Hemric Overcomes Mid-Race Trouble to Finish 15th at Kansas
Date: October 23, 2021
Event: Kansas Lottery 300 (Round 31 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Kansas Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: 200 laps (Stages: 45 laps / 45 laps / 110 laps)
Start / Finish: 1st / 15th (Running, 200 of 200 laps)
Point Standing: 4th (3099 points, 7 points above the current Playoff cutoff)
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Stage 2 Winner: Austin Cindric
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45)
Daniel Hemric started on the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway and finished second in stage one.
The Poppy Bank Toyota Supra led the first nine laps before relinquishing the top spot as Hemric reported that his car was a little loose on entry and exit but needed to turn better in the center of the corners.
Hemric was scored second when the competition caution waved on lap 21.
After restarting second with eight laps remaining in the stage, Hemric made a strong challenge for the lead but ultimately ended up second when the segment ended on lap 45.
Between stages, crew chief Dave Rogers called Hemric to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and multiple chassis adjustments.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90)
Hemric started fourth and finished third in stage two.
The Poppy Bank Supra was better during the second segment, but Hemric continued to battle a loose condition while running the high line around Kansas Speedway.
While the leaders worked through heavy lapped traffic, Hemric squeezed by Noah Gragson for the third position on lap 79.
The No. 18 driver held on to the third position through the end of the stage on lap 90.
Rogers once again called Hemric to pit road between stages for four tires, fuel, and a minor air pressure adjustment. A great pit stop by the Poppy Bank team put the No. 18 Supra into the lead.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 91-201)
Hemric started the final stage as the leader and finished 15th in Saturday’s race at Kansas Speedway.
The No. 18 Supra restarted from the inside lane when the race resumed on lap 97. The No. 22 car was able to grab the lead as the field raced through turns one and two. Hemric bobbled momentarily and was bumped from behind as Gragson was unable to check up in time. The contact sent both Playoff drivers spinning and left Hemric with significant left-front fender damage that required three pit stops for repairs.
Following the No. 18 team’s repairs, Hemric restarted 19th on lap 103.
He eventually clawed his way back into the top 10 on lap 130 before a caution on lap 136 brought everyone to pit road. Because of their earlier trouble, the No. 18 team had to take their final set of fresh tires despite having 60 laps remaining when the race restarted.
Hemric was scored ninth when another caution on lap 155 brought many leaders to pit road. The Poppy Bank team stayed on track and moved up to fourth for the ensuing restart on lap 160.
Hemric restarted fourth with 37 laps remaining and eventually slid back to 10th as cars with fresher tires were able to bypass the No. 18 Supra.
He was scored 10th when the caution waved again on lap 179. This time, Rogers called Hemric back to pit road to put on scuffed tires that had been used earlier in the race but had cooled after sitting in the pits.
Hemric restarted 18th with 16 laps to go and climbed back up to 15th by the time the checkered flag waved.
Ty Gibbs earned his fourth win of the season and the 11th for Joe Gibbs Racing. Brandon Jones ended the day 11th with Daniel Hemric 15th and Burton 34th.
Daniel Hemric, Driver of the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra What happened with the accident at the start of the final stage? “I’m not really sure. I felt like the initial launch out of the restart box was fine. I had a good push there; I believe it was the 20 (Harrison Burton). I got down to (turns) one and two and I was able to run a decent amount of throttle, but I had to breathe it some because it was a little unstable. Then something happened, an aero shift with the 20 offset and I went plowing all of a sudden. I’d like to see the replay because I’m not sure if the 9 (Noah Gragson) could have cut me a break or didn’t. Not that I expect him to. I was just going straight and trying to pedal it to keep from crashing the whole field and I’m not sure how many cars got damage in it or if it was just me and him. That definitely put a damper on the day for sure. I thought we were capable of making the right adjustments to have a car capable of competing for the win. I just need to take some time to see what happened and why it happened and try to figure out how I can do better moving forward.” Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Martinsville Speedway next weekend for the penultimate race of the 2021 season. The race will be broadcast live Saturday, October 30, at 6 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. -JGR-