Hemric finishes 3rd at rain soaked Roval
Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval
Oct. 10, 2020
Track Specs: 2.28-mile, 17-turn asphalt road course / 67 laps
Weather: Overcast and rainy 66 degrees
No. 8 OnDeck Capital Chevrolet Camaro
Braving the elements throughout Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at the Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Daniel Hemric was able to overcome torrential downpours to earn a hard-fought third-place finish behind the wheel of the No. 8 OnDeck Capital Chevrolet. With the strong top-five result, Hemric and the No. 8 team advance to the Round of 8 in the quest for the owner’s championship in the NXS. The No. 8 team enters the second round of the playoffs as the eighth seed, just 24 points behind the fourth and final cutoff position with three races remaining in the Round of 8.
Stage One Finish: 7th
Hemric lined up for the 67-lap event on the unique Roval from the third position after the field was set via NASCAR’s mathematical formula earlier in the week. Initially taking the green flag with dry track conditions, Hemric quickly moved forward, driving into the second position behind JR Motorsports teammate Noah Gragson. However, the dry track conditions were short-lived as the rains from Hurricane Delta arrived during a lap-2 caution period. While under this caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer called the driver of the OnDeck Capital Chevrolet to pit road for the first of two sets of rain tires. Returning to the track in fourth for the lap-6 restart, Hemric quickly reported that he had developed a tight-handling condition through the left-handed corners of the road course. As a result of the handling woes and the worsening race surface, Hemric slid back to the ninth position before a lap-13 caution period brought the field back together.
This caution set up a three-lap shootout to complete Stage One and the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year wasted little time pushing forward, gaining two positions on the final lap to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 20 in the seventh position. The top-10 stage-ending result also netted Hemric four valuable stage points.
Stage Two Finish: 6th
Moyer made the call to bring Hemric back to pit road following Stage One for fuel and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of rectifying the tight-handling condition. Due to a variety of strategies among the front runners on pit road, the driver of the OnDeck Capital Chevrolet returned to the track for the beginning of Stage Two in the 10th position. As the field picked up speed for the lap-23 restart, the rain intensified, forcing NASCAR to throw the caution and subsequently display the red flag just three laps into Stage Two as a result of increasing amounts of standing water across the 2.28-mile road course. Following a delay of over 38 minutes, the red flag was lifted and the race resumed.
Once back underway Hemric again pressed forward, navigating through the difficult track conditions and taking advantage of two late-stage caution periods to gain six positions and end Stage Two in sixth on lap 40. The result also brought the No. 8 team an additional five stage points, bringing the total to nine for the afternoon.
Final Stage: 3rd
Prior to the beginning of the third and final stage of the day, Moyer called the Kannapolis, N.C. native back to pit road for the team’s final set of rain tires. Once again, a variety of strategies took place during this pit cycle, with Hemric being one of just a handful of cars opting to take tires during this caution. As a result, Hemric lined up for the lap-42 restart in the 18th position. Undeterred by the loss of track position, the driver of the OnDeck Capital Chevrolet charged up the leaderboard, needing just three laps to rejoin the top 10 and found himself scored in eighth when the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 48. Hemric’s ascent continued on the ensuing restart as the JRM driver took advantage of the first long green-flag run of the afternoon to race into the top five and up to the third position before another caution on lap 59 bunched the race leaders back together.
Lining up as the second car on the inside line, Hemric continued to fight for track position inside the top five until the final caution of the day was displayed on lap 63. With an afternoon full of rain quickly being overtaken by darkness, Hemric lined up in fourth for the lap-66 restart. Doing all he could to overcome the treacherous track conditions and low visibility, Hemric was able to gain one position over the final two laps to take the checkered flag in the third position.
With the result, Hemric has now finished inside the top five in three consecutive races and has helped move the No. 8 team into the Round of 8 in the NXS Playoff bracket for the owner’s championship.
Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 OnDeck Capital Chevrolet team
“Man, that was wild. Today was definitely a different kind of element with the ever-changing track conditions. Whether it was battling the rain or the darkness there towards the end, today was definitely wild. I can’t say enough for the incredible job that all the guys on this OnDeck Capital team did today. We fought hard all day long and were able to come away with a strong top-five finish and secure our place in the next round in our battle for this owner’s championship. I just can’t thank them enough and I’m ready to keep this momentum going into next weekend in Kansas.”
The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads to Kansas Speedway on Saturday, Oct. 17. NBCSN, MRN Radio, and SiriusXM 90 has the broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. EDT.