NASCAR Xfinity title decided by photo finish for Hemric
The NASCAR Xfinity Series was decided by a dramatic photo finish as Daniel Hemric pipped Austin Cindric by 0.030s to incredibly clinch his first series race win and title.
Reigning series champion Austin Cindric got a good jump to the start of the two-lap overtime but Hemric was able to power back and alongside Cindric on the final lap.
Entering the final turn, Hemric edged up into Cindric’s driver-side door, the two made contact and crossed the finish line trading sheet metal.
Hemric edged Cindric by 0.030 seconds in the photo finish, giving him in his first win in 208 career NASCAR starts and the series championship.
“I lost my breath. It’s just unbelievable,” Hemric said after completing a wild burnout and then a backflip off his car. “These guys here have been asking me all year, ‘How bad do you want it?’
“I gave one away here in the spring. I felt we gave one up last week to get here. Tonight, we were not going to be denied. I’ve been waiting a long damn time to do that.
“I knew we had to be the first one to the line. I thought I let (Cindric) get too much of a run off (Turn) 4, drove into (Turn) 1 and was just close enough to not completely use him up but, I mean we work our asses off for an opportunity like this. This is what it’s all about – winning at the second-highest level in all of motorsports.
Hemric, 30, said he had given up a lot to pursue his NASCAR career.
“People have doubted me. I’d do it all over again for a night like this,” he said.
The win was also Hemric’s final race with Joe Gibbs Racing. He will compete full-time in the Xfinity Series next season with Kaulig Racing.
Asked after the race if he thought the finish was “good racing,” Cindric said, “If everyone in the stands enjoyed it, it’s good racing. I’m very appreciative of the opportunity to race on such a big stage. The opportunity to race for Roger Penske.
“I felt like we had a dominant race car and that we did everything right. We came up a little short. Sometimes, it turns out that way.”
Harrison Burton finished third in the race, Riley Herbst was fourth and Justin Haley rounded out the top-five.
Cindric’s No. 22 Penske team did win the owner’s championship with his runner-up finish in the race.
Champion Daniel Hemric, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Supra Poppy Bank
Photo by: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images