Daniel Hemric confident about playoff odds after resurgent summer

Barry Cantrell/NKP

By Aaron Bearden, Motorsports Editor

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Daniel Hemric has only earned one playoff point with the NASCAR XFINITY Series playoffs approaching, but the Richard Childress Racing (RCR) rookie isn’t worried about his postseason odds.

“I feel good,” Hemric told Kickin’ the Tires. “I think if we keep working on our race cars, working on our engine program, and I keep working on myself then we’ll be just fine.”

Hemric, 26, made the leap to RCR and the XFINITY Series in 2017 after completing two full-time seasons in the Camping World Truck Series from 2015-16. The Kannapolis, N.C. native arrived with promise after a decorated late model career and a Truck Series playoff run with Brad Keselowski Racing in 2016.

The year didn’t start the way Hemric had hoped for with a 31st-place run at Daytona, but his No. 21 team began to show potential with a pair of top fives at Richmond and Bristol in the spring. Hemric’s improved results led to a rise into the top five in the XFINITY Series standings, where he has since stayed – alternating between fourth and fifth in points as the regular season winds on.

However while his points position has stayed largely the same, Hemric’s finishes indicated a dip in performance over the early summer months. The RCR driver tallied just one top 10 in the seven-race stretch from Talladega in April through the tour’s second trip to Daytona in July.

Recently Hemric has reversed that trend. A quiet top 10 at Kentucky stopped the bleeding, and Hemric has since followed that result with six finishes of 12th or better, including a close call with victory lane that ended in a career-best finish of second at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

After the latest run in the streak – a seventh-place result at Bristol – Hemric admitted to his earlier struggles while expressing optimism about his team’s strength approaching the playoffs.

“I feel like we came out of the box showing what we’re capable of,” Hemric said. “Then we had a hard time putting it together for about seven or eight weeks. I feel like we got our mojo back. We’re just trying to minimize our mistakes, and we’re doing a good job of that. We’re doing what we’re supposed to be doing right now.”



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