Bristol Motor Speedway
June 1, 2020
Track Specs: .533-mile oval / 303 laps Weather: Clear; 61 degrees
No. 8 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro
Daniel Hemric, driver of the No. 8 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet, overcame a pit road penalty at the completion of Stage One to charge back through the field, ultimately improving 17 positions over the final two stages and taking the checkered flag in sixth in Monday evening’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Bristol Motor Speedway. The top-10 result is Hemric’s third-consecutive top-10 finish and his fourth in the last five NXS races.
Stage One Finish: 5th
Hemric took the green flag for the 300-lap event at “The Last Great Colosseum” from the eighth position after the starting lineup was once again set via a blind draw earlier in the week. Once underway, the driver of the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet battled inside the top 10, racing up to as high as seventh before reporting to crew chief Taylor Moyer that his JR Motorsports Camaro was tight rolling through the corner. Despite not handling to his liking, Hemric took advantage of the inside line following a lap 61 caution period to race into the top five and up to the fifth position by the time the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 85. The top-five stage-ending result earned Hemric six stage points.
Stage Two Finish: 7th
During the stage-ending caution, Moyer called Hemric to pit road for tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the tight-handling condition. However, a speeding penalty in section four while on pit road forced the Kannapolis, N.C. native to start Stage Two from the rear of the field. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Hemric pressed forward, needing just 15 laps to race back into the top 15. The driver of the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet’s ascent up the leaderboard didn’t stop there, as Hemric rejoined the top 10 on lap 136 and drove up to the seventh position on lap 167. The JRM driver remained there through the final 18 laps of Stage Two and earned an additional four valuable stage points, bringing Hemric’s race total up to 10.
Final Stage: 6th
Moyer once again called Hemric to pit road prior to the start of the third and final stage for four tires and another round of adjustments after the 29-year-old driver reported that he was still struggling rolling through the corner. The 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year exited pit road following the stop in sixth but quickly moved forward, racing back into the top five on lap 186 and remaining there until a lap 246 caution provided Moyer with one last opportunity to bring the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet to pit road. Following a quick four tire stop, Hemric lined up for the lap 255 restart in fifth and continued to fight for position in and around the top five until the final caution of the evening was displayed on lap 295, setting up NASCAR’s version of overtime.
On the ensuing restart, Hemric raced hard with Harrison Burton and Myatt Snider before taking the checkered flag in the sixth position.
The result is Hemric’s third consecutive top-10 finish and his 11th in his last 13 NXS starts dating back to Richmond Raceway in September of 2018.
“We fought hard tonight with our South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet. Taylor (Moyer, crew chief) and all the guys on this No. 8 team for JR Motorsports worked really hard all day long and I can’t thank them enough. We made gains throughout the night tonight and hopefully we can keep heading in the right direction on Saturday in Atlanta. I’m looking forward to getting down there and seeing if we can keep this positive momentum on our side.”