12 drivers entered the Charlotte ROVAL hopeful of advancing to the ‘Round of 8’, but four drivers left the track eliminated from the championship fight.
Though he had a flawless race, capturing 18 stage points, Kaulig Racing’s Daniel Hemric found himself eliminated from the playoffs by just two points. His car seemed to excel on the long runs but it struggled a tad on the short runs. Ultimately, the driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet was proud of his efforts but understood where he fell short.
“I’m extremely proud of this team and how we executed today. We had a plan, stuck to the plan,” he shared post-race. “We didn’t lose it today, we lost it at Texas. So that falls on myself, I have big shoulders I can handle it”.
The situation was almost much different for Hemric, but when Parker Kligerman took him and Kaz Grala three-wide at the start-finish line, The driver of the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro finished the race in the seventh position, coming one point short of advancing to the next round.
With that move, Kligerman ended the Drive for the Cure 250 in sixth capturing his 16th top-10 result of the season. This a positive for the 33-year-old who has maintained an upbeat demeanor through the highs and lows of the playoffs. Post-race, he reflected on his championship run fondly but was understandably disheartened after missing the ‘Round of 8’ by four points.
“Really I’m disappointed not just for the chance to go race for a championship, but I have absolutely loved the experience of being in these playoffs and making it,” he shared on pit road following his intense battle at the line, “I loved coming into Kansas in the situation we were and having to put in a perfect race. And then same situation here. I’m just sad to lose that going forward”.
Heading into this event, there were three drivers that were in must-win situations. Seemingly the new road course pro, Sam Mayer, was able to get the win to advance. However, his teammate, Josh Berry, and fellow Chevrolet driver, Jeb Burton, fell short.
The No.27 team took a risk by not coming to pit road following a caution with 11 to go. While staying out on old tires, the Chevrolet from Jordan Anderson Racing body slammed the No.7 of Justin Allgaier into the wall of Turn 1 on the restart.
“I was on older tires. I think I was going faster than I had been all day and I just made a mistake and I hate it for Justin. It’s just a mistake and I hope he’s alright,” Burton explained after completing the race at the 2.32-mile road course one lap short.
Josh Berry on the other hand dealt with power-steering issues for the majority of the race and spun out near the end of the event. If the No.8 car handled properly, he might have had something for the dominant car of the day.
“I’m not gonna take anything away from Sam [Mayer] there but I felt like it was definitely an issue. I had no power steering on the oval track and through a couple of the sections in the infield with the compression basically had little to no power steering,” Berry explained. “It was difficult to deal with. I couldn’t be as consistent with the car but ultimately that’s part of racing and those things don’t happen very often”.
While Berry and the No. 8 team did not get the result they wanted, he spoke positively about the day.
“We did a great job today. We didn’t advance because we wrecked the last two weeks, not because of today. Just proud of the effort, Taylor [Moyer], and everybody put into this car. A lot of preparation went into this week a lot of people I got to thank and just hate it didn’t work out but I’m proud of the day we had.”
Although Burton, Berry, Kligerman, and Berry’s championship hopes are over, the four eliminated drivers still have the chance to fight for fifth in the points standings to close out the 2023 season.