Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) earned his career-best Martinsville Speedway finish in the Texas Roadhouse 200 on Saturday afternoon, his fifth start at the 0.526-mile Virginia track. Fighting a loose condition for a majority of the day, Hemric briefly led the 200-lap event (once for six laps) before bringing home a top-10 finish in the No. 19 Blue Gate Bank Ford F-150.
After just missing the final round of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) qualifying, Hemric took the green flag from the 13th position. By lap six he had worked his way into the top 10, but 20 laps later, Hemric reported that he was fighting a forward drive issue. On lap 51, the yellow flag was displayed for the first time with the Blue Gate Bank Ford F-150 scored in the ninth position.
Hemric relayed to crew chief Chad Kendrick that his truck was extremely loose. Kendrick made the call for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment, and quick work by the pit crew gained the Brad Keselowski Racing team one position on pit road.
Hemric restarted eighth on lap 59, and it was almost 50 laps later before the caution came out once again on lap 109. Despite starting off the run strong, Hemric had dropped back to the 11th position, stating that the truck was progressively getting freer as the laps went by. Kendrick once again called for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment, and the pit crew gained Hemric two spots, sending him back onto the track in ninth.
When the yellow flag waved once again on lap 150, Hemric was still in the ninth spot, but stated that he believed that the truck was coming to him over time. The team decided to make a strategic move for track position, remaining on the racetrack when the rest of the leaders opted to pit.
Hemric took the lead on lap 152 and held the point position for the next six laps before relinquishing his lead. He dropped out of the top five following a restart on lap 170 when he got forced out of the preferred inside line, and Hemric was ninth when he restarted for the final time on lap on lap 183. The Kannapolis, N.C., native was able to defend his position in the closing laps, crossing the finish line in the ninth spot.