John Hunter Nemechek wasn’t aware that he became the first driver to win at both old and new Atlanta Motor Speedway this past NASCAR weekend.
Joe Gibbs Racing’s John Hunter Nemechek took the checkered flag in overtime to win Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The win was his third of the 2023 season, tying Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill for the most in the series through 17 races, and he remains the series points leader.
Following his victory in this 169-lap race around the four-turn, 1.54-mile (2.478-kilometer) Hampton, Georgia oval, the driver of the No. 20 Toyota stated that he heard a “rumor” he was the first driver to win at both the old and new Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Atlanta Motor Speedway underwent a repave and reconfiguration following its 2021 races, making the races there a lot more like superspeedway events than those at a typical 1.5-mile oval.
Even when you factor in every NASCAR series, John Hunter Nemechek is indeed the only driver to win on both surfaces.
Nemechek’s other victory at the track came back in February 2016, when he was competing in the Truck Series.
What makes this feat more impressive is the fact that none of the Cup Series winners in four races at new Atlanta Motor Speedway had ever even managed to win an Xfinity Series race or Truck Series race at the old track.
William Byron is now a two-time winner at the track after winning Sunday night’s Cup Series race, but his other win came in March 2022. He had never previously won at the track.
Chase Elliott secured his first win at his home track in July 2022, and as hard as it might be to believe, Joey Logano had never won a race at Atlanta Motor Speedway until his March 2023 victory.
In addition to Nemechek, just two drivers have won Xfinity Series races at new Atlanta Motor Speedway. Hill entered Saturday’s race having won the last two, while Ty Gibbs won the first in March 2022. Neither driver had ever won at the track before.
The Truck Series did not compete at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past weekend, but there have been two Truck Series races at the venue since the repave and reconfiguration. Corey Heim won in March 2022, and Christian Eckes won in March 2023.