Late Wreck Prevents Victory for Hemric
Late Accident Leaves Daniel Hemric 30th at Atlanta
Date: July 10, 2021
Event: Credit Karma Money 250 (Round 18 of 33)
Series: NASCAR Xfinity Series
Location: Atlanta Motor Speedway (1.54-mile quad-oval)
Format: 163 laps (Stages: 40 laps / 40 laps / 83 laps)
Start / Finish: 2nd / 30th (Running, 164 of 164 laps)
Point Standing: 3rd (636 points, -112 points out of first)
Race Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 1 Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 2 Winner: Kyle Busch
Stage 1 Recap (Laps 1-40)
Daniel Hemric started Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway from the second position and finished fourth in stage one.
After lining up in the outside lane for the green flag, Hemric spun his tires on the initial start and slipped back to ninth before recovering to sixth by the time the competition caution waved on lap 21.
Hemric chose to restart in fourth when the race resumed with 16 laps remaining in the first stage. He managed to hold on to the fourth position through the end of the segment on lap 40.
Crew chief Dave Rogers called his driver to pit road between stages for four fresh tires, fuel, and a pair of minor chassis adjustments. The Poppy Bank team gained Hemric two positions on pit road to move the No. 18 Supra up to second.
Stage 2 Recap (Laps 41-80)
Hemric started third and finished fifth in stage two.
The Poppy Bank Supra continued to run amongst the lead group throughout the second stage.
After restarting sixth with 14 laps to go in the segment, Hemric gained a position to close out stage two in the fifth position.
Between stages, Rogers called Hemric back to pit road for four fresh tires, fuel and to undo the previous track bar adjustment. The No. 18 crew once again gained their driver a spot on pit road and Hemric picked up an additional position after a penalty for another driver.
Stage 3 Recap (Laps 81-164)
Hemric started the final stage in the second position and finished 30th in Saturday’s race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
The Poppy Bank Supra remained in the top five early in the final stage until a caution on lap 97 presented the dilemma whether to pit as teams only had two fresh sets of tires for the final stretch of the race. The No. 18 team ultimately chose to pit for four tires and fuel while several cars elected to stay on track in hopes of saving their tires for later in the race.
Hemric restarted 12th on lap 102 and rocketed to fourth after only one lap and found his way into the lead for the first time on lap 105. He held the lead until another caution on lap 119 set up the same decision as the previous caution. Rogers called Hemric to pit road for the team’s final set of fresh tires and fuel to go the remainder of the race.
The Poppy Bank Supra restarted fourth with 39 laps to go and Hemric grabbed the lead within one lap. As the laps counted down, Hemric began slowly stretching his advantage over Kyle Busch. The No. 18 driver maintained the lead until a caution on lap 147.
With the team out of fresh tires, Rogers opted to give Hemric a set of tires with only 10 laps on them instead of keeping him on track with much older tires.
Hemric restarted second on lap 148 and reclaimed the lead before another quick caution slowed the race.
With six laps to go, Hemric restarted as the leader with Busch in tow. As the field raced towards turn one, an ill-timed push from Busch sent the No. 18 Supra up the track and into the outside wall. The resulting damage relegated Hemric to a 30th-place finish.
Hemric led three times for 45 laps – all during the final stage.
Busch’s win extended his Xfinity Series record to 102 victories. Joe Gibbs Racing driver Harrison Burton ended the day 24th with Hemric 30th and Brandon Jones 39th.
Next Up: The NASCAR Xfinity Series heads north to Loudon, New Hampshire next week for the annual visit to New Hampshire Motor Speedway. The race will be broadcast live Saturday, July 17, at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, PRN Radio and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio.