Martinsville Speedway I Recap

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Post-Race Report:

No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150

Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) was met by a great deal of adversity despite his speed in the first short-track race of the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) season.

 Hoping to leave Martinsville Speedway with a grandfather clock and a spot in the Chase, a pit-road penalty and a flat tire set back the No. 19 California Clean Power team early in the race, ultimately resulting in a disappointing 22nd-place finish.

 Taking the green flag from the 17th position, Hemric quickly advanced into the top 15, but found that his Ford F-150 was tight off the corners, making passing a challenge. The California Clean Power crew had its first opportunity to improve the handling of their machine when the first caution flag of the race waved on lap 43 with Hemric scored in the 13th position. A quick stop for four tires, fuel and a track-bar adjustment put Hemric in the top 10 for the lap-51 restart, but he dropped to the 14th spot by the second caution on lap 93.

 With his driver reporting that he was still tight off and had less lateral security, crew chief Chad Kendrick took a big swing at the No. 19 truck, once again calling for four tires and chassis adjustments. Unfortunately, Hemric was cited for pitting outside the box and was assessed a one-lap penalty, relegating him to the 24th position.

 Anxious to fight back to the lead lap and compete for the win, Hemric was racing hard for the free pass on lap 130 when his left-front tire went down due to a broken valve stem, forcing him to visit pit road under green.

 Now scored in the 25th position and three laps down, the No. 19 team was at the mercy of the yellow flag, requiring several perfectly-timed cautions to return to the lead lap. Although the California Clean Power F-150 was now making extremely competitive laps and avoiding the plague of accidents in the closing laps, Hemric was only able to make up one lap before time ran out, crossing the finish line in the 22nd position.

What They Are Saying:

Daniel Hemric – No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150: “Today was a challenging day, to say the least. We started off the race tight off, but we were making adjustments in the right direction and had an extremely fast truck by the end of the day. Unfortunately, our pit road penalty set us back, and a freak incident with our tire closed the door on a realistic chance to win. Most importantly, every person on our California Clean Power team kept working hard until the checkered flag. Our team is better than our result today. I’m already looking forward to Kansas Speedway and the opportunity to score our first win together.”

Chad Kendrick – Crew Chief, No. 19 California Clean Power Ford F-150:  “Sometimes you have days that just don’t go the way you’d hoped, but in those situations, you just have to make the most of the race and take away what you can. While we certainly wanted to walk away from this weekend with a win and a spot in the Chase, we learned a lot about our truck and have a lot of notes to bring back here in the fall. Our driver never gave up, and he did everything we needed him to out on the racetrack. I’ll take a day like today if it means that we can come back here in October and get the win that advances us into the final round of the Chase.”

No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150

Seldom does a driver have an uneventful race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.  Competitors either have a really good day at the 0.526-mile track or one they’d soon like to forget.

 Tyler Reddick (@TylerReddick) experienced the latter in the Alpha Energy Resources 250 on Saturday afternoon.

 The driver of the Cooper Standard Ford F-150 overcame being trapped in the dreaded outside lane on multiple restarts and contact with more than a few of his fellow competitors to finish on the lead lap.  He has now completed every possible lap in five Martinsville starts (1,169 total laps, 614.89 miles).  He was credited with a 20th-place finish and is 16th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) championship standings, 35 points behind the leader.

 Reddick posted a solid effort in qualifying Saturday morning, grabbing the ninth-place starting position.  He ran among the top 10 throughout the first 100 laps despite having a tight-handling truck.  Reddick was running 10th when he pitted during the second caution for four tires and adjustments, restarting 12th in the outside lane when the race went green on lap 102. He squeezed in line 20th as the race roared past halfway.

 He and crew chief Doug Randolph spent the second half of the race trying to regain track position and improve the handling characteristics of their Cooper Standard Ford F-150. They pitted during the third caution on lap 135 for tires and adjustments but were still stuck in traffic.  Randolph chose not pit during the fifth caution on lap 173, a move designed to gain track position.  Reddick restarted seventh but a tire rub on the right front forced him to pit during the sixth caution on lap 187.  He restarted outside the top 20 when the race went green on lap 192.

 From there, Reddick simply tried to pick off as many positions as possible over the final 64 laps.  He picked his way through five cautions (and survived each chaotic restart) to complete all 255 laps.

What They Are Saying:

Tyler Reddick – No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150: “It’s very easy to lose track position on restarts when you’re on the top side and it’s always tough to get to the bottom.  I had a few chances to get down to the bottom but I was too aggressive and tried to fight it out on the top.  I ended up losing a lot of track position and we just never had a chance to get it back throughout the entire race.  This was definitely one of the more physical Martinsville races that I’ve ever seen.  It gets really physical in the pack.  Everyone is jockeying for position because there’s just nowhere to go and everyone gets bottled up really easy.  Everyone on the Cooper Standard team will use this next month to bounce back strong at Kansas.”

 Doug Randolph – Crew Chief, No. 29 Cooper Standard Ford F-150:  “It was one of those days where nothing went quite right for our Cooper Standard team.  Everyone runs the same speed at Martinsville and it’s hard to pass.  You really need to stay in that top five to run a clean race because you get from 10th on back and it turns into a pinball game; that’s what we had.  We had our own issues that cost us track position, but when we got stuck in that outside lane we lost at least 10 more positions and just couldn’t recover from that.  We’ll regroup and go back at it in Kansas.”