HEMRIC FINISHES THIRD AT MARTINSVILLE SPEEDWAY
Date: April 11, 2021 Event: Cook Out 250 (Round 7 of 33) Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series Location: Martinsville Speedway (.526-mile oval) Format: 250 laps (Stages: 60 laps / 60 laps / 130 laps) Start / Finish: 4th / 3rd (Running, 250 of 250 laps) Point Standing: 2nd (231 points, -46 points out of first)
Race Winner: Josh Berry Stage 1 Winner: Noah Gragson Stage 2 Winner: Daniel Hemric Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-60)
Daniel Hemric started fourth when the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway began on Friday night and finished 26th in stage one.
The No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra slipped back several positions early after Hemric was stuck in the unfavorable outside lane for the initial start and for the first two restarts of the race.
Eventually, Hemric worked his way into the top five prior to a caution on Lap 42 and claimed the fourth position shortly after that.
A caution with 10 laps remaining in the 60-lap stage presented teams the option to pit or stay out to maximize stage points. Crew chief Dave Rogers elected to bring the No. 18 Supra to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel and Hemric restarted 26th with five laps to go in the segment.
The Poppy Bank team finished the stage in 26th but vaulted all the way up to eighth after most of the cars in front of Hemric pitted between stages.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 61-120)
Hemric started eighth and won stage two.
The No. 18 Supra restarted eighth on Lap 68 and Hemric methodically picked his way through the pack to be scored third when the race was halted by rain on Lap 89.
Despite NASCAR’s best efforts, the rain forced the race to be delayed until Sunday afternoon.
Once the race resumed, Hemric chose to restart on the outside of the front row on Lap 97.
The Kannapolis, North Carolina native quickly grabbed the lead from Brandon Jones and held the top spot until a caution on Lap 106 presented another scenario of pitting for track position or staying out for track position. This time, Rogers and the Poppy Bank team elected to stay on track and Hemric led the closing laps of the segment to earn the team’s third stage win of 2021.
Following stage two, Hemric pitted for four tires and fuel. When many other teams stayed on track, the No. 18 Supra was scored 22nd.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 121-250)
Hemric started the final stage in 22nd and finished third in the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Martinsville Speedway.
After lining up 22nd to start the stage, Hemric made contact with another car during a checkup on the restart. The contact resulted in the Poppy Bank Supra suffering minor nose damage.
The setback was only temporary for Hemric as he patiently rallied his way back towards the front and found himself back up to 11th before a caution on Lap 176.
During the caution, Rogers called Hemric to pit road for his final set of fresh tires and fuel.
With 67 laps remaining, Hemric restarted 16th. When the caution waved again on Lap 205, he had charged all the way to seventh and was gaining on the leaders.
Hemric restarted ninth after choosing to be the fifth car in the inside lane with 40 laps to go.
The Poppy Bank Supra rejoined the top five on Lap 228 and Hemric bypassed teammate Ty Gibbs for third on Lap 236.
The No. 18 driver continued to close on the front two cars but simply ran out of time as he earned his fourth top-three finish in seven starts this season.
Hemric’s third-place run qualifies him for an opportunity to win a $100,000 bonus in the Xfinity Series’ Dash 4 Cash program at the next race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Hemric led once for 28 laps on the day. He ranks second in the Xfinity Series with 148 laps led so far this season.
The No. 18 team’s third-place finish led a strong day for Joe Gibbs Racing. Ty Gibbs finished fourth with Brandon Jones fifth and Harrison Burton seventh.
Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series is off again next weekend before traveling to Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, April 24. The race will be broadcast live at 4 p.m. ET on FOX, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.