Daniel Hemric takes first career victory, NASCAR Xfinity title



  • The victory came in Daniel Hemric’s 208th start of the NASCAR National Series.
  • Hemric did not apologize for moving Austin Cindric’s Ford to the track to win the race at the end of a two-lap overtime
  • As a consolation prize, Cindric won the Xfinity Series Owners Championship for Roger Penske with his second result.

    Daniel Hemric picked the perfect time to win his first NASCAR National Series race and a title came with him.

    Performing an aggressive bump-and-run in Saturday night’s NASCAR Xfinity Series championship race, Hemric passed Austin Cindric on the final two corners of Phoenix Raceway.

    As the cars approached the finish line, the cars collided side by side, Hemric crossing the strip 0.030 seconds ahead of Cindric, or about five feet, preventing Team Penske Ford driver from n ° 22 to win a second consecutive championship.

    The victory came on Hemric’s 208th start of the NASCAR National Series, silencing critics who kept asking, “Will Hemric ever win a race?”

    The answer came from team leader Dave Rogers moments after the winning rider stepped over the bar and clinched the title.

    “And that, champion?” Rogers said. “You’ll never have to hear that stupid question again.”

    “Never again!” Hemric screamed in response.

    Daniel Hemric defeats Austin Cindric on the line in Phoenix.

    Jared C. TiltonGetty Images

    Hemric, who is leaving Toyota No.18 Joe Gibbs Racing in favor of a race with Kaulig Racing next year, didn’t hesitate to move Cindric’s Ford to the track to win the race at the end of a two-round extension which extended the event from 200 to 204 rounds.

    “I’m passed out, passed out,” Hemric said at the start / finish line after doing a back flip from the roof of his car. “I just knew I had to be the first in the line. I thought I let him score too many runs on (turn) 4 (in the first overtime lap).

    “I got into (Round) 1, I knew I was close, not to use them completely, but we are working hard for an opportunity like this – excuse my language. That’s what it’s all about, winning at the second highest level of all motorsport. What an honor …

    nascar xfinity series championship
    Daniel Hemric lifts the material.

    Chris GraythenGetty Images

    “What about these racing fans? Is this back flip good enough for you? I’ve waited a hell of a long time to do this.

    Cindric took the loss with consummate grace.

    “Until you knock someone down, it’s not a dirty race,” said Cindric, who has competed in the championship event with five wins to his name this season. “If everyone in the stands liked it, it’s a good race.

    “I appreciate the opportunity to race on such a big stage, racing for Roger Penske, representing Ford Performance, all of our sponsors who have helped us this season. It would have been great to finish that. I felt like we had a dominant race car, that we had done everything right. Come a little short.

    As a consolation prize, Cindric won the Xfinity Series Owners Championship for Roger Penske with his second result.

    The other two drivers of Championship 4, Noah Gragson and AJ Allmendinger, were in contention at the end. Gragson slammed the wall shortly after a restart on lap 193 and fell to 12th on the finish.

    Allmendinger suffered a loose wheel late in the race and spun into Turn 2 on lap 181, causing the eighth of 10 warnings. Cindric, who led a record 113 laps, had a sizable lead at the time, but the yellow rallied the field and staged the shootout late in the race.

    Harrison Burton was third on Saturday, followed by Riley Herbst and Justin Haley. John Hunter Nemechek, Brandon Jones, Brett Moffitt, Justin Allgaier and Sheldon Creed completed the top 10.

    23rd Annual NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship Race

    Phoenix circuit

    1. (4) Daniel Hemric (P), Toyota, 204.

    2. (1) Austin Cindric (P), Ford, 204.

    3. (36) Harrison Burton, Toyota, 204.

    4. (5) Riley Herbst, Ford, 204.

    5. (8) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 204.

    6. (2) John Hunter Nemechek (i), Toyota, 204.

    7. (6) Brandon Jones, Toyota, 204.

    8. (20) Brett Moffitt, Chevrolet, 204.

    9. (3) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 204.

    10. (10) Sheldon Creed (i), Chevrolet, 204.

    11. (13) Michael Annett, Chevrolet, 204.

    12. (7) Noah Gragson (P), Chevrolet, 204.

    13. (11) Sam Mayer #, Chevrolet, 204.

    14. (12) AJ Allmendinger (P), Chevrolet, 204.

    15. (32) Dylan Lupton, Toyota, 204.

    16. (21) Blaine Perkins, Chevrolet, 204.

    17. (14) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 204.

    18. (22) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 204.

    19. (17) Myatt Snider, Chevrolet, 204.

    20. (19) Brandon Brown, Chevrolet, 204.

    21. (27) David Starr, Toyota, 204.

    22. (29) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 204.

    23. (9) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 204.

    24. (23) Tommy Joe Martins, Chevrolet, 204.

    25. (33) Sage Karam, Chevrolet, 204.

    26. (24) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 204.

    27. (18) Kyle Sieg, Ford, 204.

    28. (30) Ryan Vargas #, Chevrolet, 204.

    29. (35) Matt Mills, Chevrolet, 204.

    30. (26) Alex Labbé, Chevrolet, 202.

    31. (25) Bayley Currey (i), Chevrolet, 200.

    32. (16) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, Accident, 194.

    33. (15) Jade Buford #, Chevrolet, Accident, 193.

    34. (28) Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, Motor, 123.

    35. (34) Joe Graf Jr., Chevrolet, Accident, 97.

    36. (31) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, Accident, 57.

    Average speed of the race winner: 85.845 mph.

    Running time: 2 hours, 22 minutes, 35 seconds. Margin of victory: 0.030 seconds.

    Warning flags: 10 for 61 laps.

    Lead changes: 16 among 5 drivers.

    Tour leaders: J. Nemechek (i) 1-20; A. Cindric (P) 21-47; N. Gragson (P) 48; D. Hemric (P) 49-66; J. Nemechek (i) 67-85; D. Hemric (P) 86-92; N. Gragson (P) 93; D. Hemric (P) 94-114; A. Cindric (P) 115-130; Mr. Annett 131; A. Cindric (P) 132-183; N. Gragson (P) 184; A. Cindric (P) 185-201; D. Hemric (P) 202; A. Cindric (P) 203; D. Hemric (P) 204.

    Summary of leaders (driver, driving time, laps): Austin Cindric (P) 5 times for 113 laps; Daniel Hemric (P) 5 times for 48 laps; John Hunter Nemechek (i) twice for 39 laps; Noah Gragson (P) 3 times for 3 laps; Michael Annett 1 time for 1 lap.

    Top 10 from step 1: 22,18,54,7,9,19,16,1,98,11

    The top ten from step 2: 18,22,54,7,9,16,11,20,1,98

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