Daniel Hemric

Getty Images

Five Cup or Xfinity drivers to compete in Saturday’s K&N West race at Sonoma

Leave a comment

Drivers in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will have some extra company in Saturday’s Procore 200 race (4:30 p.m. ET) at Sonoma Raceway.

Five drivers from either the Cup or Xfinity series will take part in the event:

* Driving for road course powerhouse Jefferson Pitts Racing, Austin Dillon will make his 20th career K&N Pro Series start, his third at Sonoma (first since 2015). In prior races at the road course, he’s finished 22nd and sixth.

* Also driving for JPR will be current Cup rookie Ryan Preece, who will be making his first career K&N West start and first race start at Sonoma.

* Daniel Hemric will make his first K&N West start and fourth overall series start (first since 2015 at Watkins Glen). He has also never raced at Sonoma.

* Xfinity Series driver Cole Custer will be making third series start at Sonoma (previous finishes were ninth and 12th).

* Lastly, Noah Gragson will be teammates with Dillon and Preece at JPR and will be making his third appearance at Sonoma, finishing second in 2016 and seventh in 2015.

The K&N Series has long had a history of having Cup or Xfinity drivers take part at Sonoma. Over the last five seasons, that has included Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Blaney, Aric Almirola, William Byron, Daniel Suarez, Erik Jones and Alex Bowman.

Today’s Xfinity race at Iowa: Start time, lineup and more

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Tyler Reddick, Christopher Bell and Cole Custer have combined to win the last seven Xfinity races.

The last time a driver other than Reddick, Bell or Custer won a NXS race was nearly three months ago (March 31), when Kyle Busch won at Texas.

Reddick has won three of the last seven races, including last Saturday’s win at Michigan International Speedway.

Will the combined winning streak by Reddick, Bell and Custer continue today at Iowa Speedway?

Here’s all the info for today’s CircuitCity.com 250:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Ronny Shmoel, CEO of Circuit City, and Kai Leung, Tamron North American Business Manager, will give the command to start engines at 5:38 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 5:45 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is at 2:35 p.m.; single car/two laps (FS2, no radio). Driver/crew chief meeting is at 3:30 p.m. Driver introductions are at 5 p.m. The invocation will be given at 5:30 p.m. by Aaron Loree. First Lt. Kyle Patterson, 224th Brigade Engineer Battalion, will perform the National Anthem at 5:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 250 laps (218.75 miles) around the 7/8-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 60. Stage 2 ends on Lap 120.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 5 p.m. The Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 5 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for partly cloudy skies with a high of 77 degrees and a 14 percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Justin Allgaier won this race a year ago and was followed by Christopher Bell and Daniel Hemric. Five races later, Bell returned to Iowa to claim the win, followed by Allgaier and Kyle Benjamin.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Today’s Xfinity race at Dover: Start time, lineup and more

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The Xfinity Series competes in this afternoon’s Allied Steel Buildings 200 at Dover International Speedway.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s Dash 4 Cash race:

(All times are Eastern)

START: Collin Burich, North American Sales, Allied Steel Buildings, will give the command to start engines at 1:38 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:46 p.m.

PRERACE: Driver/crew chief meeting is at 11:45 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 1 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1:30 p.m. by Captain Ryan Taylor-Byers, Dover Air Force Base Chaplain. Technical Sergeant Justin Allen and the U.S. Air Force Heritage of America Band will perform the National Anthem at 1:31 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 200 laps (200 miles) around the 1-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 45. Stage 2 ends on Lap 90.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 1:30 p.m. Motor Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 1 p.m. and also can be heard at mrn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry MRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for a high of 73 degrees and a 24 percent chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Justin Allgaier won this race last year, finishing ahead of Elliott Sadler and Daniel Hemric. Christopher Bell won last fall’s playoff race, finishing ahead of Cole Custer and Allgaier.

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the row-by-row lineup.

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Podcast: Why a couple that stayed together no longer races together

Leave a comment

When she began dating Daniel Hemric, the former Kenzie Ruston knew they both couldn’t remain on their path together.

Not as a couple, mind you. Daniel and Kenzie Hemric tied the knot more than two years ago in Jamaica.

While their relationship was strong, it was the trajectory of their racing careers that was unsustainable for both securing full-time rides at the highest levels of NASCAR.

“Both of us weren’t going to make it,” Kenzie said during a NASCAR on NBC interview last year (watcht the video above). “I feel I truly stand behind him. I get to live through him.”

Shortly after getting married, Kenzie Hemric put her racing career aside to support her husband, who had begun racing full time in the Xfinity Series for Richard Childress Racing. During the most recent NASCAR on NBC Podcast episode, Daniel Hemric discussed how the couple handled their divergent career paths

“I told everybody, Kenzie is a full-blown superstar, the way she’s handled the last couple of years from her career on the driving side not working out, and the way she has handled that and stuck behind me, it’s been incredible, really, man,” Daniel said on the podcast. “I think about when we met, there were times I was sleeping on the floor of her Late Model shop while she was racing full time, doing what she loved to do, and I didn’t have a ride.

“To see the tables turned and her accept it the way she has and just be there for me is what life and hopefully the person you find to share life with is what it’s all about. She’s taken it with stride.”

She also has been his biggest cheerleader and critic as Hemric, 28, has risen to RCR’s No. 31 Chevrolet in Cup. Through nine races, it’s been a tough rookie season for Hemric, who hasn’t finished higher than 18th.

After finishing 31st because of contact with the wall at Auto Club Speedway, Hemric exited the car to a greeting from his wife.

“She looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘You screwed up, 100 percent,’” he said. “She was right. I just appreciate how real she is with me. Over time people will see that, she’s extremely passionate about it. It’s cool to find that person you can share that with and know that she has a better appreciation for it than most ever will. Very cool dynamic we can share together, and it’s cool to have her on my side.”

Kenzie Hemric, 27, made 44 starts in the K&N Series from 2013-15 with a career-best second at Iowa Speedway on Aug. 1, 2014. Daniel Hemric said there was never “a definite talk” about how to handle being a racing couple because Kenzie’s opportunities began to dry up as Daniel began racing full time in the truck series.

“The timing just didn’t work out,” Daniel said. “It took until two years ago, right before we got married. By then I’d gotten the Xfinity contract. Not that’s what it’s about, but we knew so much more time would be dedicated to what I had going on, and it was going to take all of both of our time to do it 100%. At the time, her Late Model stuff was great but to put in the effort in that I felt I owed her, it would take away from one or the other, so we made the decision that she would come and support me full time.”

There is a Super Late Model in the Hemrics’ garage that still might be put to use for Kenzie in the Snowball Derby or a local race but probably just for fun and not as a jump-start on her career.

“We decided fortunately for one of us, and for both of us, that we’re getting this opportunity,” Daniel said. “But we don’t look at it as, ‘You made, it and I didn’t.’ We did it together because when I say literally has been there from the beginning. She’s seen that side of Daniel Hemric to where it’s at now. She fully gets it. We just do it together.”

During the podcast, Daniel Hemric also discusses:

–The numerous breaks he caught to reach the Cup Series without many connections;

–His life-changing Legends Million victory and the amusing aftermath of siphoning gasoline from his winning car and sleeping at a Steak N Shake;

–His friendships with Bubba Wallace, Ryan Blaney and other up and comers in Cup;

–His Kannapolis, North Carolina, upbringing and the parallels to Dale Earnhardt.

You can listen to the episode by clicking on the embed above, or via Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you download podcasts.

Today’s Xfinity race at Bristol: Start time, lineup and more

Photo by Sarah Crabill/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Today’s Dash 4 Cash event at Bristol Motor Speedway puts up an extra $100,000 for Christopher Bell, Michael Annett, Chase Briscoe or Tyler Reddick to collect.

With this being a Dash 4 Cash race, any driver who collects Cup points is prohibited from competing in this event.

Here’s all the info you need for today’s race.

(All times are Eastern)

START: Chad George, Rooms Division Manager, The Greenbrier, will give the command to start engines at 1:08 p.m. The green flag is scheduled for 1:14 p.m.

PRERACE: Qualifying is at 9:40 a.m. Driver/crew chief meeting is at 10:45 a.m. Driver introductions begin at 12:30 p.m. The invocation will be given at 1 p.m. Emi Sunshine will perform the National Anthem at 1:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 300 laps (159.9 miles) around the .533-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends on Lap 85. Stage 2 ends on Lap 170.

TV/RADIO: Fox Sports 1 will televise the race. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. Performance Racing Network’s radio broadcast begins at 12:30 p.m. and also can be heard at goprn.com. SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry PRN’s broadcast.

FORECAST: wunderground.com calls for mostly cloudy skies with a high of 65 degrees and a 7% chance of rain for the start of the race.

LAST TIME: Kyle Larson won the August race. Christopher Bell was second. Justin Allgaier placed third. Ryan Preece won this event a year ago. Allgaier was second. Daniel Hemric finished third. 

STARTING LINEUP: Click here for the starting lineup.