After a disappointing finish at Daytona International Speedway, Daniel Hemric and NTS Motorsports were ready for retribution as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) returned to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time since 2012. It appeared that Hemric and his team would capture the good finish that had alluded them as the California Clean Power Chevrolet ran solidly in the top 15 and continuously gained speed as the laps wound down. Unfortunately, a fueling system malfunction prevented the No. 14 Silverado from being filled to capacity with fuel, causing Hemric to run out of gas and costing the team multiple laps and positions, ultimately resulting in a 19th-place finish.
In his first laps of practice around the 1.54-mile oval of Atlanta Motor Speedway, Hemric was able to get a feel for intermediate-track racing and the tire wear typical of the Georgia Track. After advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying, Hemric was relegated to the 12th starting position when 11 competitors did not make it to the start/finish line before the qualifying clock wound down. After taking the green flag, Hemric was still scored in the 12th position when the first caution flag of the evening waved on lap 12. Opting not to visit pit road, the team would have their first shot at adjustments on lap 19 when the yellow flag was displayed once again. Hemric informed crew chief Ryan McKinney that his truck was a little too free and lacking side bite, and the team serviced his Silverado with four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment. Hemric cracked the top 10 on lap 28 and was scored 11th when the third and final caution flag waved on lap 51. McKinney called for four tires, fuel and air-pressure and wedge adjustments, and a fast stop by the No. 14 crew put Hemric back on track in the ninth spot. The last round of adjustments gave Hemric the speed and grip he was lacking, and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year candidate was in the seventh position and gaining ground before misfortune struck on lap 98. Although the team calculated several more laps of fuel, Hemric reported that he was out of gas, diving to pit road a lap earlier than his scheduled green-flag pit stop. With precious time lost as the team filled the truck with fuel and Hemric re-fired the engine, nearly 20 positions and four laps were lost. The NTS Motorsports team did not give up despite the setback, and Hemric laid down lap times consistent with the top three. Picking off as many positions as he could before the wave of the checkered flag, Hemric ultimately crossed the finish line in 19th. Following the event, the team diagnosed that a malfunction with the dry disconnect prevented the truck from being filled to capacity and was ultimately responsible for the fuel shortage.
Daniel Hemric on Atlanta Motor Speedway:
"I feel very fortunate; we had a really fast California Clean Power Chevy and we made great adjustments to make the truck better and better all night. I had a lot of fun learning the track and figuring out what you need on the long run verses the short run and going from the day into night. I thought we had a really good balance in the last half of the race and I really thought we had a shot at a good finish; it just didn't work out. I was hoping that we were going to get the finish we deserved after how things went in Daytona. I hate it for my guys, they worked so hard. All of their calculations were right on and we should have been good for a couple more laps. You can't control it when something like that fails, but I'm just glad we figured out the problem. When something like that happens so late in the race and costs you that much time, it's pretty much impossible to overcome it, but I can't thank NTS Motorsports enough for giving me such a fast truck. Next we get to go to Martinsville and get back to short-track racing, which is where I feel most at home."
NTS Motorsports PR