Hemphill Charges to Top 5 Finish "Rookie Sensational In ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut" February 10, 2004 (Daytona Beach, Florida) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Ryan Hemphill impressed many with his 5th place finish in the Advance Auto Parts 200 at the...
Hemphill Charges to Top 5 Finish
"Rookie Sensational In ARCA RE/MAX Series Debut"
February 10, 2004 (Daytona Beach, Florida) -- ARCA RE/MAX Series driver Ryan Hemphill impressed many with his 5th place finish in the Advance Auto Parts 200 at the Daytona International Speedway. The event marked the career debut for the 22 year old in the ARCA RE/MAX Series.
"This was a fun and educational week for me," stated Ryan.
"What a blast I had driving this #77 DODGE for Braun Racing. This was my first time racing on a superspeedway and it was a good learning experience for me. I think learned something new on just about every lap around the track."
Hemphill was near the top of the speed charts for all of the practice sessions leading up to qualifying on Thursday afternoon. After a brief thunderstorm delayed qualifying near the end of the session, Ryan guided his #77 DODGE to the 7th fastest qualifying time. "I thought we had a legitimate shot at the pole," said Hemphill. "I am not sure if the weather bothered us or not but it was still a solid run."
The start of the race on Saturday saw the Apollo, Pennsylvania native make a quick move inside the top 5. He remained there until pitting on Lap 18 under caution. "To say my first pit stop was an experience would be an understatement," said Ryan. "I slid through my pits as the transition from blacktop to concrete was something new to me. I just misjudged my speed and come in a little too fast. I flat spotted my tires so I had to come in again for tires and that really put us in the back of the pack."
Once back under green, Hemphill charged back to the front and was again inside the top 5 by Lap 44. In his charge back to the front, Ryan turned one of the fastest laps of the race with a lap of 48.054 seconds on Lap 27. Once upfront, he remained there for the remainder of the race on his way to that 5th place finish.
Ryan, a member of the driver development program for Chip Ganassi Racing, impressed many with his strong overall performance for the week in his ARCA debut. "I learned so much about the draft this week," stated Hemphill. "I really appreciate all the help I have been given and the guys on the team for working extremely hard to give me a great race car -- and the guys at Ernie Elliott Engines gave me some great horsepower. I am here to learn as much as I can and I definitely accomplished that this week."
Ryan and his #77 DODGE team next prepare for the April 9th ARCA event at the Nashville Superspeedway.