Daniel Hemric was a strong contender in the Halloween showdown at Martinsville Speedway, running in the top 10 for much of the race and laying down lap times consistent with the leaders. Despite his NTS Motorsports team working on the No. 14 California Clean Power Chevrolet throughout the race to improve its handling, Hemric fought for lateral grip at the end of the event, ultimately finishing 12th in the Kroger 200.
Running seventh and 13th in the weekend's two practice sessions, Hemric laid down the fifth-fastest lap after making it to the final round of knockout qualifying. Taking the green flag from the third row, Hemric gained positions in the opening laps, but snug handling resulted in him slipping to ninth before the second caution flag of the day waved on lap 35. Visiting pit road for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment to free up his Silverado, Hemric emerged 15th for the lap-43 restart. Working his way back into the top 10 by lap 57, Hemric was scored sixth when the yellow flag was displayed on lap 74. Hemric broke into the top five on lap 83, but was lacking side bite as the run progressed, dropping back to 18th before a yellow on lap 122 would allow him to return to pit road for service. Reporting to crew chief Ryan McKinney that he was now "super free" and lacking forward drive, the NTS Motorsports crew provided Hemric with four tires, fuel and both track-bar and spring-rubber adjustments. Taking the green flag from the 18th spot, Hemric once again battled over real estate on the 0.526-mile paperclip, advancing up as high as eighth while running lap times consistent with the leaders. When the caution flag waved on lap 180, Hemric once again felt that his California Clean Power machine was lacking lateral grip, and the team made the decision to sacrifice track position for fresh tires and a final swing at adjustments. Taking four tires, fuel and a spring-rubber adjustment, Hemric restarted in the 24th spot with 14 laps remaining. With two more cautions in the closing laps, Hemric's opportunities for advancement were limited, but he still managed to improve an impressive 12 spots before the checkered flag waved, crossing the finish line in the 12th position.
Daniel Hemric on Martinsville Speedway
"We had a really fast truck throughout the weekend and early in the race, but we were ultimately lacking side bite on exit at the end of the day. We started off a little snug, and my NTS Motorsports team worked hard on our handling to get us where we needed to be. By the end of the race, we got our California Clean Power Chevy freed up and decided to see what we could do on fresh tires, but there just weren't enough green-flag laps for us to get up to the front. I'm really looking forward to getting to Texas Motor Speedway next week; that was one of our best mile-and-a-half races so far this season, and with all the work we've done on our intermediate program, I think we're going to be really good."
NTS Motorsports PR
Hemric Battles to 12th-Place Finish at Martinsville Speedway
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