PENSACOLA, Fla. -- John Hunter Nemechek wants to be the greatest NASCAR driver of all time. That's not hyperbole either. He largely insinuated as much during a media session on Friday afternoon prior to practice for the NASCAR Pro Series East NAPA Auto Parts 150 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla.
The 15-year-old is a second-generation driver and the son of Sprint Cup Series veteran Joe Nemechek, so you would think John would want to be a lot like his father, right?
Jeff Gordon? Jimmie Johnson? Kyle Busch perhaps?
"I don't know if I want to be like any of those guys," Nemechek told SB Nation. "I'd like to be better than all of them."
It sounds awfully conceited but those who know John Hunter recognize that as just an example of his ambition and work ethic, instilled by his family and a sincere desire to be the best.
That journey starts this year in the NASCAR Pro Series East division and this afternoon in the NAPA 150. Due to his experience in the Snowball Derby at Five Flags in December, Nemechek has to be considered the odds-on favorite. He qualified on the outside pole for that event and led most of the early portion of that race before getting involved in an accident.
"I like this place a lot," Nemechek said. "We were good here in the Derby and this is a very similar car. We were fighting some things in that race, in regards to the set-up, that we think will translate here when we go to set-up this (Pro Series) car."
The NAPA Auto Parts 150 begins at 8:00 EST at Five Flags Speedway. NASCAR Home Tracks will provide Race Central Live race day coverage and radio on their website throughout the day's festivities. The race will air on Speed via tape delay sometime next week.