The NASCAR Camping World Truck series returned to Gateway in St. Louis for Saturday nights’ race. The fast, flat track can be challenging for the most experienced veteran drivers and a nightmare at times for a rookie.
This series is becoming a proving ground for the younger drivers and they are not backing down from the challenge. If the current field of remarkable, young talent can be used to measure the future of the sport, the health of NASCAR appears to be very good.
Darrell Wallace, Jr. stayed near the front all night, fighting at various times with Erik Jones and John Hunter Nemecheck. John Hunter is the son of Joe Nemecheck and namesake of his uncle, John who was killed while racing a truck at Homestead Speedway.
This young man is in his first season of racing and he is sharing his ride with his father, Joe. He has only made a handful of starts and by his appearance, you could easily mistake him for a 10 year old. Yet at only 17, he is mature well beyond his years.
His father credits this to John Hunter having spent his entire short life at the racetrack. His exposure to the sport and older people has given him a more mature outlook on life and racing.
I was very impressed with his driving. When he had an issue with a tire going down, he quickly moved out of the racing groove so that he did not create a problem for the other drivers.
Darrell Wallace, Jr. another up and coming star went on to capture his second win in the series. Before the race, he had commented that at 20 years old, he felt like an old man compared to the many teenagers that were in the field. He may have taken advantage of his old age and experience to get the win.