Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) fought the handling of his Blue Gate Bank Ford F-150 for the duration of the Lucas Oil 150, challenged by a lack of rear grip for much of the event. Despite aggressive adjustments on pit road and savvy pit strategy, Hemric still struggled, scoring a 13th-place finish at Phoenix (Avondale, Ariz.) International Raceway.
After taking the green flag from the 15th position, Hemric quickly reported to crew chief Chad Kendrick that his Blue Gate Bank Ford F-150 had fired off very free. He pitted under the second caution on lap 13 for four tires and adjustments to his truck and topped off the fuel tank with one to go before the restart on lap 22.
Hemric restarted in the 30th position, and several cautions in quick succession initially impeded his ability to feel out his Ford F-150's handling. When the field finally had a long green-flag run, Hemric was able to report that he was still experiencing a lack of rear grip and loss of forward drive.
Having worked his way up to the 16th position by the time the yellow was displayed on lap 65, Hemric brought his truck in for service under caution. Kendrick called for right-side tires and adjustments, and Hemric restarted sixth when the race went green on lap 73.
Unfortunately Hemric quickly lost the track position he'd gained due to a lack of rear grip. The next caution came on lap 78, and Kendrick once again called Hemric to pit road, this time for left-side tires and adjustments. The team was penalized for too many men over the wall, which meant Hemric would restart in 18th position at the tail end of the field. Hemric had to fight his way through slow and damaged trucks at the rear of the field, which slowed his progress in passing trucks for position.
He was able to advance up to the 15th position by lap 100, reporting to his crew that he was still free off the brake but had also developed a tight condition in the center of the corners. Opting not to make any additional pit stops in the closing laps, Hemric did all he could to pick off as many positions as possible, ultimately advancing up to 13th before the wave of the checkered flag.