Race Recap | Enjoy Illinois 300

No. 31 Poppy Bank Camaro ZL1
Daniel Hemric and the No. 31 Poppy Bank Camaro ZL1 qualified 28th for the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway. The first caution of the day came early on lap four, and Hemric pitted for a left-rear adjustment. Falling to 36th when the next caution came out on lap 18, Hemric radioed that he needed rear lateral in his No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevy. Crew Chief Trent Owens made the call for a major adjustment under caution, before Hemric went on to finish 35th in the opening stage. Continuing to make more adjustments to the No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevy, Owens made the call for ride-height adjustments for the start of the second stage. By lap 89, Hemric radioed that he lacked grip in his No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevy. As green-flag pit stops began, he made it as high as 10th place. A caution on lap 113 gave Hemric a lucky break, as he had not made his green-flag stop. During the caution, Hemric pitted for four tires and fuel, with the intention of staying out during the second stage break. He restarted 14th on lap 118. Just before the stage end, a caution came out, ending the second stage under caution. Hemric was scored 12th. Continuing with Owens’ plan, Hemric elected to stay out during the stage break and started the final stage from ninth place. He made it up to the eighth place, before cars with fresher tires put him back to 14th. As the final green-flag stops began, Hemric made it as high as seventh, before pitting on lap 184 for tires and fuel. The final stage stayed caution-free until the end, and Hemric finished 18th.
“I think we learned a lot collectively as a team today. Our Poppy Bank Chevy struggled early on, but Trent [Owens] kept plugging away and made great changes. We caught a lucky break during stage two, which gave us great track position to start the final stage. I’m proud of how much we improved throughout the day.”

– Daniel Hemric
No. 16 Kafka Conveyors Camaro ZL1
Derek Kraus and the No. 16 Kafka Conveyors Camaro ZL1 qualified 25th for the Enjoy Illinois 300 at World Wide Technology Raceway. Kraus and his No. 16 Kafka Camaro saw the first early caution of the day on lap four where he reported his car was handling well in turns three and four. Electing to stay out and restarting from the top row in 26th, Kraus would lose seven positions within a few short laps before bringing out the caution as the 15 car spun Kraus on lap 18 in the corner of turn three and four. Kraus reported his Chevrolet could not run the top line, as he was free and lacked grip. Kraus came down pit road for four tires, fuel, and damage assessment. Finding no significant damage, the No. 16 came down pit road a second time for a final check before restarting 35th. Kraus closed out the stage in 34th. During the stage break, Kraus reported his car was still free and lacked the grip to run the top line. Crew Chief Travis Mack elected to keep the No. 16 out to gain track position that saw Kraus restart sixth. On older tires than the majority of the field, the No. 16 lost 24 spots, as Kraus managed the car the best he could. Kraus pitted on lap 93 for fresh tires and fuel, putting the No. 16 one lap down in 35th. The third caution fell on lap 113, as Kraus reported his car was firing off better but loose on entry. He brought the Kafka Camaro down pit road for four tires and fuel, restarting 34th and one lap down. Kraus finished stage two under caution in 34th, earning the free pass to put him back on the lead lap. Settling into the final stage, the 16 would take 4 tires and fuel during the break, restarting 31st and on the lead lap. Running the final stage long, Kraus climbed as high as 10th while the field cycled under green flag stops. The No. 16 pitted with 18 laps to go for four tires and much needed fuel, falling to 32nd and one lap down. As the field took the checkard flag, Kraus finished 30th.
“It was a long day here at Gateway. I felt we had a better car than our results, however, I was never able to get the track position we needed or keep it when we did have it. I’m thankful for Kafka Conveyors and Kaulig Racing for the opportunity, and I look forward to having another shot towards the end of the year.”

– Derek Kraus

Kaulig Racing PR