Hemric’s day got off to a flying start, as he qualified highest (fourth) among the Championship 4 and led the points race for the entirety of the first stage, holding off eventual champion William Byron the whole way.
But it was in stage two where everything went wrong.
Hemric ultimately hung his head in disappointment after a battery issue parked him on pit road and cut his championship dreams short. Replacing the battery cost Hemric 12 laps to the leaders, and though he was able to pick up a handful of positions, a title shot was long gone for the North Carolina rookie.
However, Hemric still had a positive perspective after climbing from his No. 21 Chevrolet after the race.
“It’s tough no matter how you want to look at it … you can’t put blame on anybody,” Hemric said. “You can’t do that stuff, it’s racing. Stuff happens; it’s not like anybody wanted that to happen. It’s just out of our control. We’ll get back and figure out what the deal was but at the end of the day, we’re just so humble to be here and be in this situation.”
“Today was just out of our control. We’ll get back and figure out what the deal was. At the end of the day, we’re just so humbled to be here and be in this situation. If (a championship) was in the plan it would’ve worked out, it just didn’t work out today. I’m so proud of everybody this (No.) 21 team for giving me everything they did all year. I hated the way it ended … but there’s no loss of faith on my end. We dug deep and we were out way before we got here, and then we proved why we should be here early in the race. … It wasn’t meant to be this time but fortunately, I get to come back to RCR next year, keep building on the progress we made up to this point and just move forward. At the end of the day, there’s always another day.”
Hemric ends his season with seven top-five and 16 top-10s, in addition to a pole at Richmond in April.
But missing out on the title is something that Hemric said will push him to attack even harder when he returns to Richard Childress Racing for his sophomore season in 2018.
“I’ll promise you this, ending on this note makes us even hungrier to get back going the right direction heading into Daytona,” said Hemric. “It’s not an ideal situation by any means, but we did everything we could do. That’s all you can do, no matter how it turns or what gets put against you next. We always try to figure out a way to overcome things, but we just couldn’t overcome the day.”
“We’ll take everything we learned in my rookie season as a group together and we’ll be better coming back next year.”
About the Writer
Chris Murdock is an aspiring journalist and an avid racing fan, currently serving as a Midwest and NASCAR correspondent for Race Chaser Online. Murdock is in his final semester at Ohio University, finishing a degree in Broadcast Television.
Murdock is also a weekly commentator on LSRTV, playing a part in several of the top eSports broadcasts on the iRacing motorsport simulation service as a booth commentator.
Following college, Murdock plans to move closer to the Charlotte area to increase his involvement with Race Chaser Online and the Performance Motorsports Network.
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