch says. 

“I’m excited to have John Hunter racing at KBM this year and to have Eric Phillips back on board. I felt like, when we were able to make that move over the offseason and pair those two together, it was going to be a winning combination. Three races in, we’ve already reaped the benefits.”