PENSACOLA, Fla. -- A post-race technical inspection found the fuel in Augie Grill's Super Late Model to be illegal, stripping him of the victory and handing it over to Daniel Hemric in the Southern Super Series Pepsi Max 125 at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla. on Friday night.
Head tech inspector Ricky Brooks and his staff found traces of an unapproved fuel substance in the car and it cost him the victory. As the title sponsor of the Southern Super Series, Sunoco mandates that only their purple blend be used in the tour and that wasn't the only fuel inside Grill's No. 112.
"We put 20 gallons of gas in it today from the racetrack," Grill told Speed 51 after the decision was handed down. "I've never been thrown out for something so minute, but it is Ricky Brooks that we're talking about.
"There are six dump cans of gas at our shop from customers' cars -- maybe they've got pink stuff, maybe they don't. For us to put 20 gallons of gas in the thing today from the racetrack and it still show up, I just don't know.
"I know we won't be the only ones they catch if they keep checking it, ."
Grill can be confident in that last statement because the family shop, Grand American Race Cars (GARC)is the primary parts supplier and chassis builder for the majority of the field.
Nevertheless, the decision will stand and Hemric was declared the winner in a delayed victory lane celebration, roughly one hour after the race had ended. With the DQ, Grill will receive no points, no prize money and will not be shown on the official results, essentially eliminating him from championship contention.
For Hemric, it is his first victory of the season and first such in a Super Late Model at the famous Florida speedway.
"Nobody likes to win races like that, but this place is known for some wild things to happen," Hemric said. "Last time we were here, Bubba (Pollard) dominated and got taken out by a lapped car and TJ Reaid won. TJ put himself in position to win that night and we put ourselves in position by working hard week-in and week-out. Our hard work got us second, but with the tech stuff with Augie, it gave us the win."
Grill first took the lead at the start of the second half, on lap 75 when he passed first half leader John Hunter Nemechek for the top spot. Hemric immediately capitalized and followed Grill into second, not realizing that it would ultimately be the winning pass.
Grill crossed the finish line first but Hemric would later be declared the winner, followed by championship leader Pollard and Nemechek.
"I can't cut everyone on this Carswell Motorsports team short," Hemric said. "They give it their all. We've worked so hard and we've been so close. It's refreshing but I'd like to go to Mobile tomorrow and do it the right way."
The second half of the Southern Super Series Gulf Coast doubleheader will take place at Mobile International Speedway on Saturday night. The Great Race 125 Presented by AR Bodies should go green around 10 p.m. ET. Radio and Trackside Live presentations will be provided by Speed 51.
The complete and official race results can be found below.
- Daniel Hemric
- Bubba Pollard
- John Hunter Nemechek
- Mike Garvey
- Casey Smith
- Hunter Robbins
- TJ Reaid
- Bobby Knox, Jr.
- David Rogers
- Scott Carlson
- Johanna Long
- Dennis Schoenfeld
- Chet Morrison
- Allen Karnes
- Mason Massey
- Junior Niedecken
- Chris Davidson
- Trey Gibson
- Donnie Wilson
- DJ VanderLey
- Logan Boyett
- Troy Grisaffi
- Clint Folsom
- Rusty Sanford
- Augie Grill (DQ)