Hemric charges to finish third
HEMRIC TURNS IN A STRONG THIRD-PLACE RUN AT THE DAYTONA ROAD COURSE
Date: February 20, 2021
Event: NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona (Round 2 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Daytona Road Course (3.61-mile road course)
Format: 52 laps (Stages: 15 laps / 15 laps / 22 laps)
Start / Finish: 5th / 3rd (Running, 56 of 56 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (75 points, -30 points out of first)
Race Winner: Ty Gibbs
Stage 1 Winner: Austin Cindric
Stage 2 Winner: Ty Gibbs
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-15)
Daniel Hemric started Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Daytona Road Course from the rear of the field and finished 22nd in the first stage.
After a technical inspection infraction dropped the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra to the back to start the race, Hemric patiently moved his way forward and climbed into the top 15 after only nine laps.
When the caution waved on Lap 11, crew chief Dave Rogers called Hemric to pit road for four fresh tires and fuel while many other cars remained on track. The strategy by the No. 18 team dropped the Poppy Bank Supra to 23rd for the ensuing restart on Lap 14.
Over the final two laps of stage one, Hemric was logjammed in traffic and only made it up to 22nd before the green-checkered flag waved at the end of Lap 15.
Rogers kept Hemric on track between stages and moved the No. 18 Supra into the top 10 when cars who had not pitted earlier finally made their pit stops.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 16-30)
Hemric started ninth and finished third in stage two.
As the second stage ran green, the Poppy Bank Supra picked off positions the longer the run wore on. After moving into the top five on Lap 24, Hemric bypassed the third and fourth-place drivers in the closing laps of the segment to wind up third when the stage ended on Lap 30.
Following the stage, Hemric and most of the other leaders pitted for four fresh tires and fuel. A quick pit stop by the No. 18 crew moved him ahead of the top-two drivers.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 31-56)
Hemric started second in the final stage and finished third in Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at the Daytona Road Course.
The No. 18 Supra ran third for the early portion of the final stage before several cars passed Hemric and put him sixth as the laps clicked away.
The Kannapolis, North Carolina native continued to run sixth until a caution on Lap 50 brought Hemric and many other drivers to pit road.
Despite the majority of the frontrunners pitting, 10 cars opted to remain on track with older tires and put the first car on new tires in 11th for an overtime restart.
On the first overtime restart, Hemric made up multiple spots in the first set of corners and was scored sixth when the caution waved for a multi-car accident.
The Poppy Bank Supra made similar moves on the final restart as Hemric navigated his way around slower cars and up to third for his first top-five finish of the season.
Ty Gibbs led a strong effort by Joe Gibbs Racing as the 18-year-old driver won in his first career NASCAR Xfinity Series start. Hemric was third and their teammates Brandon Jones and Harrison Burton finished fourth and sixth, respectively.
Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra
Can you describe those last few laps?
“You don’t want to be on the top – I know that. I was the fortunate guy. I stared 13th in the first green-white-checkered. We were in fourth or fifth coming off of turn two. I thought we were going to line up in fifth on the last one, and something happened with the lineup and we got shuffled to sixth before we got to the green. It was very late notice. You have two rows of old tires in front of us. The guys in front of you spin the tires. I ducked right and put myself into three-wide coming into turn one. That was probably a poor move on my part, honestly, but I’m proud of these guys, everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing, TRD and Toyota that supports us, everyone at Poppy Bank. Man, I want that one decision back. We will lick our wounds and carry on.”
Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series travels to Homestead-Miami Speedway for next weekend’s race at the 1.5-mile oval. The race will be broadcast live Saturday, February 27 at 4:30 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.