Race Preview: Daytona 500

Race Preview: Daytona 500

Daniel Hemric, No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1


Daytona 500

Race Notes & Quotes

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Daytona International Speedway

1801 W International Speedway Blvd, Daytona Beach, FL

Laps: 200
Miles: 500
Track Size: 2.5 miles
Start: 2:30 p.m. ET

Daytona International Speedway Daytona International Speedway

This Week's Bass Pro Shops / Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Daytona International Speedway ... Hemric will be making his first start in the 61st annual Daytona 500 as he kicks off his 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign as the driver of the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops / Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native earned one top-10 finish and one pole award at Daytona International Speedway in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, as well as one top-10 finish in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Meet the Driver ... Fans will have multiple opportunities to meet Hemric during Speedweeks in Daytona. He will be at the Bass Pro Shops at 1880 W. Checkered Flag Blvd, Daytona Beach on Thursday, Feb. 14, starting at 2 p.m. ET to sign autographs with RCR teammate Austin Dillon. Hemric will also be signing autographs at the RCR merchandise hauler outside the frontstretch grandstands in the fan midway on Saturday, Feb. 16, starting at 10 a.m. ET. Fans that purchase an item from the merchandise hauler will receive a wristband to ensure their place in line. Wristbands will be limited. 

About Bass Pro Shops ... Bass Pro Shops is North America's premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father's liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela's to create a "best-of-the-best" experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America's Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as "one of America's Best Employers."

About Caterpillar ... For nearly 90 years, Caterpillar Inc. has been making sustainable progress possible and driving positive change on every continent. Customers turn to Caterpillar to help them develop infrastructure, energy and natural resource assets. With 2013 sales and revenues of $55.656 billion, Caterpillar is the world's leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments - Resource Industries, Construction Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. For more information, visit caterpillar.com. To connect with us on social media, visit caterpillar.com/social-media.

Richard Childress Racing's Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series history at Daytona International Speedway ... Dating back to 1976, Richard Childress Racing has won 11 poles and collected six points-paying victories at the most-storied race track on the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series circuit. RCR owns three Daytona 500 wins (Dale Earnhardt - 1998, Kevin Harvick - 2007, Austin Dillon - 2018), three Coke Zero 400 trophies (Earnhardt - 1990, 1993 and Harvick - 2010) and 14 qualifying races, including a record 10-consecutive victories with Earnhardt (1990 - 1999). In addition, RCR has earned the Advance Auto Parts Clash a total of eight times, with drivers Harvick (2009, 2010, 2013) and Earnhardt (1986, '88, '91, '93, and '95).

RCR in the MENCS ... In 2,919 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series starts dating back to 1969, RCR has amassed 48 pole awards,108 wins, 488 top-five finishes and 1,067 top-10 finishes, with an average starting position of 17.8 and an average finishing position of 16.1. RCR has earned 15 total championships (six Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series championships with Earnhardt in 1986, '87, '90, '91, '93 and '94, six NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series titles and one ARCA Menards Series title) and was the first organization to win titles in NASCAR's three national series. 

Time to Duel ... The Can-Am Duels at Daytona feature two 150-mile races from which the majority of the final starting grid for the Daytona 500 will be set. Hemric starts third in the first Duel after qualifying fifth on Sunday, while Tyler Reddick starts ninth after qualifying 16th. Austin Dillon starts fifth in the second duel after qualifying 10th. Watch the Can-Am Duels live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday.

#RCR50 ... Richard Childress Racing celebrates it's 50th Anniversary in 2019.

Interactive RCR ... For up-to-date news and exclusive content, visit RCR's corporate Twitter page - @RCRracing - along with the RCR Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series team Twitter page - @RCRCup, and driver Twitter pages @austindillon3, @TylerReddick and @DanielHemric. Information about the 15-time championship winning organization can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/RichardChildressRacing and at www.RCRracing.com along with official driver pages -  http://www.facebook.com/austindillon3 and www.facebook.com/DanielHemric.

Catch the Action ... The 61st running of the Daytona 500 will be televised live Sunday, Feb. 17 beginning at 3 p.m. ET on FOX and will be broadcast live on the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The Can-Am Duels at Daytona, two 150-mile qualifying races, will take the green flag Thursday, Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio Channel 90.


You posted the fifth-fastest time in Daytona 500 qualifying and had the top spot until the final four cars. Did you expect to show that kind of speed in qualifying?

"I'm incredibly proud of all of the No. 8 team, everybody on this Bass Pro Shops/Caterpillar Camaro ZL1 for picking up the speed we picked up. I didn't know what we had for speed based off Saturday's practice sessions and we exceeded what my expectations were. Proud of these guys, so cool to have the whole top five be all Chevy Camaro ZL1's. It's cool to be here and I'm looking forward to seeing what we can do this week." 

What have you been doing to prepare for your first start in the Daytona 500? 

"It is just so special to be here in the No.8 Chevrolet, celebrating RCR's 50th anniversary with the support of Bass Pro Shops and Caterpillar this weekend. I have been trying to take it all in and enjoy the experience. It has been a lot of hard work to get to this point and it is an honor to be in this position. To help prepare for the upcoming week, I went back to watch old film and spent some time around the other cars - particularly our teammates - during practice, which helped. We never made a qualifying run during the weekend's first two practices, so to show the speed we did in qualifying was very encouraging. I will look to work more with my teammates Austin and Tyler Reddick during the upcoming practices this week and learn all I can in the draft."

Does it help that going into this weekend's race the aero package is the same it was in 2018, when your teammate Austin Dillon won the Daytona 500?

"Without a doubt, having the same package as last year and knowing the success Austin had with it in the Daytona 500 drives a lot of confidence in everyone at RCR. The men and women at the shop have had a lot of pep in their step during the offseason preparing for this event - and rightfully so. To know that we have a package that we can build on from last year that Austin and the No. 3 team had success with is very encouraging. It has been fun working with Luke Lambert and everyone on this No. 8 team and hopefully that all leads to a successful start to the season in Thursday's Duel and Sunday's Daytona 500."