The next (best?) Hope for Daniel Hemric
Stop me if you’ve heard this before.
Daniel Hemric will drive for a new racing team next season.
Last week we learned that for the third consecutive season, the 2019 NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year will be picking up some stakes and migrating to another NASCAR Xfinity Series team.
After stints at JR Motorsports (part-time in 2020) and Joe Gibbs Racing (2021), the 30-year-old driver will be Kaulig Racing’s last hire, driving the No. 11 Chevrolet in 2022.
From the moment Hemric made his full-time entry at the national level of NASCAR in 2015 in the Camping World Truck Series until next February, he will have brought his talents to six teams: NTS Motorsports (Trucks), Brad Keselowski Racing ( Trucks), Richard Childress Racing (Cup and Xfinity), plus JRM, JGR and Kaulig.
If you are exhausted just reading this list, Hemric tries to take it without hesitation.
“It can be as tiring as you let it be,” Hemric said on Tuesday (September 28). âMy opinion is that my whole life has been like this. You never know what’s in front of you. You never know what you’re going to be up against. Anything you can do, introduce yourself. And if you show up and keep doing it, the opportunities will be there. I’ve been saying this since I was 10 years old.
âIt’s just the scenario and I try to play the cards that are dealt to me. You can envy others who have stuck or long-term deals or who know what their plans are going for. But in the end, that’s not how it was. “
Having that experience with so many teams, as well as all the builders in the sport, in less than seven years can be a âdouble-edged sword,â according to Hemric.
âYou can think about it thinking, ‘These guys are doing this, or this other team has done that,’â Hemric said. âBut every racing team has its own culture that you have to learn to conform to and to transition into. I’ve tried to be even better at it as I get older and learn how different every situation is and respecting that every situation is different.
Enter Kaulig Racing and its “culture”. Created a year after Hemric entered the national scene, the team has been unabashedly âTrophy Huntingâ for the past several years.
Since AJ Allmendinger joined the team in 2019, Kaulig has won 14 races. Their three drivers have won and are in the playoffs this year before the team enter full-time Cup competition next season.
News of Hemric’s future home accompanies him in the midst of a playoff battle with Joe Gibbs Racing.
Hemric said the call from team owner Matt Kaulig and President Chris Rice was one he “didn’t expect.”
But Hemric also knew it was the one he “couldn’t take advantage of.”
A stop at Kaulig Trophy Hunting might be perfect for Hemric at this point in his career.
More remarkable than the length of his CV is the glaring absence of it. With six races remaining in the Xfinity playoffs, Hemric has made a total of 202 NASCAR National Series starts and has made the Championship 4 twice (2017-18 in Xfinity).
He’s won 56 top five, including 40 in his 114 Xfinity starts.
Not among these top five: a race victory.
âI feel like through conversations with myself and Chris Rice, through the process of making this deal, he’s just reaffirmed to me how good not just what he sees – I am. still in the mix – but how he feels like he can help me propel myself to that next level, âHemric said.â Not just now, but going into the future and having someone who trusts you so much. is special, first of all. Second, I can’t sit here and say that being a competitor year after year, whatever the racing team, whatever the situation couldn’t have hurt my chances of getting that phone call.
After winning the 2019 Cup Rookie of the Year award with RCR, Hemric viewed the following years as a ârebuilding processâ for him.
This implies that he tries and fails to find a long term âhomeâ for himself.
Hemric admits âthere’s nothing that says (Kaulig Racing) is going to be that.
However, with the environment Kaulig will provide him with comes a special offer.
âSince 2019, in particular, I always had to constantly worry about what’s next,â Hemric said. âI had to constantly worry about what our funding was or not, do I have a sponsorship? …
“(Kaulig Racing) finally felt like they could offer me a job and let me focus on racing, let me focus on driving the race car (and) get the most out of me. – even, without worrying about the funding,â¦ (not) having physically, yourself, find the dollars? “said Hemric.” I am not [sic] must be worried about this, which makes it very, very exciting.
In short, Kaulig and Rice told Hemric to âgo drive the race carâ. I said ‘OK put my name over the door. I will be there.'”
Follow @DanielMcFadin and discover and subscribe to his show âRelease the hammer with Daniel McFadinâ on YouTube and as a podcast. This week’s guest is Daytona 500 winner Michael McDowell.
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