2013 Snowball Derby: Mechanical issues plague Daniel Hemric

Chris Owens

Daniel Hemric finished 20th in the Snowball Derby after suffering a variety of mechanical failures early in the race. The Southern Super Series champion is optimistic about plans for next season and hopes to defend his crown while making spot starts in the NASCAR Truck Series.

PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Daniel Hemric found luck to be on his side last month in the All-American 400, finishing second to Chase Elliott and capturing the Southern Super Series championship by a single point after Bubba Pollard got caught up in an accident with 20 laps to go at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.

Hemric experienced a reversal of fortune on Sunday in the Snowball Derby, leading 12 laps in the first third of the event prior to breaking a top link in the rear suspension of his Carswell Motorsports No. 98 Ford.

Hemric was the fourth-place qualifier and had speed all weekend leading up to the race. Despite not meeting expectations on the track, he did not allow the misfortune of Sunday to interrupt his inspirational disposition -- a mentality that has become a trademark to the 22-year-old NASCAR prospect.

He took the adversity in his standard reserved stride immediately after the race.

"We proved that we had a fast car in the first 100 laps or so," Hemric told SB Nation on Sunday. "We've had one all year here at Five Flags Speedway.

"We really took off on that restart where we had the lead and that's when (the suspension) broke. We were able to nurse it, lost one lap, thought we were in good shape to get it back and lost another one. It just put us too far behind...

"That's the way it is, one day you have the luck on your side and the next, the tables turn."

Hemric has made much of his own luck this season, winning two Southern Super Series races en route to winning the season championship. He also added a Legends title at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the summer as well as making his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Martinsville and Phoenix.

He conceded that luck plays a part of racing at the highest level and that his Snowball shortcomings had nothing to do with the effort of his team and support group.

"As a team, we were flawless but stuff happens and everything happens for a reason," Hemric said. "It's nothing we can hold our heads down about. We will keep them up high and head into next year. The (Snowball Derby) is a race where everything has to go perfect. "

Looking ahead to next season, Hemric hopes to continue making sporadic starts in the NASCAR Truck Series for Sharp Gallaher Racing. But his main focus appears to be another full slate of Late Model racing, including a defense of his Southern Super Series championship.

"Really, right now, we just plan on going to run some Late Models," Hemric said. "We've worked with SGR so hopefully we can run some Truck races too. I'm really proud to be a part of that organization as well as Carswell Motorsports.

"Jake and Deanna are a class act and they are great to drive for."

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