Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) was met by a great deal of adversity despite his speed in the first short-track race of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season.
Hoping to leave Martinsville Speedway with a grandfather clock and a spot in the Chase, a pit-road penalty and a flat tire set back the No. 19 California Clean Power team early in the race, ultimately resulting in a disappointing 22nd-place finish.
Taking the green flag from the 17th position, Hemric quickly advanced into the top 15, but found that his Ford F-150 was tight off the corners, making passing a challenge. The California Clean Power crew had its first opportunity to improve the handling of their machine when the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 43 with Hemric scored in the 13th position. A quick stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment put Hemric in the top 10 for the lap-51 restart, but he dropped to the 14th spot by the second caution on lap 93.
With his driver reporting that he was still tight off and had less lateral security, crew chief Chad Kendrick took a big swing at the No. 19 truck, once again calling for four tires and chassis adjustments. Unfortunately, Hemric was cited for pitting outside the box and was assessed a one-lap penalty, relegating him to the 24th position.
Anxious to fight back to the lead lap and compete for the win, Hemric was racing hard for the free pass on lap 130 when his left-front tire went down due to a broken valve stem, forcing him to visit pit road under green.
Now scored in the 25th position and three laps down, the No. 19 team was at the mercy of the yellow flag, requiring several perfectly-timed cautions to return to the lead lap. Although the California Clean Power F-150 was now making extremely competitive laps and avoiding the plague of accidents in the closing stages of the race, Hemric was only able to make up one lap before time ran out, crossing the finish line in the 22nd position.