John Hunter Nemechek is set to drop back down to the NASCAR Xfinity Series for a 10-race schedule in the No. 20 Toyota GR Supra this season, Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed on Monday in its pre-Daytona advance.
The nine-time winner in the NASCAR Xfinity Series will begin his campaign with the championship-winning organization at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 17, with sponsorship from Pye Barker Fire & Safety.
Nemechek, who was given the nod from LEGACY MOTOR CLUB to become the new full-time driver of the No. 42 Toyota Camry XSE in the NASCAR Cup Series, will be present in the opening five events of the year in the second-tier series, running at Atlanta (February 24), Las Vegas (March 2), Phoenix (March 9), and Circuit of The Americas (COTA) (March 23).
Pye Barker Fire & Safety will return as a primary sponsor of the No. 20 Toyota GR Supra for the second race of the season, as well, at Atlanta Motor Speedway. In 100 starts, Nemechek has scored two victories with Pye Barker as a primary sponsor at Martinsville and Kansas last season.
Following the first road course event of the year in Austin, Texas, the 26-year-old driver will take a three-month hiatus from the second-tier series, returning to action in back-to-back weeks at Sonoma Raceway (June 8) and Iowa Speedway (June 15).
The final three events on Nemechek’s Xfinity Series schedule will come before the post-season, competing in events at Nashville Superspeedway (June 29), the Chicago Street Course (July 6), and Michigan International Raceway (August 17).
“Daytona is such a special place and Speedweeks are a great time getting the new season underway. It’s a big race to have Pye-Barker on the car for one of, if not the biggest weekend of the year for the sport,” said Nemechek. “I’m excited to get out there and have some fun. I’m looking forward to racing with everyone at [Joe Gibbs Racing] and getting to work with Tyler [Allen] for the first time. It’s something I’m excited about, not only this week, but for my entire Xfinity schedule this year, so hopefully we can get it started off the right way on Saturday.”