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Dec 11, 2013 - 06:55 AM
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SGR Race Report: Snowflake 100/Snowball Derby (Daniel Hemric)
Posted by: newsla on Dec 11, 2013 - 06:54 AM
SGR Race Report: Snowflake 100/Snowball Derby (Daniel Hemric)

Bad Luck Strikes Daniel Hemric in Doubleheader Weekend at Five Flags Speedway

Daniel Hemric entered the famed Snowflake 100/Snowball Derby doubleheader at Five Flags Speedway as a favorite to win in the two events, but bad luck with both cars left the Kannapolis, N.C., native returning home without the hardware. Throughout the five-day affair, Hemric split his time between the No. 54 Sharp-Gallaher Racing Pro Late Model (Snowflake 100 entry) and the No. 98 Carswell Motorsports Super Late Model (Snowball Derby entry). Both cars demonstrated solid speed with Hemric posting the fastest time amongst the Pro Late Models and the third-fastest time in the Super Late Model during Thursday's practice session.


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When the cars returned to the track on Friday, he posted the second-fastest times in both cars during the practices in which he participated. Friday evening, the Super Late Model teams had their first opportunity to secure a starting position for the 46th Annual Snowball Derby during qualifying where the top 30 cars were locked into the field. Hemric had an ace in his pocket - he held a provisional position thanks to his 2013 Southern Series and 2013 Blizzard Series Championship titles. His 16.313-second lap was the fourth fastest and secured him valuable track position to start Sunday's 300-lap race.

Hemric returned to Five Flags Speedway on Saturday ready for a full day in the No. 54 Sharp-Gallaher Racing Pro Late Model and for Snowball Derby Happy Hour. He was sixth fastest in final practice for the Snowflake 100 and logged a 16.561-second lap during time trials to earn the 10th spot for the start of the 100-lap race. That afternoon he put the No. 98 Super Late Model eighth on the speed charts in final practice. With practice and qualifying sessions behind him, Hemric was ready to focus on the two races that remained at the popular short track.

Lining up in the 10th position for the start of the Snowflake 100, Hemric was confident that they had a car capable of winning. The 36-car field took the green flag under the lights of Five Flags Speedway for some good, old-fashioned Saturday night short-track racing. Hemric remained inside the top 15, planning to preserve his tires and stay out of trouble during the early laps. On lap 40, the No. 54 machine slowed on the racetrack and Hemric brought the car to pit road to the attention of his crew. Upon evaluation it was discovered that damage to the throttle linkage would end their night, relegating him to a 29th-place finish.

Following the disappointing result from the previous night, Hemric was ready to turn things around in the weekend's highlight event, the Snowball Derby. Known as the Daytona 500 of the short-track racing world, leaving Pensacola (Fla.) with the Snowball Derby trophy would mean a lifetime of bragging rights. Hemric started the race from the fourth position and climbed into the second spot by the time the yellow flag was displayed for the competition caution on Lap 75. A lightning fast, four-tire pit stop put the No. 98 out in the lead. Hemric was named the recipient of the Charlie Bradberry Lap 78 bonus for leading that lap. Shortly after the race returned to green-flag conditions, Hemric reported that something felt like it had broken underneath his car. He quickly fell in the running order but remained in the top 20, making multiple visits to pit road for repairs every time a caution period occurred. As the race approached the halfway point, Hemric was in the 22nd position but was still on the lead lap. Following numerous visits to pit road for service and additional repairs which ultimately cost him his lead-lap position, long green-flag racing would continue to plague the young driver and he was unable to return to lead-lap competition and contend for the win. Hemric was running times as fast as the leaders and despite being able to pass lead-lap cars on the racetrack, was trapped two laps down and could not gain positions, finishing the 300-lap event 21st.

Daniel Hemric Quotes:

"We were so good in both cars all weekend, but just rotten luck cost us in the end. Thank you to Sharp-Gallaher Racing for the support in the Snowflake 100. I really wanted to get them the win in their first Snowflake. The car was great and then out of nowhere, I could tell something wasn't right. It was heartbreaking.

I was so excited for this year's Snowball Derby, especially with the success that we had at Five Flags (Speedway) all year. The car handled great during every practice and was so fast in both qualifying and race trim. When we got off pit road first, I thought we had a chance to win this thing. But on the restart I could tell something was off. The guys did a great job making the repairs, but we just couldn't stay on the lead lap with our time in the pits. We were just as fast as the leaders. The 21st--place finish does not show how strong this car was. Thank you to all these guys at Carswell Motorsports. We had an amazing year and I am so proud of to be a part of this team."

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