By David Morgan, NASCAR Editor
CONCORD, N.C. – After making his presence known every step up the NASCAR ladder, Daniel Hemric is finally getting his shot at the big time as Richard Childress Racing officially announced him as the new driver of the No. 31 Chevrolet starting in 2019.
“So many people want to have this opportunity and they work their whole lives for it,” said Hemric. “Going through this process, everybody who’s followed my career from racing the Bojangles’ Summer Shootout at Charlotte to super late models, whatever it was, everyone knows I’ve tried to make the mos of whatever those situations were.
“Being in this spot today is a testament to the people who gave me a shot. I always had faith that it would work out…It’s incredibly humbling to know that this is my family moving forward.”
Starting out in the short track ranks and Legends cars at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the early part of the decade, the journeyman driver has been classified as one of the hardest working drivers in the garage area and carried that work ethic right into NASCAR national series competition.
In two full-time NASCAR Camping World Truck Series seasons with Brad Keselowski Racing starting in 2015, Hemric scored 15 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes in 46 start for the team, finishing seventh and sixth in points, respectively.
From there, he moved over to the Xfinity Series program at RCR, where he has been a contender for race wins and championships from the start of his tenure there in 2017. In the 60 starts since then, he has brought home 20 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes, along with three poles and an average finish of 11.6.
Last season, Hemric finished fourth in the championship points standings and currently sits second in points at the mid-point of the first round in this year’s Xfinity Series Playoffs.
Earlier this year, he got his shot to make his Cup Series debut at Richmond and is making his second career start this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in the No. 8 car. The Kannapolis, N.C. native has shown speed early on, putting down the fourth fastest lap in Friday’s lone practice session.
“I’ve been watching Daniel since he was a young boy here racing Bandoleros and Legends Cars, I saw the talent then that Daniel had,” said team owner Richard Childress. “Austin and Ty (Dillon) have been trying for years to get him to drive for us.
“I think back at the other drivers that we’ve had, Clint Bowyer, Kevin Harvick, Austin and Ty, I saw their talent when they were young and we were fortunate to put them in cars that helped them win races… Daniel falls in that group. He has all the talent and he will win races and compete for championships in the future.”