Flat Tire Derails Strong Run for Hemric in Home-Track Debut

Daniel Hemric appeared to have momentum on his side after a top-10 finish at Kansas Speedway last week, topping his career-best start with a top-five starting berth at his home track. Unfortunately, a flat tire with the white flag in sight caused Hemric to hit the outside wall, damaging the No. 14 California Clean Power Chevrolet Silverado and resulting in a 17th-place finish in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) event at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

 

After laying down the third-fastest lap in the weekend's opening practice session, Hemric's NTS Motorsports entry advanced to the final round of knockout qualifying, earning a career-best fifth-place starting spot. Following the wave of the green flag, the Kannapolis native quickly relayed that he was too tight in the center and on exit, dropping to the 12th spot. A caution flag on lap 21 would allow Hemric and his crew to make their first swing at adjustments. Crew chief Ryan McKinney called for four tires, fuel and a spring-rubber adjustment, and fast work by the crew gained Hemric three spots on pit road. Restarting on lap 26, the Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender still struggled with a tight-off condition, but McKinney promised his driver that the No. 14 crew would take another swing at it. The yellow flag waved on lap 64 with Hemric in the 10th spot, and the NTS Motorsports team provided him with four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Once again, the pit crew picked up spots on pit road, with Hemric returning to the track in ninth. The California Clean Power Chevy was considerably better on the next run as a result of those adjustments, and when Hemric visited pit road for the final time on lap 106, he asked for "a little more of that." With four fresh tires, fuel and an additional track-bar adjustment, Hemric took the green flag from the ninth position on lap 110. Hemric initially appeared to be on his way to a top-10 finish, but 20 laps later, a right-side tire began to go down, ultimately going flat and sending Hemric into the outside wall on lap 134. Suffering minor damage, the 24-year-old brought his California Clean Power machine to pit road for right-side tires. Restarting from the tail end of the longest line for the Green/White/Checkered restart, Hemric did not have enough laps to recover, crossing the finish line in the 17th position.

 

Daniel Hemric on Charlotte Motor Speedway

"Taking the green flag at Charlotte Motor Speedway, my home track, was really special. This was certainly not the way I hoped tonight would end, but we have a lot to be proud of this weekend. We had a very fast California Clean Power Chevrolet in practice and qualifying, but when the race started we were tight in the center and on exit. We kept getting better all night, to the point where we were going to be solidly inside the top 10, but we had some issues there at the end. I could feel my right-front tire starting to go down a little, and I thought I'd be able to nurse it home, but it just went flat when I was getting into Turn 1 and I got up into the fence. I hate it for my NTS Motorsports guys and everyone at California Clean Power. We had awesome pit stops tonight; we gained spots every single time we stopped. We're getting stronger each week, and we're getting really close to being able to put together a win. "

 

Hemric moves up to 10th in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings, nine points behind ninth place. The Truck Series takes one week off before returning to the track at Dover International Speedway. The Lucas Oil 200 airs live on FOX Sports 1 on Friday, May 29 at 5:30 p.m. EDT.

NTS Motorsports PR

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