Atlanta Motor Speedway Recap

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Post-Race Report

No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150 Recap

Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) had an impressive run at the first intermediate track of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season, earning his first top-five finish as driver of the No. 19 Ford for Brad Keselowski Racing.

After starting the race in the top 10, Hemric never left it, battling through changing track conditions and perilous late-race crashes at the front of the field, bringing home a fourth-place finish in his California Clean Power F-150 and vaulting to second in the NCWTS Driver Point Standings.

Taking the green flag from the ninth position, by the completion of the first lap, Hemric had already navigated up to the fourth position. Reporting to crew chief Chad Kendrick that the truck fired off free at the beginning of the race, the team would have their first opportunity to adjust on their No. 19 machine when the Caution Clock brought out the yellow flag on lap 39. Entering the pits in the sixth position, Kendrick called for four tires, fuel and both track-bar and air-pressure adjustments.

Restarting in the 10th position, Hemric notified his crew that he was still too free to make much progress, and the California Clean Power Ford F-150 was ninth when the caution flag waved on lap 61.

Once again providing their driver with four tires, fuel and chassis adjustments, the BKR pit crew got Hemric back on the track in the sixth position for the lap 69 restart.

Hemric’s truck was extremely good in Turns 3 and 4, but a 38-lap green-flag run took a heavy toll on the truck’s tires, and the setting sun caused dramatic changes to the handling of the track surface. Now finding that his truck was too tight off, the team had one final crack at the California Clean Power F-150 when Hemric came to pit road in the fifth position on lap 107.

The team serviced the truck with four fresh tires, fuel and another air-pressure adjustment, putting Hemric in the sixth position when green-flag racing resumed on lap 112.

Over the course of the next 12 laps, the NCWTS field saw two major crashes at the front of the field, with accidents unfolding directly in front of the No. 19. Hemric avoided damage in both, putting him in the fourth position for a two-lap race to the finish.

Hemric had speed on the initial restart, but when the truck in front of him spun his tires, he lost a vital opportunity to pass for the lead. Fighting for the duration of the two-lap shootout, Hemric crossed the finish line in the fourth position.

Daniel Hemric – No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150:  “Today was a really great day for our Brad Keselowski Racing team and I’m really proud of everyone involved. The track changed so much from sunlight to shade, and we had to adjust to keep up with those changes. We were just a little too tight at the end, but we had an incredibly fast California Clean Power Ford F-150. All you can ask for is a shot to win at the end, and we had it. It’s unfortunate that the final restart unfolded the way it did, because I’m confident that we’d be in Victory Lane right now if we didn’t get held up at the green flag. Today just wasn’t our day to win, but our day is coming soon.”

Chad Kendrick – Crew Chief, No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150:  “I’m really proud of our driver and our entire California Clean Power team. We had a fast Ford F-150 all day, and Daniel did an excellent job of keeping and improving track position, even when we got to the end of a long run and our tires were long worn out. We kept adjusting to the changing track conditions, and at the end, we just overcorrected a little bit. I still think we had something for the leaders if we hadn’t gotten caught behind someone spinning their tires on the restart, but I’m really happy with where we finished. Now we’ve got some time to get ready for Martinsville, and I know we’ll have a chance at Victory Lane there.”

No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150 Recap

Tyler Reddick (@TylerReddick) overcame adversity and misfortune to post a lead lap finish in the Great Clips 200 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race on Saturday afternoon at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Reddick qualified 21st but wasted no time slicing his way through traffic toward the front.  He picked off five positions on the opening lap of the race and by lap 20 he had climbed inside the top 10.  Reddick was running eighth when the first yellow flag slowed the race on lap 39.

The driver of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 pitted for four tires and adjustments on lap 39 and lined up sixth when the race restarted on lap 42.  He was running seventh at the time of the second caution on lap 61.

Reddick’s troubles started when he pitted for service under that caution.  A miscue on pit road during a routine four-tire stop dropped him back to 19th-place for the restart when the race went green on lap 69.  Moments after the green flag waved, his luck soured even more when he ran over a piece of debris, cutting the left-rear tire and forcing him to make a four-tire stop under green, dropping him two laps down to the leaders.

But Reddick and the Cooper Standard team brushed off the frustrating turn of events and remained focused on making up the lost distance.  On lap 107 the Caution Clock expired, bringing out the third yellow of the race.  Robert Huffman – filling in for crew chief Doug Randolph – made the calculated gamble to stay out, taking the wave around to the rear of the field, hoping for a quick caution to make up a lap and have a chance to pit under the yellow before his older tires worked to his disadvantage.

Moments after the race went green on lap 113 they got their wish when the leaders tangled off Turn 2.  Two laps later, Reddick pitted for four tires and a round of adjustments.  He restarted 20th when the race went green on lap 116.  Two laps later he moved up to 17th-place but was the first truck one lap down and was in position for the free pass back onto the lead lap.  All he needed was one more timely yellow to make up the last lap down and put him at the tail end of the lead lap.

He got his wish when the fourth and final caution slowed the pace on lap 124.  Reddick rejoined the tail end of the field when the race went green on lap 128.  He immediately went to work, gaining two spots during the final three-mile dash to the finish. Reddick is 14th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series championship standings, 20 points behind the leader.

Tyler Reddick – No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: “The Cooper Standard Ford F-150 was definitely fast throughout the race. As grim as it looked, no one gave up and that’s going to pay big dividends as we get further into the year.  Everyone worked well together and we rebounded from our mistakes.  It was really a shame when we ran over the debris and cut the tire under green. I couldn’t really feel it until we got to Turn 3 so we were fortunate to have a chance to rally back.  I was hoping they were going to throw a red flag there during that last caution so we could have had a couple more laps at the end for me to race back up through the field.”

Robert Huffman – Acting Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: “We thought our Cooper Standard Ford F-150 was good in practice on a long run, it just didn’t quite have the single-truck speed that we wanted.  But as soon as they dropped the green, Tyler raced toward the front.  On our first pit stop we gained two spots and I thought we were going to get two on the second one, but it didn’t work out that way.  We’ve got a bunch of hungry, young guys on the pit crew, and things like that happen as we grow together this season.  When we got two laps down, we didn’t have any choice but to take the wave around, then the wreck (lap 124) got us back on the lead lap. Tyler did a great job all day.”