Daniel Hemric Chicagoland 2016 Recap
With a career-best finish of second at Chicagoland Speedway, Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) locked himself and his No. 19 Draw-Tite Ford F-150 team into the inaugural NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) Chase. Earning his fourth-consecutive top-five finish, Hemric tied William Byron for the NCWTS driver point championship standings lead and will be seeded seventh when the field resets next weekend at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
After laying down the fastest lap in the weekend's final practice session, Hemric earned himself a 10th-place starting position in knockout qualifying on Friday afternoon. Hemric quickly jumped to seventh after the wave of the green flag, but it was not long before he discovered that he had no grip in the front tires. Although he was able to work his way into the top five by lap 11, Hemric had dropped back to seventh by the time the Caution Clock expired for the first time on lap 47. Reporting to crew chief Chad Kendrick that he had lost overall lateral grip, his Brad Keselowski Racing team provided him with four tires, fuel and both track-bar and air-pressure adjustments before sending him back onto the racetrack in the 10th position.
Green-flag racing resumed on lap 51, and Hemric immediately assessed that the changes made on pit road did not improve the handling of his Draw-Tite Ford F-150. In the 12th position when the yellow flag waved for an accident on lap 84, Hemric once again brought his machine to pit road, receiving four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments.
Taking the green flag from the ninth position, Hemric reported that he now had lateral grip back in his Ford F-150, but was lacking front turn. Running 13th when the yellow flag was displayed on lap 106, Kendrick called his driver to pit road for one final pit stop, opting for four sticker tires, fuel and a final track-bar adjustment.
Hemric returned to the track in the 15th position, as many of the competitors in front of him opted for two tires instead of four, but with fresh rubber under him, Hemric navigated up to the third spot by the time an accident brought out the yellow on lap 138.
The yellow flag was displayed two more times in quick succession, and a strong final restart allowed him to move into the second spot. Hemric challenged the leader for the win on the final overtime restart, but ultimately crossed the finish line in the second position, earning his career-best NCWTS finish.
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