WATCH: John Hunter Nemechek Just Misses Getting Hit with a Projectile

For a while now, NASCAR has been conducting post-race interviews on the front stretch. However, there have been many times where it has proven to be a real hazard. Poor old John Hunter Nemechek found that out the hard way, earlier when he finished 4th in the Truck race at Darlington.

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While Fox Sports’ Jamie Little was interviewing him, a fan suddenly hurled a water bottle at him. Fortunately, the projectile narrowly missed hitting the driver, but it still landed on the car and made him jump a little. The worst part was that the bottle was probably full or half-full, so had it connected, it would have really hurt.

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To Nemechek’s credit, he barely flinched aside from turning to see the bottle bouncing off the car. Naturally, this has given rise to a debate about whether post-race interviews should be held on the track itself. Previously, these interviews were held on Victory Lane or on pit road, and not many were happy with the change of location.

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John Hunter Nemechek is not the first victim of such projectiles

One of the biggest critics of the frontstretch interview is Dale Earnhardt Jr. He tweeted that such interviews felt awkward because a driver’s first instinct after winning is to celebrate with the team. Last year, Denny Hamlin suffered the same fate during his infamous NASCAR moment with Alex Bowman. That incident occurred when he went to interrupt Bowman’s victory celebration.

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Feb 19, 2021; Daytona Beach, FL, USA; NASCAR Truck Series driver John Hunter Nemechek (4) leads Sheldon Creed (2) and Ben Rhodes (99) during the Brake Best Select 159 at the Daytona International Speedway Road Course. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One could sympathize with the fans’ fury at Hamlin. However, the Nemechek incident was much more dangerous. At least Hamlin was inside the car and the bottle whacked his car’s hood. John Hunter Nemechek was pretty much exposed and his helmet was off, so had the bottle hit him, it would have hurt. A worse situation would be if the culprit’s aim was off and the bottle hit Jamie Little instead.

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