Daniel Hemric Gateway 2016 Recap
Overcoming adversity early in the Drivin' For Linemen 200, Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) rallied to earn his second top-10 finish in two starts at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Spinning on lap 73 of the 160-lap event, Hemric and the No. 19 Draw-Tite team had the arduous task of fighting their way back to the front, ultimately earning a third-place finish and securing the team's third top five and seventh top-10 finish of 2016.
Following two solid practice sessions, Hemric's Draw-Tite Ford F-150 was given a 13th-place starting spot when rain washed out qualifying and the field was set per the NASCAR rule book. Hemric had worked his way up to the 10th position by the time the caution flag waved on lap 26.
With the team opting to stay off of pit road, Hemric was scored in the second position beside Brad Keselowski Racing teammate Tyler Reddick on the front row when the field went green.
Despite competitors behind him with four fresh tires, Hemric held strong in the top five, sitting in the fourth position when the Caution Clock expired on lap 66. Hemric reported to crew chief Chad Kendrick that he had fired off free at the beginning of the race, but his truck had come to him over the course of run. With consistently fast lap times, Kendrick only made one small air-pressure adjustment when Hemric visited pit road for four tires and fuel.
A quick stop put Hemric back on track in the eighth position when green-flag racing resumed on lap 71, with most competitors in front of him opting for a two-tire stop. With fresh Goodyear rubber and a full tank of fuel, Hemric was flying through the field, taking over the fifth position by the following lap. Carrying a ton of momentum, Hemric attempted to pass Reddick on lap 73, but air off his teammate's Ford F-150 disturbed his own, causing the Draw-Tite truck to spin. Fortunately, Hemric avoided making contact with his teammate or any other competitors, and he was quickly patched up over the course of fast stops on pit road.
On lap 150, a large, multi-truck accident unfolded at the front of the field, and when Hemric skillfully navigated through the mess, he found himself scored in the third position. Hemric endured one more caution period, which set up a two-lap sprint to the checkered flag, crossing the finish line in the third spot.