Damage from Big One hamstrings Hemric
Daytona International Speedway
August 29, 2020
Track Specs: 2.5-mile asphalt quad-oval / 100 laps
Weather: Cloudy, 85 degrees
No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet Camaro
Daniel Hemric was working well with his trio of JR Motorsports teammates in the lead pack during Stage Two of Friday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Daytona International Speedway before being collected in a multi-car incident on the exit of Turn 4 on lap 39. After having to pit numerous times for repairs to three of the four corners of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet, Hemric was able to utilize a never-give-up attitude to come home with a 24th-place finish. Despite the result, the No. 8 team remains in a playoff position in the owner standings, 46 points ahead of 13th with four races remaining in the regular season.
Stage One Finish: 10th
Hemric lined up in the seventh position for the 100-lap event after the field was set via NASCAR’s new mathematical formula earlier this week. The new formula is based on the previous week’s finishing position, the team’s fastest lap run in the previous event and where the team is ranked in the owner standings. Once the race got underway, the Kannapolis, N.C. native quickly got in line with his JRM teammates as all four Camaros took to the outside line to try to draft toward the front. Their march forward had made it comfortably into the top 10 before the field was slowed on lap 13 for an incident down the back straightaway.
While under this caution period, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call to bring Hemric to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel after the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet had reported that he was a little free on the entry of the corner. Returning to the track in 23rd following the stop, Hemric wasted little time moving back through the field, needing just four laps to draft back into the top 10 with his JRM teammates. Hemric remained inside the top 10 throughout the remaining nine laps of the opening stage, ultimately surviving a one-lap shootout following a lap-24 caution period to end Stage One on lap 30 in the 10th position.
Stage Two Finish: 16th
The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year returned to pit road during the stage-ending caution for right-side tires and fuel. Although Hemric was the sixth car that exited pit road, a handful of cars opted to remain on the racetrack during the caution period, sliding the 29-year-old driver back to 13th for the beginning of Stage Two on lap 34. Despite restarting outside of the top 10, Hemric quickly began to move forward, reuniting with his JRM teammates to charge into the middle lane and draft back into the top 10 by the completion of lap 37. However, the quartet’s ascent up the leaderboard was brought to an abrupt end just two laps later as a multi-car incident broke out on the exit of Turn 4, leaving Hemric with nowhere to go and causing severe damage to both front fenders and the right rear of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet.
After pitting several times for repairs during the subsequent caution period, Hemric returned to the track for the lap 45 restart in 28th, one lap behind the leaders but in the free pass position should the caution come back out. That fortuitous caution flew before lap 45 could even be completed, moving Hemric back onto the lead lap. Once back on the same lap as the leaders Hemric pressed onward, drafting up to as high as the 11th position before being shuffled back in the final laps of Stage Two to take the green-and-white checkered flag in 16th.
Prior to the beginning of the final stage of the evening, Hemric returned to pit road for additional repairs. Exiting pit road for the lap 64 restart in 23rd, Hemric quickly drafted his way back into the top 15 before the damage-riddled back bumper of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet fell off, forcing Hemric to come back to pit road under green for a replacement bumper.
Returning to the track following the repairs in 25th, Hemric pressed forward, utilizing a never-give-up attitude to gain one position in the closing laps to take the checkered flag in 24th.
Despite the result, the No. 8 team still sits 46 points above the playoff cutline with four races remaining the regular season.
Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet team
“Man, we had a fast Poppy Bank Chevrolet tonight. We were rolling good there for a while working with our JRM teammates and I felt like we were in a really good position when that deal went down off of Turn 4. It’s really unfortunate that we got collected in that, we just had nowhere to go. I just want to thank all the guys on this JR Motorsports team for their effort. We were able to make repairs throughout the race to still be competitive even with our damage. We’ll rebound from this and be ready to go next week in Darlington.”
Hemric returns to the No. 8 Chevrolet on Saturday, September 5, at Darlington Raceway. Coverage will be at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC, MRN, and SiriusXM 90.