By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
A mistake behind the wheel Saturday at Dover International Speedway kept Daniel Hemric away from an elusive first career victory.
The NASCAR Xfinity Series driver won the second stage, and immediately lost everything.
With limited cautions, Hemric found it tough to move though the field in his No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet Camaro SS. On the final restart, he battled fellow Playoff drivers Brandon Jones and Austin Cindric, as well as part-time drivers John Hunter Nemechek and Spencer Gallagher. Hemric hardly gained position, passing Cindric, while slipping behind Jones on the final restart.
He took the checkered flag in seventh.
After winning the second stage of the Bar Harbor 200, Hemric was busted for speeding on pit road. On the high-banked, concrete oval, track position is king. The penalty dropped Hemric from the lead to the tail-end of the longest line, the last car on track. With a long green flag run, Hemric slowly made his way back into the top-10 before his run slowed.
“I’ll evaluate my pit road deal,” Hemric explained. “It’s unacceptable. I’ll apologize to everyone back at RCR, ECR, Chevrolet for my mistake. I thought I was being careful, but apparently not. Once again, two weeks in a row, it’s on me. I’ve got to clean a lot of things up on my end to really give this race team what they deserve.
“What a racecar. To sit on the pole, be that good at the end of the stage, win a stage, says a lot about where this South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet is. Good thing is we get a week off I guess to get my mental state a little bit better because what I’ve done the past two weeks is unacceptable.”
After the reseeding for the Round of Eight, Hemric is now third on the Playoff Grid. He is 31-Points behind Championship Points Leader, and race winner, Christopher Bell. Hemric is also just two points ahead of the cutoff, currently held by Cole Custer.
The seventh-place finish is the 19th top-10 finish for Hemric this season. He also earned his third pole position of the season at Dover.