Hemric's promising run dries up in desert
ISM Raceway (Phoenix) March 7, 2020 Track Specs: 1-mile oval / 200 laps Weather: Partly cloudy; 84 degrees
No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet Camaro
Synopsis: Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 Poppy Bank Chevrolet, was battling for position inside the top 10 during the final stage of Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Phoenix Raceway before contact during a lap 142 restart sent the JR Motorsports Camaro into the wall. After briefly heading to pit road to see if repairs could be made, it was determined that the damage was too severe to continue, ultimately relegating Hemric with a 30th-place finish.
Stage One Finish: 11th
Taking the green flag for the 200-lap event in 12th, the Kannapolis, N.C. native maintained his track position inside the top 15 throughout the opening stage, despite reporting to crew chief Taylor Moyer that the Poppy Bank Chevrolet was loose rolling through the corner. Although not handling to his liking, Hemric took advantage of a lap 36 restart to race into the 11th position by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 45.
Stage Two Finish: 14th During the stage-ending caution, Moyer called the driver of the Poppy Bank Chevrolet to pit road for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of eliminating the loose-handling condition. Returning to the track following the stop in 15th, Hemric pressed forward, improving three positions to 12th before a caution with just six laps remaining in Stage Two provided Moyer with another opportunity to bring the 29-year-old driver to pit road for adjustments. However, due to a variety of strategies among the race leaders, Hemric lined up for the two-lap sprint to the end of the stage in 17th. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Hemric charged forward, utilizing the apron through the distinct dogleg at Phoenix to race into 14th as Stage Two came to a close on lap 90.
Final Stage: 30th Opting to stay out to begin the final stage, Hemric found himself sitting in 11th when the field went back to green on lap 99. Once underway Hemric again climbed the leaderboard, driving into the top 10 before the caution flag was displayed once again on lap 128. Moyer decided to utilize this caution period to bring the Poppy Bank Chevrolet back to pit road for the final set of fresh tires and another quick round of adjustments. Hemric remained in 10th following the stop but quickly drove up to eighth just before the field was slowed for another caution on lap 136.
On the ensuing restart, Hemric was battling three-wide for position inside the top 10 before contact in-between Turns 1 and 2 sent the Poppy Bank Chevrolet into the wall and sliding across the racetrack, badly damaging the left-front and right-rear fenders.
After initially bringing the car to pit road for repairs, the call was made for Hemric to take the Poppy Bank Chevrolet to the garage as the damage was too severe to continue, ending Hemric’s afternoon early.
As a result, Hemric was ultimately scored with a 30th-place finish.
“I hate it for all of these guys on this Poppy Bank team that we had some trouble today. We were making some good progress throughout the race and it’s just really unfortunate that our day had to get cut short. I just can’t thank all of these guys at JR Motorsports and on this No. 8 team enough. We’ll kick this bad luck, regroup and have a strong run next week in Atlanta.”