Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) led his first laps of the 2016 season en route to a top-10 finish in the North Carolina Education Lottery 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race (NCWTS) at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Hemric ran inside the top five for a majority of the day, leading 15 laps in front of a hometown crowd before crossing the finish line in the ninth position. He is third in the series championship standings, 17 points behind the leader.
Running eighth fastest in the only practice session of the weekend, Hemric took the green flag from the fourth row after qualifying was canceled due to weather and the field was set per the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series rule book.
Immediately getting off to a strong start, Hemric worked his way up to the third position by lap three. Reporting to crew chief Chad Kendrick that his Draw-Tite Ford F-150 had great forward drive but was too tight, Hemric had the opportunity to bring his truck to pit road when the first caution flag of the day waved on lap 24. The No. 19 team provided Hemric with four tires, fuel and both air-pressure and track-bar adjustments, sending him back onto the track in the third spot.
Once green-flag racing resumed on lap 29, Hemric was able to close in on the leader on lap 41, leading his first lap of the 2016 season. After holding the point position twice for 15 laps, he relinquished the lead when his Draw-Tite machine began to tighten up on center and exit.
The expiration of the Caution Clock provided another opportunity to visit pit road on lap 68, and Hemric's vehicle was once again serviced with four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
Lining up fourth on the restart, Hemric initially fought his way into the second position, but an increasingly tight condition cost him positions on the racetrack.
Hemric was scored in the sixth position when the time came to pit under green on lap 119. The No. 19 Ford received a splash of gas and right-side tires, and with Hemric's team being one of the first to pit under green, the Kannapolis native had to work his way back through the field as pit stops cycled through.
Despite having one of the fastest trucks on the racetrack, a handful of trucks were able to opt out of the final pit stop, which put Hemric in the ninth position when the checkered flag waved.