NASCAR could be without a longtime team in 2021

NEMCO Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)
NEMCO Motorsports, NASCAR (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) /

NEMCO Motorsports reportedly have no plans to compete in the 2021 NASCAR season, which would be just their second season of inactivity since joining the sport in 1989.

The 2021 NASCAR season, which is scheduled to get underway next week at Daytona International Speedway, may very well be contested without one of the sport’s longtime competitors, a team that entered the sport in 1989.

According to Frontstretch‘s Dustin Albino, a NEMCO Motorsports spokesperson has confirmed that the team do not currently have any plans to compete in the 22-race 2021 Truck Series season.

The Nemechek-owned team have competed in NASCAR on some level for the last 32 years, save for the 2008 season when they did not compete at all in any one of the three national series.

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While they haven’t competed in the Cup Series since the 2014 season and they haven’t competed in the Xfinity Series since the 2016 season, NEMCO Motorsports have competed in the Truck Series in each of the last eight years after returning following a hiatus from the series that lasted nearly a decade and a half.

They have made 979 starts across those three series, including 239 in the Cup Series, 527 in the Xfinity Series and 213 in the Truck Series.

But after totaling 37 starts in the 23-race 2019 season, they totaled just six starts in the 2020 season.

So this news is not completely unexpected for the team, which had recently found themselves toward the back of the field and struggling to secure solid results — a far cry from their 1992 championship-winning season in the Busch (now Xfinity) Series.

Team co-owner Joe Nemechek, whose all-time record of 1,197 NASCAR starts is under threat from full-time Stewart-Haas Racing Cup Series driver Kevin Harvick (1,187 starts), has not confirmed his driving plans for the 2021 season.

He has competed in the sport on some level for 32 straight years going back to 1989 when he made his debut in an Xfinity Series race driving for his own team. He then made his Cup Series debut in 1993, also with NEMCO Motorsports, and his Truck Series debut in 1996, also with NEMCO Motorsports.

John Hunter Nemechek, Joe’s son, is set to compete full-time for Kyle Busch Motorsports in the Truck Series after vacating his Cup Series ride with Front Row Motorsports following his rookie season.

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John Hunter is scheduled to get his 2021 season underway in the season-opening NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday, February 12.