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Hemric, Allgaier ready for Bristol Dash

Jeff Birchfield • Apr 10, 2018 at 6:56 PM

Daniel Hemric will have an extra incentive at this Saturday's Fitzgerald Glider Kits 300 for the NASCAR Xfinity Series. Justin Allgaier hates he's missing out on it.

Hemric is one of four Xfinity Series regulars, along with Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Ryan Preece, who will be competing for a $100,000 bonus through NASCAR's Dash 4 Cash program. Hemric won the bonus last year at Bristol, although it wasn't the first thing on his mind when he started driving the No. 21 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing.

"When I signed up to run the full season for RCR, I'd heard about the Dash 4 Cash program, but didn't really think I'd have a chance to run for it," Hemric said. "To race for a hundred grand bonus on top of the regular stakes and to know we went to Bristol last year and won the thing, it's incredible to think about."

Allgaier, driver of the No. 7 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, was a Dash 4 Cash bonus winner last season — but he will have to be one of the top-finishing Xfinity Series drivers at Bristol to have a shot at the next bonus at Richmond. He mentioned how Comcast is donating $10,000 in goods in each of the four markets where the program is implemented.

"We're all competitive and we all want to win, but for the teams, that money is important," Allgaier said. "You win that and it allows you to do things to help you run faster and stronger. Now with the program donating $40,000 to help low-income families, that is huge. A lot of them have kids who will hopefully become NASCAR fans because of it."

The Dash 4 Cash is one of the major changes to the Xfinity Series the last few years, but what hasn't changed is the domination of Cup Series drivers in the races — although Allgaier pointed out there are much fewer of them in today's races.

"A few years ago at Charlotte, there were 31 of the 43 guys who were Cup guys," Allgaier said. "Obviously, it's changed. We have a lot of good young guys coming up who are extremely talented race car drivers. The mesh of the veterans and the rookies is a lot of fun. As a driver, it's fun to beat the younger guys, but also to learn from the guys who have been around even longer than I have."

Hemric, who will make his own Cup Series debut at Richmond next month in an RCR No. 8 Chevrolet, said it's still difficult for the young guys to break through against the established racers. Other than Tyler Reddick winning at Daytona, every other race in the series this year has been won by a Cup regular.

Both Hemric, currently fourth in the Xfinity Series points, and Allgaier, fifth in points, are excited to get to Bristol.

Allgaier, who has one Bristol win, said the feel of the high-banked track is much like racing on dirt. For Hemric, a Kannapolis, N.C., native, Bristol takes him back to his childhood and watching his hometown hero, Dale Earnhardt.

"There are certain race tracks that give you a certain feeling, but Bristol is at its own level," Hemric said. "It's so electric with the crowd looking down on you. I always embrace that. One of the first races I watched as a kid was Earnhardt and Terry Labonte going at it. That's the first impression of the sport I had and that always gets me pumped up to go there."

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