Just when it was beginning to appear that the door of opportunity for advancement into the next round of the inaugural Camping World Truck Series Chase was cracking open, duel disasters struck for Daniel Hemric in the Fred's 250 at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday,
Hemric entered the day on the outside of the Chase bubble looking in as the playoff field was preparing to be trimmed from eight drivers to six in the elmination race. He was 15 points behind Johnny Sauter for the sixth and final transfer spot.
And on Lap 43 of the race scheduled for 94 circuits around the 2.66-mile track, just as Sauter began experiencing troubles that eventually required repeated pit stops to replace a left-front shock, Hemric's No. 19 Ford truck got caught up in a wreck.
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The multi-car wreck began when the No. 41 truck of Ben Rhodes pushed the No. 9 truck of William Byron into the back of the No. 05 of John Wes Townley, sending Townley around. Hemric was several rows back on the restart, but got turned into the wall when his teammate, Tyler Reddick, could not slow in time and hit him from behind after the other wreck caused the whole field to check up.
The good news at the time was that repairs were able to be made to Hemric's truck and he used the free pass to get back on the lead lap about 10 laps later, giving him a chance to continue on in the Chase — especially if Sauter or another Chaser had more trouble.
But on another restart on Lap 60, there was an even bigger pileup, with Hemric in the middle of the mess again. This time, Ben Rhodes got out of sorts and slammed into the outside wall, with a large portion of the field getting caught up behind him in The Big One so typical of a Talladega race.
The second wreck also included Byron and Reddick again, but Byron already had clinched his spot in the next round of the Chase by virtue of his win in the opening Chase race at New Hampshire — and Reddick did not qualify for this year's Chase. Others who caught at least a piece of the melee were the trucks driven by Brandon Brown, Cole Custer, Cody Ware and Korbin Forrister
Among the Chase contenders, that left Hemric as the potential biggest loser in the pair of wrecks.