DANIEL HEMRIC, No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota Supra, Joe Gibbs Racing
Finishing Position: 2nd
What did you need there in the closing laps?
“Just a yellow or something to close the gap. I thought we did a pretty good job taking care of it – clean racecar, fresh tires – when we had the opportunity to take care of it throughout the race. For whatever reason, the holes didn’t quite go the way I thought they were going to go and some of them closed, and I lost too much time to Kyle (Busch) there to make it up. I gave it all I had – tongue hanging out at the last five, six, seven laps trying to get to the point where I at least had a shot at it. I’m really proud of everyone at Poppy Bank. I’m really proud of everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing for an incredible Camry, not Camry – Supra. I would like to drive a Camry one day. I say that and the fender is knocked in on this thing – makes it look like a Camry. I’ve had a ton of fun racing with these guys this year, and they hate running second. No one hates it more than I do, especially as many times as it has happened. We are doing the right things. We just have to continue to execute, and we will have our day.”
This is your ninth runner-up finish in the Xfinity Series. What’s it going to take to take that next step?
“We just have to stop handicapping ourselves whenever that final stage is. I thought we got over that with our stage two. I thought we were setting ourselves up where we weren’t at least starting from the tail and then we had the penalty with the mistiming with jumping over the wall and we got a penalty. We started the last two runs from the back and that’s the difference from being an extra row or two on the restart, the way things funneled in here. If you don’t get the pass done, it cost you a lap as crazy as that sounds and that is what happened. If I could have cleared those guys a lap or two sooner, that would have at least given me the opportunity to have a clean racetrack. We had newer tires than he did, it was just track position. I’m proud of everyone on this Poppy Bank Toyota Supra team. They’ve done an incredible job.”