On Saturday afternoon, Daniel Hemric beat 41 contenders for the premier starting spot at Richmond International Raceway. The NASCAR XFINITY Series Rookie of the Year contender laid down a lap of 22.885 seconds to lock his No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet into the first starting position. This marks Hemric’s first-career pole award and follows a positive weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway where he won the Dash 4 Cash award by finishing fifth.
“I had momentum from last week at Bristol Motor Speedway and that carried over to this weekend. It’s all about chemistry and having a good relationship with this group of guys,” said Hemric. “Danny Stockman and I were able to sit down overnight and figure out what we needed to be better. The guys gave me a great car for qualifying and I’m proud of this entire team. It’s a good start for us and we’ll go try to finish this day off how it started.”
Hemric was able to keep the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Chevrolet at the front of the field to lead the opening 26 laps and qualified for the XFINITY Racing Dash 4 Cash bonus for the second week in a row.
Continually working on the handling of the car, Hemric survived a wild overtime restart to finish third when the checkered flag flew. The third-place finish was Hemric’s career-best result and second consecutive top-five finish.
“Man, we came up just short. I was hoping I’d have a shot at it, and I had a shot at it there at the end. It just didn’t work out,” said Hemric. “I thought I got about as good of a restart as I could and it just didn’t work out. I lined up on the top behind Justin Allgaier on the final restart there and I had a chance, that’s all you can ask for.
“At the end of the day, not winning the Dash 4 Cash was disappointing, but I’m so proud of these guys that work on the No. 21 Blue Gate Bank Camaro,” he said. “We fought so hard all weekend. We were good, then we got off, but we showed our heart and got it back to where it needed to be at the end of the race. Crew chief Danny Stockman made some great adjustments that allowed me to fire off well on the final restarts, but we just came up a little short.”