Race 9: Richmond Raceway No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Daniel Hemric will return to the site of his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut for his second start at Richmond Raceway. Hemric completed 99.3 percent of the laps in his debut on April 21, 2018. In four NASCAR Xfinity Series starts at the Virginia short track, Hemric has an average start of 4.8, average finish of 9.8, a total of 85 laps led and one pole award.
Quotes from media session on 4/12 at Richmond:
IS THAT GOOD LUCK CHARM GOING TO WORK THIS WEEKEND?
“We’re going to find out; we have plenty of them. It’s cool to kind of posting that a joke and to see all the fans sending so many different, interesting gifts/lucky charms for us. It’s cool to see everybody react to that.”
HOW ARE YOU KEEPING YOUR SPIRIT UP DESPITE THE BAD LUCK YOU’VE EXPERIENCED THIS SEASON?
“It’s just been a matter to fall back on the things that got me through times like this in my life. This is definitely one of the harder moments because you kind of got to regroup and redo it all over again, so it’s such a quick timeframe. Some of the other series I’ve ran, you have more time to dwell or rebuild on whatever situation and so it’s kind of a good thing, bad thing. You have to turn it around really quick and flip it around. Juts the support group around me, my wife obviously first and foremost. She has seen me and dwelt with me through all stages of life and to get to this point, so leaning on her as well as the organization. They know the trials and things we’re going through and it’s not anything that any haven’t experienced before. It’s just been a little longer drawn out than we would want it to be. In the grand scheme of things, I’ve said that when the sun comes up you get another shot at it and that’s the way I’m approaching it.”
ARE YOU ACTUALLY GOING TO CARRY ANY OF THOSE OR HAVE ANY IN THE CAR?
“It’s more of a personal thing. I’ll keep stuff on me personally inside my locker inside the hauler. In the race car, I’ve always been a little weird about putting something in the car. One of the fans sent us eight different rabbits’ feet. We’ve given one out to the crew chief and engineer, myself, the truck driver. Just distributed them in a way that we felt that anybody who had a hand on the car they have one to carry with them and however they feel appropriate. So just trying to make a little lighthearted situation out of it, but they are kind of spread out throughout the team.”
HOW DID THIS MORNING GO?
“This morning was kind of a battle again. We unloaded not where we wanted to be but in the grand scheme in how the car drove and the feel I look for when I come to Richmond we got it fairly close. I’m sure a lot of guys are struggling with rear grip and trying to maximize that part of making a lap here. The mechanics of what I want to feel we got pretty close to where I want to be, so hopefully we can get qualifying in here and we can get a solid starting position. It’s just one of those things that I think short-track racing that we’ve all grown up doing with feels and things that lets you attack and make a difference and we went the right way to help us do that.”
WAS THE RABBITS’ FEET THE MOST INTERESTING GOOD LUCK CHARM YOU HAD?
“In all fairness, when I posted it it was what, Monday or Tuesday, and we left pretty early to come up here, so I haven’t gotten to see the full box of – from my understanding a huge box of stuff came in – as I left the shop the other day, so I can’t quite answer that until probably next week. I’m very interested to see what we all have received. Definitely a lot of items to say the least. I think the rabbits’ feet was the most interesting to date. There have been a couple lucky coins, just a whole bunch of stuff.”
HOW MUCH TO YOU LEAN ON AUSTIN FOR ADVICE OR HELP?
“Very heavily. I don’t look at Austin as just a teammate. He’s family to me. As a guy I watched him grow up and have been a part of some of his success and seen him have the success he’s had. He’s also had his own struggles at times and stuff that I’ve seen and witnessed with my own eyes. I guess it was after Texas I reached out after him as well as RC and asked them both, ‘Man, this is probably the bottom for me. I got to know which way to go here.’ They said just keep putting your best foot forward and leaning on guys like that who have experienced the same struggles at times and came out on the other side with success, that’s all the motivation you need. It’s no different with our boss RC and what he’s done with the company Richard Childress Racing. It wasn’t only everything hunky dory. It’s had its own struggles as well. A lot of knowledge inside our company that as long as they stay patient with me, they are giving me time to be patient with myself, and it’s helping I think turn the corner. It’s just a matter of seeing it actually result in results. Once we get to that point, I think we’ll be just fine.”
DO YOU SET THIS AS A GAUGE OF WHAT YOU’VE LEARNED SINCE (LAST YEAR AT RICHMOND)?
“Not really. To make my debut here we got in trouble early in the race and had some things happen that kind of put that race as a race from an on-track performance thing that I try to forget because on a personal level that’s one of the biggest moments of my life making my Cup debut here last year. From the racetrack standpoint, this is the place I have the most confidence coming to. This is my favorite racetrack out of anywhere we go. I feel like I know what I need, and I know what I want, and very verbal about what I want and what I need in my race cars. It’s a matter of whether or not we can get them there. Because of that, I feel like I have a ton of confidence when I’m asking for those kinds of changes. So, with all that being said, I can’t really use that as a benchmark based off my first race here in a Cup car. But as far as translating feel to feel in different series I’ve ran here at Richmond, I think I can use that as a benchmark to see what our Xfinity cars are from a raw standpoint to how they stacked up to us having success versus the Cup car and seeing how it changes. With this aero package, we’ve been to places where … but that’s such a variable to really know what you’re looking for. Coming here, when you’re fighting mechanic grip all night, all day, I think it’s a good way to judge what changes are what from series to series and that’s the benchmark for me.”
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING YOU GUYS NEED RIGHT NOW?
“For us, it’s been balance. We’ve been on both sides of it all year. At times, the speed has been fine. Just haven’t been able to maintain the balance throughout the course of an entire race. The racetracks are obviously going through a big change, but even when we’ve had the speed, I haven’t felt like me and my race car drives like a top-five or top-10 capable of car. We’ve had a couple of them where if everything went right Atlanta, maybe, could have been a top five. Probably our best finish of the year if things go right there, but outside of that one run we’ve probably had an 11th-, 12th-, 15th-place car at best when we had the balance as close as we could get it. Getting that balance better and then obviously figuring out what it takes to make speed with it, I wish we could kind of flip those things. I wish I had the balance and not the speed because I think the way these races have gone the balance has mattered more than the speed. It’s just something that we’re kind of evolving with as we figure out more and more about the package itself. And, obviously as a driver, myself and Austin have to be the leaders to trend this thing in the right direction. We’ve tried a couple of things the last couple weeks that have allowed us to hone in on that and hopefully that’s what we’re doing.”
Meet the Driver
Fans will have the opportunity to meet the driver of the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the RCR merchandise hauler for an autograph session on Saturday, April 13, starting at 3:15 p.m. ET. The first 50 fans to purchase an RCR-related item will receive a wristband for the autograph session.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America's premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's to create a "best-of-the-best" experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America's Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as "one of America's Best Employers." Bass Pro Shops has a long relationship with NASCAR, dating back to 1998. For more information, visit http://www.basspro.com/.