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Video: Hemric Pounds Wall Late in Duel 1; Collects Johnson, Dillon, and Stenhouse

The pathway to the 2024 Daytona 500 for seven-time NASCAR Cup Series champion Jimmie Johnson has gotten somewhat convoluted, after a multi-car accident in the closing laps of the first Bluegreen Vacations Duel at Daytona International Speedway.

Johnson, piloting the No. 84 Carvana Toyota Camry XSE for LEGACY MOTOR CLUB, was running at the tail-end of the lead draft, when a stack-up happened in front of him, causing Daniel Hemric to get turned hard into the outside wall in the middle of turn three.

Hemric had substantial damage to his No. 31 Chevrolet Camaro, forcing the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion to retire from the qualifying race prematurely, giving him a 21st-place finish, and a difficult starting spot for the 2024 Daytona 500. Similarly, defending Daytona 500 winner Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished 20th, after getting major damage.

Despite what appeared to be a dire situation, both Johnson and Dillon didn’t appear to have any major damage, allowing both the No. 3 Chevrolet Camaro and No. 84 Toyota Camry XSE to continue forward in the 60-lap contest with a shot at remaining on the lead-lap — and for Johnson, a shot at making the field for the season-opener.

It’s likely that with the substantial damage to his Kaulig Racing entry, Hemric will need to go to a backup car, which will require the second-year Cup Series driver to start at the rear of the field, and make a heck of a rebound on Sunday if things are to turn around in Daytona Beach, Florida for Hemric.

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