John Hunter Nemechek’s attempt to surge to a second-straight Circle City 100 victory at Lucas Oil Raceway came to an end after only 68 laps due to a power failure.
Nemechek started the 100-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series event in 10th after setting quick time for the night due to a 10-car invert. Once the green flag fell, the NEMCO Motorsports driver quickly began working his way through the field, finally rising to the lead shortly after a lap 20 caution.
Nemechek would hold the top spot through the first half of the event. However, the 19-year-old lost the lead to Erik Jones on a lap 51 restart after electing to choose the inside lane.
That set up what appeared to be the battle for the win. Nemechek stalked Jones around the .686-mile oval for the ensuing 18 laps. Then, suddenly, Nemechek’s No. 8 machine slowed on the backstretch on lap 68.
Nemechek maneuvered his stalling car to the garage area, but never returned to the track. The North Carolina native ultimately finished in 22nd.
“We just had a power failure there at the end,” Nemechek said. “It just started sputtering. I don’t know if it was an ignition box went bad or what. I had a really fast car, just was riding there waiting for the end. I figured that (Jones) and I were going to put on a good show towards the end and battle it out to the 100th lap.
“It stinks the end the day this way, but we’ll take the positives. We ran up front. We’re out here to go have some and win, so we’ll just keep going from here.”
Following the loss, Nemechek chocked the race up as a learning experience.
“We’re just doing this to keep myself in the seat and getting laps,” Nemechek said. “It was good to be back on asphalt after Eldora the other night. We’ll go back to the Truck Series and keep our momentum up.”
The 22nd-place result brings to an end a strong run for Nemechek at LOR. The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series regular had led the most laps in each of the two previous seasons, finishing second to Kyle Busch in a photo finish in 2014 and earning a victory in 2015.
Nemechek’s next late model start is unknown. The 19-year-old will return to the NCWTS on July 30, when the series heads to Pocono Raceway.