Daniel Hemric asked, and the fans delivered.
On Monday, the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet took to Twitter to request good luck charms find their way to the Richard Childress Racing campus. He included the address and said he hoped it would help his team’s cause after a 30th-place finish in Bristol — his fourth finish of 30th or worse in eight races.
“From my understanding, a huge box of stuff came in as I left the shop,” said Hemric, who admitted he has not yet seen everything sent.
The items have varied from lucky coins to rabbit’s feet.
“One of the fans sent to us eight different rabbit’s feet,” said Hemric. “Ultimately, we’ve given one to the crew chief, engineer, myself, truck driver — just distributed them in a way that we felt like anybody that had a hand on the car [would] have one with them.”
“Just trying to make a little more lighthearted situation out of it.”
Hemric will not carry anything with him in the race car, but says there are items stashed in his locker on the team’s hauler.
The rookie’s best finish this season has been 18th at ISM Raceway. Among the issues for the team has been the flat tire which took him out of the top 10 late in week two at Atlanta. In Martinsville, it seemed nothing went right with cautions, and he also had to pit under green for a loose wheel.
A tire problem also plagued the team in Texas, Hemric hitting the wall in the final stage which caused a tire to come apart. Last weekend at Bristol, Hemric suffered damage to his Chevrolet early after being spun.
Luck aside, Hemric said that to improve the overall performance, he and crew chief Luke Lambert need to get a better balance in the car.
“At times the speed has been fine; just haven’t been able to maintain the balance throughout the course of an entire race,” Hemric said. “Even when we’ve had the speed, I haven’t necessarily felt like, man, my race car drives like a top five or top 10 capable car. We’ve had a couple of them that I thought, maybe if everything went right — Atlanta could have been a top five and my best finish of the year if things [had gone] right there. But outside of that one run, we’ve had probably had an 11th, 12th, 15th-place car at best when we had the balance as close as we could get it.
“Getting that balance better and obviously figuring out what it takes to make speed with it — I wish we could kind of flip those things. I wish we had the balance and not the speed,” Hemric added, “because I think the way these races have gone, the balance has mattered more, and that’s just something that’s evolving with as we figure out more and more about the package itself.”