UNEXPECTED DRIVES IN RCR CUP CARS AT CHARLOTTE ROAD COURSE TEST AND AT KANSAS IN A STANDBY ROLE FOR PAUL MENARD ON “BABY WATCH” HIGHLIGHTS WEEK.
October 24, 2017
The week began with the team calling to request Daniel Hemric drive the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series # 31 Chevrolet Tuesday and Wednesday in the first Goodyear tire test on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.
The 2.42-mile, 18-turn circuit made up of most of the original 1.5-mile track and the infield road course will be used in the 2018 MENCS and Xfinity Series’ Playoffs.
“Obviously, being my first time in (a Cup car), you’re trying to be aware of what you’re doing yourself,” Hemric said. “But to be able to lean on those guys, have the same thoughts as them, really collaborate with NASCAR and the race track to figure out where we should place those chicanes and all that stuff. I feel like we’ve made a lot of progress working as a group.” Daniel Hemric
On Friday arriving at Kansas Speedway, Richard Childress asked Hemric to be on standby to drive the #27 Chevrolet in Sunday’s race in the event Paul Menard returned home to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
“Daniel did a really good job for us at the (Charlotte) test and I want him to be there if Paul must go home. We’re going to put him in the (#27) in final practice.” Richard Childress
Hemric drove the #27 Menard’s Chevrolet in Saturday’s final Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series practice, but was not called upon for Sunday’s race. (Maybe Martinsville weekend?)
In Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300 Xfinity Series race, Daniel Hemric qualified the #21 Blue Gate Chevrolet 10th and scored important stage points earning 9th in both of the first two stages. Then in the final round from the 8th position on lap 140, a miscue during a yellow flag pit stop caused NASCAR to assess the #21 team penalties. For “Car pitting out of the assigned pit box,” the #21 was put one lap down to the leaders and had to restart at the tail end of the field. Daniel was able to race up to the “lucky dog” position, but didn’t get a caution to be put back on the lead lap and finished 18th.
“I’ll take the blame on that one. I struggled getting into the pit box all day and getting the Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet pointed the right way. I put some rear brake into it and just got too aggressive. I was trying to get all I could get and overstepped it. It put us in a bad spot for the pit stop, and the car was over the line. The guys already had the right-front tire off the car and put the sticker tire on before we backed up. We got penalized a lap for that. It was not ideal. We fought through and passed a bunch of cars at the end, but we got trapped a lap down and never got the caution we needed. The name of the game is pressure, and you have to rise up. Today we didn’t do that. I did not do that. I’ve just got to do better, and we’ll be fine moving forward.” Daniel Hemric
The second of three races in final Playoff round to determine the four drivers contending for the Xfinity Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway will take place Saturday November 4th at Texas Motor Speedway beginning at 8:30 PM eastern and televised on the NBC Sports Network.
The Xfinity Championship Playoff Round of Eight standing after the Kansas race is as follows:
Justin Allgaier, 3066 points
William Byron, 3064 points
Elliott Sadler, 3055 points
Brennan Poole, 3038 points
Matt Tifft, 3033 points
Ryan Reed, 3032 points
Daniel Hemric, 3032 points
Cole Custer, 3030 points