Hemric Earns Top-Five Finish in Eldora Speedway Debut

Rookie stripes could not hold back Daniel Hemric from an impressive showing in his dirt track debut, as the 24-year-old came from deep in the field in a wild, caution-filled race to finish in the top five. After lining up in the 17th position for the start of the 1-800-Car-Cash Mud Summer Classic, Hemric quickly battled to the front and fought fiercely with seasoned dirt veterans to finish fifth at Eldora Speedway.

 

Utilizing the day's two practice sessions to acclimate to the clay racing surface of the half-mile oval, Hemric laid down the 12th-fastest lap in the single-truck qualifying session, which set the field for five qualifying races. A fourth-place finish in the preliminary event put the California Clean Power Chevrolet in the 17th position for the drop of the green flag, which came after the traditional four-wide fan salute. Hemric quickly gained positions despite a slew of cautions and short green-flag runs, cracking the top 10 by lap 25. Hemric was scored eighth when the opening 60-lap segment concluded, and the young driver informed crew chief Ryan McKinney that the No. 14 was a little snug in the center and could use some help getting off the corners straighter. The NTS Motorsports team provided Hemric with four tires and a right-rear shock adjustment before he returned to the track in the ninth position. Informing his crew that his forward bite was better following his pit stop, Hemric was sixth on the scoring pylon when the final 40-lap segment began. A flurry of yellow flags and wild, four-wide restarts caused Hemric to drop as far back as 12th on lap 134, and the Rookie of the Year contender was ninth when a caution set up the field for a green/white/checkered finish. In the closing two laps, Hemric utilized the bottom line and fearlessly raced the slick track, sliding into the fifth position just before crossing the finish line.

 

Daniel Hemric on Eldora Speedway

"I am pumped. Coming into this race, I really didn't know what to expect, but we had a really good California Clean Power Chevrolet from the time we unloaded. By the time the green flag flew, I felt like we were where we wanted to be. I didn't know how it was all going to play out at the end, because those restarts were all pretty wild, but I was able to get a really good restart when it mattered most. There were a lot of extremely talented racers in the field tonight that don't normally compete in the [NASCAR] Camping World Truck Series, and it was so much fun to race against them. I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about dirt racing before I got to Eldora, but this was such a great experience and the crowd was unbelievable. I have to thank all the fans who came out to support this kind of racing and who allow NASCAR to have such a cool event and venue for our series. "

 

Hemric moves up to seventh in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Driver Point Standings, just 13 points outside the top five. The Truck Series returns to asphalt next weekend at Pocono Raceway. The Pocono Mountains 150 airs live on FOX Sports 1 on Saturday, August 1 at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

NTS Motorsports PR

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Steven B. Wilson

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