Sept. 5, 2020
Track Specs: 1.366-mile asphalt oval / 147 laps
Weather: Cloudy, 84 degrees
No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet Camaro
Paying homage to the life and legacy of John Andretti during Darlington Raceway’s throwback weekend, Daniel Hemric entered Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event looking to build off of a strong sixth-place finish in the series most recent event at the track “Too Tough To Tame” in May. Taking the green flag from the 15th position, Hemric quickly worked his way forward in his Poppy Bank Chevrolet designed to emulate the car Andretti drove during the 1995 and 1996 NASCAR Cup Series seasons. However, Hemric’s charge to the front was halted when contact with a car on the inside line knocked the JR Motorsports driver sideways, sending Hemric hard into the inside retaining wall and badly damaging the nose of the Poppy Bank Camaro. After a brief visit to pit road, the team realized that the damage was too severe to continue, ending Hemric’s afternoon early and ultimately resulting in a 37th-place finish.
Stage One Finish: 37th
Hemric lined up for the scheduled 147-lap event from the 15th position after the field was set via NASCAR’s new formula earlier in the week. From the drop of the green flag the driver of the Poppy Bank John Andretti Tribute Chevrolet marched forward, quickly jumping up to the preferred outside line and driving up to 13th by the completion of the opening lap. The Kannapolis, N.C. native looked to continue his ascent up the leaderboard on lap 2, as Hemric inched closer to moving into the top 10. However, that climb was brought to an abrupt halt as Hemric sustained contact from the No. 21 on the inside line that sent the JRM driver hard into the wall on the exit of Turn 2. Getting out of the throttle as a result of the contact, Hemric was then hit from behind and sent careening hard into the inside retaining wall, causing severe damage to the nose of the Poppy Bank John Andretti Tribute Chevrolet.
Crew chief Taylor Moyer made the call to have Hemric bring his JRM Camaro to pit road in the hopes that the team could make repairs to the damage. However, after briefly surveying the car on pit road, it was determined that the damage was too severe to return to the track, bringing an untimely end to Hemric’s afternoon.
Hemric was ultimately scored with a 37th-place finish.
Despite the result, the No. 8 team remains 12th in the owner standings, six points ahead of 13th with three races remaining in the regular season.
Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank John Andretti Tribute Chevrolet team
"Frustrating, man. I had high hopes coming into today, I don't know. You only get so many opportunities and you want to go make the most of them. We had a really good car here earlier in the season and it’s really unfortunate that we didn’t get a chance to back that up today. I want to thank the Andretti family for giving me the opportunity to carry these colors and pay tribute to John. We’ll rebound from this and be ready to fight for the win next time out in Vegas.”
Hemric returns to the No. 8 Chevrolet on Saturday, September 26, at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Coverage will be at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, PRN, and SiriusXM 90.