SPARTA, KY – Two of the hottest drivers in the NASCAR XFINITY Series over the last few months came up just short in Friday night’s Alsco 300 at the Kentucky Speedway. Heading into this weekend’s race on the 1.5-mile track, Daniel Hemric had seven straight top eight finishes and 12 over the last 14 races. Meanwhile, Cole Custer had his five race string top five finishes come to an end last weekend at Daytona, but over those same 14 races, Custer too had 12 top 10 finishes.
This weekend, they’ve been good too.
Hemric, was third in each of the two practice sessions on Thursday and qualified his No. 21 Chevrolet fifth. Custer, earned the pole for Friday night’s race and looked to be among the favorites as well.
Unfortunately, despite both showing flashes of contention in the race, neither were celebrating in victory lane.
Custer, led the first 14 laps but that was all as he had to settle for a fifth place run in his No. 00 Ford. Hemric, came alive in the second half of the race and had his Richard Childress Racing on the verge of victory as the race pushed on. He even passed Kyle Busch for the lead on Lap 144. But, he’d only lead eight total laps before he was passed by Justin Allgaier for the lead on Lap 152. He’d never lead again and would later get passed by Christopher Bell and came away with a second place run.
Both are in contention to win this year’s regular season points championship despite not winning a race all year long. That would be a remarkable feat for them because with a regular season title comes 15 playoff points. That’s an equivalent to three wins any how.