Kaulig Racing Race Recap | GEICO 500

NKP #31: Daniel Hemric, Kaulig Racing, Cirkul Chevrolet Camaro; #7: Corey LaJoie, Spire Motorsports, Gainbridge Chevrolet Camaro
  • Daniel Hemric qualified 19th for the Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • By lap seven, Hemric had made his way to the front of the pack, leading a total of six laps, before being told to conserve fuel. He stayed in the top 10 for a majority of the stage, before pitting on lap 41 for fuel only. He went on to finish 19th in a caution-free opening stage.
  • Hemric radioed that the No. 31 Cirkul Camaro ZL1 was a little tight throughout the bottom and middle on exit the last 15 laps of the opening stage. He pitted during the first stage break for four tires and fuel and started the second stage from 18th. Hemric stayed just outside the top 10 before dropping back to play it safe. The race remained caution-free, and Hemric pitted on lap 104 with teammate, van Gisbergen, for two seconds of fuel. He went on to finish stage two in 20th.
  • Hemric started the final stage in 20th and made it to 11th, before the first caution of the day came out on lap 134. The No. 31 Cirkul Chevy pitted to top off with fuel and restarted third on lap 139. Hemric led another lap before being told to save fuel. As some cars pitted, Hemric was running fifth when a caution came out on lap 156. Hemric pitted under caution for fuel only before restating 12th with 28 laps to go. As cars in front of him wrecked at the checkered, Hemric made it through unscathed and finished the race in ninth, earning his first top-10 finish of the season.

“I’m really proud of how far we’ve come with this No. 31 Cirkul Chevrolet from Daytona, as far as speed goes. It’s hard to make gains there with everyone being so close. We qualified right at about 30th in Daytona, and then we came here and qualified inside the top 20, which is a big deal as we saw today with fuel saving. You have to have a faster racecar that lets you save more fuel. I’m proud of this team and to have had a clean race. “

– Daniel Hemric

  • Shane van Gisbergen qualified 17th the for Geico 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.
  • Van Gisbergen and his Wendy’s Ride or Fry team started the 188-lap event from 17th. Content to learn his way around the 2.66-mile Superspeedway, Van Gisbergen sat 33rd on lap 10. Getting more comfortable as the laps clicked away, SVG worked his way to 20th by lap 35 and was scored in first when the Wendy’s team made its first green flag pit stop on lap 44. Following the stop, Van Gisbergen cycled to 27th on lap 46 and ended the stage in 23rd on lap 60. 
  • Following a pit stop for four tires and fuel under the stage one break, SVG restarted stage two in 17th on lap 67 and was scored as the leader of the field on lap 69. He dropped to ninth on lap 70, continuing to battle two-by-two in the draft. Van Gisbergen was a mainstay inside the top-10 from laps 90-100, working his way to fifth by lap 97 and advancing to leading lap 98. The Wendy’s team made a green flag pit stop for fuel only on lap 103 from eighth. Following the stop, SVG rejoined the field in 28th on lap 105. Content on riding out the rest of the stage, Van Gisbergen took the green/white/checkered flag in 25th on lap 120.
  • Van Gisbergen and his Wendy’s team started the final stage 29th. The first caution flag of stage three waved on lap 134 with SVG scored in 14th. The Wendy’s team hit pit road under the caution for fuel only and restarted in fourth on lap 140. Another caution flag waved on lap 157, with SVG scored in 15th. Following varying strategies on pit road, the Wendy’s team restarted in 29th with 28 laps remaining. Van Gisbergen and the Wendy’s team finished 28th following a wild, last-lap caution at the finish.

“It was an interesting day for this No. 16 Wendy’s team. Very different from the Xfinity race, as far as the way the car drives. We got to run up front for a couple of laps, so that was fun. All-in-all a good day for this Wendy’s group. I had a lot fun.”

– Shane van Gisbergen

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