CONCORD, NC – Daniel Hemric had his sights set on a weekend sweep of the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL. The Richard Childress Racing driver was promoted to a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series ride on Friday and he showed out to prove that he’s worthy of a top ride in the series despite not scoring a win in the NASCAR XFINITY Series yet.
But, that looked like that could end on Saturday though.
Hemric, had a fast No. 21 Chevrolet. He was second, fourth, second and first respectively in the four practice sessions this weekend. He qualified his car on the front row for Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 200.
Seemed like a legitimate favorite right?
He was for 45 of the 55 laps.
Hemric, took over the lead on Lap 13 when leader Austin Cindric spun. He’d win the opening stage of the race. In the second stage, he pitted early to position himself nicely for the final 25 laps. It worked too. He was in the top five running in second place in the closing laps.
Unfortunately, he wheel hopped the infield grass section on the front stretch and ended up in the grass. That’s a stop and go penalty on the track. It sent him from second to 15th with only 10 laps to make up for it.
He would do so, but only get to 10th for his 18th top 10 finish of the season. While it cost him a shot at his first win, he’s still +30 in the playoff standings as the top wildcard driver with one race left in the opening round.
Now, can he make up for it on Sunday?
Hemric, has one Cup Series start under his belt but a win could certainly be in the cards. He was fourth and second respectively in the first two practice sessions of the weekend on the 2.28-mile ROVAL and qualified his No. 8 Chevrolet 11th.
That sounds like a sleeper to me.