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Hemric finishes fifth after staring from rear at Dover

Dover International Speedway

August 23, 2020

Track Specs: 1-mile concrete oval / 200 laps

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 86 degrees

No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet Camaro

Start: 9th *dropped to rear of the field due to driver change

Finish: 5th

Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, scored a strong top-five result in Sunday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Dover International Speedway, taking the checkered flag in the fifth position. The top-five finish also gives Hemric his eighth top-10 in only 14 starts this season and helps improve the No. 8 team to 19 points ahead of the 12th and final playoff position in the owner standings with five races remaining in the regular season.

Stage One Finish: 9th

Getting in the driver’s seat for the second NXS event of the weekend at the Monster Mile, Hemric looked to duplicate the top-10 result that teammate Jeb Burton had on Saturday. However, due to the driver change between the two races, Hemric was forced to forgo his ninth-place starting position and take the green flag from the rear of the field. Although he had to start in the back, the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet wasted little time moving forward, charging up to the 16thposition by the time the scheduled competition caution was displayed on lap 20. Hemric continued to methodically move forward on the ensuing restart, needing just six laps to race up to the ninth position. The JR Motorsports driver would go on to maintain a top-10 position for the final 14 laps of the opening stage, taking the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 45 in the ninth position and earn two valuable stage points.

Stage Two Finish: 6th

While under the stage-ending caution, the Kannapolis, N.C. native relayed to crew chief Taylor Moyer that the Poppy Bank Chevrolet was building toward the tight-side over the course of a long run. Based off of this feedback, Moyer made the decision to bring Hemric to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment, sending the driver of the No. 8 back out for the beginning of Stage Two in the seventh position. After initially sliding back to eighth once back under way, Hemric took advantage of a lap-69 restart following the fourth caution period of the day to march back up to the sixth position. The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year held steady in sixth for the remainder of the second stage, ultimately earning an additional five valuable stage points when the green-and-white checkered was displayed on lap 90.

Final Stage: 5th

Despite the strong top-10 result to end Stage Two, Hemric reported to Moyer that the Poppy Bank Chevrolet was still fighting a tight-handling condition on the exit of the corners. As a result, Moyer brought Hemric back to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment during the stage break. A fast stop by the Poppy Bank crew saw Hemric gain two positions on pit road, moving him up to fourth for the beginning of the final stage on lap 97. The JRM driver would solidly maintain his fourth-place track position throughout the long green flag run that ensued, telling Moyer that the handling was the best it had been to that point in the event. Then, opting to play with some strategy, Moyer decided to bring the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet to pit road at the very beginning of green-flag pit stops in the hopes of gaining some track position on the race leaders.

Following a stop for four tires and a chassis adjustment, Hemric battled hard for position as the pit stop cycle continued. The driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet ultimately cycled out at the completion of the green-flag pit stops in the fifth position as a variety of pit strategies played out in front of him.

In the closing laps, Hemric did all he could to close in on fourth, but ran out of time, taking the checkered flag in the fifth position and earning his third top-five finish of the season.

The result also kept the No. 8 team 11th in the owner standings, 19 points ahead of the 12th and final playoff position.

Daniel Hemric, driver No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet team

“A big thank-you to Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and all of the guys on this Poppy Bank team for their hard work today and really this whole weekend. To get this car turned around from yesterday’s race with Jeb (Burton) to today is just a testament to how hard these guys work. I feel like we had some really good execution today and had a lot of good speed with our JR Motorsports Camaro. For this group to come away with a top-10 yesterday and then have us back that up with a top-five today definitely has us heading in the right direction at the right time. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going into next week in Daytona and fight for the win there.”

Next up:

Hemric returns to the No. 8 Chevrolet on Friday, August 28, at Daytona International Speedway. Coverage will be at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN, and SiriusXM 90.

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