Charlotte Motor Speedway
May 25, 2020
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 203 laps Weather: Cloudy; 69 degrees
No. 8 Alsco Chevrolet Camaro
Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Alsco Chevrolet, charged through the field over the final 20 laps of Monday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, improving 10 positions to earn a second-place finish. The result marks the sixth time that Hemric has finished in the runner-up position and the third time he has done so in his last nine NXS starts dating back to Kansas Speedway in October of 2018.
Stage One Finish: 9th
For the second-consecutive NXS event, the starting lineup was set via a blind draw earlier in the week, meaning that Hemric lined up for the 200-lap event from the 12thposition. From the drop of the green flag Hemric pressed forward, needing just eight laps to race into the top 10 before driving up to the seventh position by the time the competition caution was displayed on lap 20. The driver of the Alsco Chevrolet continued to jockey for position inside the top 10 throughout the final 25 laps of the opening stage before taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end Stage One on lap 45 in the ninth position. The stage-ending result earned Hemric two valuable stage points in the process.
Stage Two Finish: 7th
While under the stage-ending caution, crew chief Taylor Moyer made the decision to bring the Kannapolis, N.C. native to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment after Hemric reported that he was battling a loose-handling condition on the entry of the corner. After taking the green flag for the caution-free second stage from the ninth position, Hemric once again pushed onward, taking advantage of a three-wide move down the back straightaway to race into the sixth position on lap 63. The driver of the Alsco Chevrolet remained there until the loose-handling condition returned in the closing laps of the stage, shuffling Hemric back to seventh by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed on lap 90. Despite the handling condition, Hemric’s stage-ending result netted the JR Motorsports driver four additional stage points, bringing the total race tally to six.
Final Stage: 2nd
Prior to the start of the final stage of the evening, Moyer called Hemric back to pit road for four tires and another round of adjustments after the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year reported that he was still fighting the loose-handling condition. The driver of the Alsco Chevrolet exited pit road at the completion of the stop in eighth and continued to battle inside the top 10 once back underway until the lone round of green-flag pit stops commenced on lap 144. After pitting for four tires and fuel during his green flag stop, Hemric returned to the track in eighth, but an inopportune caution just 10 laps later trapped the JRM driver off of the lead lap as the pit stop cycle had yet to be completed. Undeterred by the unfortunate timing of the caution, Hemric and team opted to take the wave around to get back on to the lead lap just prior to the lap 162 restart.
Now back on the lead lap, Hemric again pressed forward, racing up to the fourth position with the help of another strong three-wide move through the quad-oval. Hemric remained in fourth until a lap 175 caution provided Moyer with one last opportunity to play with some strategy. With the majority of the race leaders on their final set of tires, Moyer called the driver of the Alsco Chevrolet back to pit road for the No. 8 team’s final set of fresh tires.
As a result of the off-sequence stop, Hemric found himself lining up for the lap 183 restart in the 12th position. Although mired in heavy traffic, Hemric persevered and raced back into the top 10 and up to fifth before field was slowed due to a caution on lap 192. Hemric remained in fifth once the green flag came back out but was able to drive up to third on the exit of the second corner before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 196.
This caution period set up NASCAR’s version of overtime, with Hemric lining up as the second car on the inside line. The driver of the Alsco Chevrolet fought inside the top three over the final two laps with both Austin Cindric and eventual race winner Kyle Busch before ultimately taking the checkered flag in the second position.
The result is Hemric’s best finish to date for JRM and his 10th top 10 in his last 12 NXS starts dating back to Richmond Raceway in September of 2018.
“We had a solid night with our Alsco Camaro and I can’t thank everyone at JR Motorsports and on this No. 8 team enough. These last two races have really given us a lot of positive momentum right now and it feels great to be able to come here and get a strong finish. We kept fighting all race long and I am just really grateful for this opportunity and to come out here at my home track and have a really solid night. Hopefully we can keep this going as we get ready for Bristol on Saturday.”