STATESVILLE, N.C. — GMS Racing announced Thursday that John Hunter Nemechek will join the team for the full NASCAR Xfinity Series season next year.

Nemechek will be the driver of the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro and will contend for Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

The Mooresville, N.C., driver started his first season of NASCAR Xfinity Series competition this year with Chip Ganassi Racing, collecting one win (Kansas Speedway), six top-five finishes, 11 top-10 finishes and one pole award (ISM Raceway).

His average starting position of 8.5 led to an average finishing position of 10.1 across just 18 starts, with 211 laps led during that span.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity that Mr. Gallagher and the entire GMS Racing organization has presented to me to be able to run full-time in 2019,” Nemechek said. “The results that GMS Racing showed last year in their NASCAR Xfinity Series program were impressive. Their goal is to create a championship-caliber team, like their truck series program, and I believe that we can achieve that goal in the 2019 season.”

Nemechek capitalized on his six NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series seasons, earning six victories, 28 top-five finishes and 48 top-10 finishes. He captured his first pole award in 2016 and added to his collection with a second pole award in 2018.

In addition to his successful Truck Series run, Nemechek was named to the 2015-2016 NASCAR Next class and was awarded the 2015 Most Popular Driver Award in the Truck Series.

The 21-year old will be under the guidance of NASCAR Xfinity Series veteran crew chief Chad Norris, who joined GMS Racing at the beginning of the season.

Norris led the No. 23 Chevrolet Camaro team to a record year, calling the shots for the organization’s first Xfinity Series win at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway with Spencer Gallagher, as well as producing six top-five and 17 top-10 finishes.

“John Hunter (Nemechek) is a wheelman,” said GMS Racing president Mike Beam. “We are excited to have him on board for the 2019 season. With how much progress we showed last year in our NASCAR Xfinity Series program, I know that John Hunter will take us to the next level.”