After running 13th in a rain-delayed practice session, Hemric laid down the 14th-fastest lap in the second round of knockout qualifying. Taking the green flag for the Kroger 250, Hemric immediately found that his No. 14 California Clean Power Silverado was tight to throttle as his Goodyear Eagles built pressure under low temperatures. When the first caution flag waved on lap 35, crew chief Ryan McKinney called Hemric to pit road for four tires, fuel and a spring rubber. Unfortunately, Hemric was cited for driving too fast while entering pit road, and the 24-year-old was forced to restart from the tail end of the longest line. Mired in the 23rd position, Hemric continued to battle the handling of his Chevrolet Silverado, working his way up to 17th before he was lapped by the leader on lap 120. A yellow flag on lap 143 was the first in a string of cautions, and it allowed the California Clean Power machine to visit pit road once again for four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments. Despite five cautions within 44 laps, it wasn't until lap 216 that Hemric would be named as the beneficiary, putting him back on the lead lap. Scored in the 15th position but at the back of the pack, Hemric had to battle his way through traffic, advancing to the 12th position before a yellow flag reset the field for a green/white/checkered finish. Despite his best efforts in the closing laps, a bottleneck on the restart prevented the No. 14 California Clean Power Chevy from gaining any more positions, and Hemric ultimately took the checkered flag in 12th, matching his career-best finish.
Daniel Hemric on Martinsville Speedway:
"I'm really proud of my team and everyone at NTS Motorsports. I can't help but be a little disappointed; we should have had at least a top-10 finish today. We struggled a bit in the beginning; with the cooler temperatures and rubbered-up racetrack, it was just a little bit different than any conditions we practiced or tested in. Either way, we were looking at this weekend as a fresh start, and we're getting a lot closer to earning the finish we deserve. I can't thank everyone at California Clean Power and NTS Motorsports enough; there's a lot of people who make these races happen week in and week out. We've got a little time to regroup before Kansas, and I'm hoping that when we get back on track we can really give these guys a run for their money."
NTS Motorsports PR