After ending the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series' (NCWTS) only practice session of the weekend in the 13th position, Hemric narrowly missed advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying, earning a 13th-place starting spot for the American Ethanol 200. Crazy opening laps led to the first yellow flag of the day being displayed on lap seven, with Hemric scored in the 14th spot after two close calls for contact in front of his Chevrolet Silverado. Hemric reported to crew chief Ryan McKinney and competition director Chris Rice that his California Clean Power Chevy was sliding the nose getting into the turns, but it was not until the third caution flag of the day waved on lap 42 that the team was in a window to visit pit road. Entering the pits in the 13th position, McKinney called for four tires, fuel and a spring-rubber adjustment. Because several competitors were on different pit strategies, Hemric returned to the track in the 19th spot for the lap-51 restart. While the No. 14 Silverado had improved slightly, the next long green-flag run proved that the truck was still too tight on entry. When the next caution finally waved on lap 122, Hemric had worked his way up to the 12th position. The NTS Motorsports crew called for four tires, fuel and both track-bar and wedge changes, maintaining their position despite the double adjustment. The California Clean Power Chevy was now scored a lap down after the leader passed Hemric on the previous green-flag run, but a caution on lap 152 would allow the young driver to remain on track and receive the wave around, putting him back on the lead lap for the lap-157 restart. Still battling a tight truck, as well as worn tires, the field was fortunately slowed by a yellow once again on lap 159, allowing the NTS Motorsports team to make the 'money stop' for four tires, fuel and another track-bar adjustment. The California Clean Power Chevy came alive in the closing 35 laps, with Hemric going from 12th to ninth in just three laps. Hemric took over the eighth position with just over 15 laps remaining, maintaining the spot until the checkered flag waved.
Daniel Hemric on Iowa Speedway
"I really can't thank everyone at NTS Motorsports enough; they made big swings at our California Clean Power Chevrolet all night and battled hard until the end. By that last run, we were extremely fast. With some more laps, I think we would have been up in the top five competing for the win. My first race at Iowa Speedway was definitely an experience. The track has a lot of character, which makes it fun to drive as a racer. I was really surprised that none of us were really able to make the high line work at all tonight; after watching the [NASCAR] K&N Pro Series East and [NASCAR] XFINITY Series running up on the wall, I figured the trucks would be able to as well, but I guess they punch too big of a hole in the air to really run the same way. This four-race stretch has been a lot of fun, and we've run so well. I hate that we have to take these next two weekends off when we have so much momentum. I can't wait to get to Kentucky."
Hemric remains eighth in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings, just one point behind seventh place. The Truck Series takes two weekends off before returning to action at Kentucky Speedway. The UNOH 225 airs live on FOX Sports 1 on Thursday, July 9 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
NTS Motorsport PR