Hemric Finishes Fifth in Xfinity Series Playoff Opener at Las Vegas
Date: September 25, 2021
Event: Alsco Uniforms 302 (Round 27 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Las Vegas Motor Speedway (1.5-mile tri-oval)
Format: 201 laps (Stages: 45 laps / 45 laps / 111 laps)
Start / Finish: 7th / 5th (Running, 201 of 201 laps)
Point Standing: 5th (2061 points, -32 points out of first)
Race Winner: Josh Berry
Stage 1 Winner: AJ Allmendinger
Stage 2 Winner: Justin Allgaier
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-45)
· Daniel Hemric started seventh in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and finished second in stage one.
· The Poppy Bank Toyota Supra steadily climbed forward in the opening laps of Saturday’s race. On lap 12, Hemric cracked the top five and he found his way up to third before the competition caution on lap 26.
· Following a restart on lap 41, Hemric made his way into the runner-up position after passing Austin Cindric.
· The No. 18 team ultimately ended the stage in the second position.
· Between stages, crew chief Dave Rogers called Hemric to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and a chassis adjustment. A great pit stop by the Poppy Bank team won the race off pit road, but Hemric ended up third after two cars opted not to pit.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 46-90)
· Hemric started fourth and finished fifth in stage two.
· The No. 18 Supra slipped back after a lap-60 restart where Hemric was pinned to the inside while several cars used the favorable outside lane to move ahead.
· Hemric dropped back to seventh at one point but regained his momentum and rejoined the top five.
· He was credited with fifth when the segment ended on lap 90.
· Rogers brought Hemric back to pit road between stages for four tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 91-201)
· Hemric started the final stage in the second position and finished fifth in Saturday’s race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· The team’s previous adjustment made Hemric’s Supra too tight in the initial stint of the final segment. He was scored sixth when a caution on lap 121 brought teams to pit road again. The Poppy Bank team pitted for four fresh tires, fuel and another chassis adjustment.
· Hemric restarted fifth with 76 laps remaining in the race and fell to sixth. He spent much of the final run in the sixth position until making a green-flag pit stop on lap 176.
· The Poppy Bank Supra was scored fifth following the pit stop and Hemric held on to score his 10th top-five finish of the season.
· Hemric’s fifth-place finish was his third consecutive top-five effort at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
· Hemric’s top-five finish led Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday’s race. Brandon Jones ended the night sixth with Harrison Burton 10th and Ty Gibbs 11th.
Daniel Hemric, Driver of the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra
How was your race overall tonight?
“We had a very strong car. We were probably better earlier when the sun was out and the track was the hottest. We had made pretty big strides on our Poppy Bank Toyota Supra from the spring race in those conditions. We just lost it some whenever the track went to that weird stage of half shade, half not. I was tight on one end and loose in the other. I was elbows up and almost busted my tail a couple times trying to get too much and had to settle in and let Dave Rogers (crew chief) tune on it. Once we got completely dark there, I thought the balance came to me and we would be good for two or three laps, and I would have to settle in for 10 to 15 and that cost me too much time to the leader. I feel like I could take off and turn better at the end of the run than most of the guys. We just always struggled with a little bit of rear grip no matter what. Good, strong first Playoff showing for us though.”
How do you feel after the first Playoff race for the Xfinity Series?
“You never know what’s going to happen, so we just have to keep grinding it out. You have to maximize your day and let the cards fall how they’re going to. We have really fast Supras and everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, first of all thanks for getting us here to the Playoffs. Hopefully, we can keep running well here and get some checkers before the end of the season.”
Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Alabama next weekend for racing at Talladega Superspeedway. The race will be broadcast live Saturday, October 2, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.