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Daniel Hemric wins first-career Cup Series pole at Kansas

Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway
Saturday, October 19, 2019

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Daniel Hemric

Daniel Hemric may be out of the Playoffs and out of his ride at Richard Childress racing next year, but that didn’t stop the driver of the No. 8 RCR Chevrolet from winning the pole position for Sunday’s Hollywood Casino 400 at Kansas Speedway 

In Saturday’s time trials for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Round of 12 elimination race, Hemric covered the 1.5-mile distance in 30.329 seconds (178.047 mph) to earn the top starting spot, not to mention his first career Busch Pole Award, by .035 seconds over second-place David Ragan (177.842 mph). 

“Yeah, it’s pretty special,” acknowledged Hemric, who recently learned he would not be retained by RCR next year. “I kind of just feel crazy. I got out of the car, and I thought I’d be maybe fifth to eighth but, man, these guys on this Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 have done a great job all year of no matter what’s thrown at us, kind of just rising to the occasion and showing back up at the race track every week ready to work.  

“And with all that going on, there’s so much going on around us, that you can get lost in the distraction of things. But to know these guys have continued to have my back through all that stuff has meant the world to me. So congratulations to ECR (Earnhardt-Childress Racing engines) and RCR. They’ve been doing a great job for us all year. It’s cool to be the guy to steer it around the line there and get the quick time.” 

Ryan Blaney, who qualified third at 177.754 mph was the top Playoff driver on the grid. Blaney is already locked into the Round of 8 in the Playoffs by virtue of last Monday’s victory at Talladega. Brad Keselowski (177.667 mph) will start fourth beside his Team Penske teammate. 

Dover winner Kyle Larson earned the fifth starting spot in the No. 42 Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet. Blaney, Keselowski and Larson are the only three Playoff drivers to earn top-10 spots on the grid. Two-time Kansas winner and Playoff contender Martin Truex Jr. will start 11th in the top-qualifying Toyota.  

Other Playoff contenders qualified as follows: Chase Elliott 14th, Alex Bowman 16th, Kyle Busch 18th, Clint Bowyer 21st, Denny Hamlin 23rd, William Byron 25th, Joey Logano 29th and Kevin Harvick 40th. After three inspection failures, Harvick was not allowed to make a qualifying run, and car chief Robert Smith was ejected from the track. 

“I have to pass a lot of cars,” Harvick said. “It is what it is at this point. You just go out and try to strategize and plan what you can and try to pass as many cars when you can at the beginning and go from there.” 

Daniel Hemric

DANIEL HEMRIC, NO. 8 CATERPILLAR CAMARO ZL1 – Pole Winner

GOOD JOB BY THE WHOLE TEAM! THIS IS YOUR FIRST CAREER POLE. HOW DOES IT FEEL?

“Yeah, it’s pretty special. I kind of just feel crazy. I got out of the car and I thought I’d be maybe fifth to eighth but man, these guys on this Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 have done a great job all year of no matter what’s thrown at us, kind of just rising to the occasion and showing back up at the race track every week ready to work. And, with all that going on, there’s so much going on around us, that you can get lost in the distraction of things. But, to know these guys have continued to have my back through all that stuff has meant the world to me. So, congratulations to ECR and RCR. They’ve been doing a great job for us all year. It’s cool to be the guy to steer it around the line there and get the quick time.”

HOW MANY PEOPLE WILL YOU HAVE TO THANK?

“A lot of people, man. Kyle Larson was kidding around last week and said man, I’m not sure what car you’re going to be in every week. We were doing a thing on stage and he brought that up. So, that being said, everybody you see on the suit has given me an opportunity to Cup race this year and hopefully there are many more years of my future down the road.”

RACE LINEUP

Pos # Driver Sponsor/Make Lap Speed
1 8 Daniel Hemric # Caterpillar Chevrolet 30.329 178.047
2 38 David Ragan MDS Ford 30.364 177.842
3 12 Ryan Blaney (P) Menards/Dickies Ford 30.379 177.754
4 2 Brad Keselowski (P) Discount Tire Ford 30.394 177.667
5 42 Kyle Larson (P) Credit One Bank Chevrolet 30.399 177.637
6 34 Michael McDowell Love's Travel Stops Ford 30.408 177.585
7 6 Ryan Newman Roush Performance Ford 30.423 177.497
8 41 Daniel Suarez ARRIS Ford 30.446 177.363
9 3 Austin Dillon Roland Chevrolet 30.448 177.352
10 43 Bubba Wallace Victory Junction Chevrolet 30.452 177.328
11 19 Martin Truex Jr. (P) Bass Pro Shops Toyota 30.464 177.258
12 48 Jimmie Johnson Ally Fueling Futures Chevrolet 30.465 177.253
13 10 Aric Almirola Smithfield/Hy-Vee Ford 30.476 177.189
14 9 Chase Elliott (P) NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet 30.497 177.067
15 1 Kurt Busch Advent Health Chevrolet 30.518 176.945
16 88 Alex Bowman (P) Nationwide Chevrolet 30.52 176.933
17 36 Matt Tifft # Louis Kemp Crab Delights Ford 30.544 176.794
18 18 Kyle Busch (P) M&M's Halloween Toyota 30.548 176.771
19 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Fastenal Ford 30.573 176.626
20 20 Erik Jones Reser's Fine Foods Toyota 30.575 176.615
21 14 Clint Bowyer (P) DEKALB Ford 30.605 176.442
22 21 Paul Menard Menards/Atlas Ford 30.612 176.401
23 11 Denny Hamlin (P) FedEx Office Toyota 30.631 176.292
24 13 Ty Dillon GEICO Chevrolet 30.634 176.275
25 24 William Byron (P) UniFirst Chevrolet 30.742 175.655
26 37 Chris Buescher Kroger Simmer Like A Winner Chevrolet 30.803 175.308
27 95 Matt DiBenedetto Toyota Express Maintenance Toyota 30.879 174.876
28 47 Ryan Preece # Kroger Chevrolet 30.88 174.87
29 22 Joey Logano (P) Shell Pennzoil Ford 30.912 174.689
30 0 Landon Cassill(i) Creek Enterprise Chevrolet 31.004 174.171
31 32 Corey LaJoie Kansasland Ford 31.086 173.712
32 96 Parker Kligerman(i) Gaunt Brothers Racing Toyota 31.277 172.651
33 15 Ross Chastain(i) Harrah's North Kansas City Chevrolet 31.365 172.166
34 27 Reed Sorenson Chevrolet 31.378 172.095
35 52 Garrett Smithley(i) Bangor Bank Ford 31.386 172.051
36 51 JJ Yeley(i) Jacob Companies Ford 31.494 171.461
37 53 Josh Bilicki(i) Insurance King Ford 31.787 169.881
38 77 Timmy Hill(i) Chevrolet 32.079 168.334
39 66 Joey Gase Page Construction Toyota 33.19 162.7
40 4 Kevin Harvick (P) Jimmy John's 3 Dollar Little John Ford 0 0

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