Timely Caution Nets Daniel Hemric Dover Top-10 Finish

By Seth Eggert, Associate Editor

The decision to wait to pit proved to be key towards the top-10 finish for Daniel Hemric at Dover Motor Speedway.

A timely caution helped daniel hemric score his second top-10 finish of the nascar cup series season at dover motor speedway.
(Photo: Zach Catanzareti, Kickin’ The Tires)

After a caution-free second Stage of the Wurth 400, the Kaulig Racing driver slipped outside of the top-15. As the laps clicked off in the final stage of the 400-mile race, it appeared to be the same as the second. Hemric’s crew chief Trent Owens opted to repeat the strategy of Corey LaJoie in Stage 2 and stay out until the caution waved or they had to pit for fuel.

Unlike the second Stage, Hemric did nab a timely caution. Contact between Josh Berry and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. sent the latter sliding into the inside wall on the backstretch. With the caution in the middle of a pit cycle, Hemric had trapped all but seven of his NASCAR Cup Series competitors a lap down. Though many took the wave around, it gave the 33-year-old some much needed track position.

“It was a long day,” Hemric said. “We gave up a lot of track position early. Just probably got us too loose, in general, in practice going into the race; not really knowing what to expect out of this car. We fell back and were kind of stuck back there. The team made a great call to just keep us in the game. We stayed out a little longer there on that last green-flag cycle stop – it was kind of like an early Christmas present to us. It got us back on the lead lap.”

A timely caution helped daniel hemric score his second top-10 finish of the nascar cup series season at dover motor speedway.
(Photo: Zach Catanzareti, Kickin’ The Tires)

That track position kept Hemric ahead of an accident on the restart that wiped out three of his competitors. The final restart with 62 laps to go set up a green flag run, one that mirrored the run at the start of the final stage. The Kannapolis, N.C. native largely maintained his track position throughout the run. Though he slipped from sixth to ninth by the time the checkered flag waved, it was a rewarding finish for the No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 team.

“It was just really rewarding for all of us on the No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevy team to put us inside the top-10 and be able to run there,” Hemric admitted. “We know our pace was there, it’s just a matter of getting track position. That’s the name of the game here. Overall, I’m proud of everyone on the No. 31 Poppy Bank Chevy team.”

Having given up track position early in the race, Hemric did not earn any stage points. The loss of track position ultimately cost him a lap at the end of Stage 2. However, he was able to earn the free pass to start the final stage on the lead lap.

The ninth-place finish is Hemric’s second top-10 of the 2024 Cup Series season. It was also the fifth top-10 finish of his career and his first at ‘The Monster Mile.’

The top-10 finish moved Hemric up from 29th to 25th in the points standings. He is 242-points behind leader Kyle Larson and 97-points below the playoff cutline, currently held by Chris Buescher.

Next for Hemric is the Advent Health 400 at Kansas Speedway. In two career starts at the 1.5-mile track he has one pole position and a best finish of 18th.

The Advent Health 400 at Kansas Speedway is scheduled for Sunday, May 5, at 3:00 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The race will also be broadcast on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

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