Daniel Hemric is heading back to the NASCAR Cup Series full-time in 2024 driving the No. 31 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet, the team announced Friday afternoon at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Hemric was the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion, and earned the 2019 Cup Series Rookie of the Year while driving for Richard Childress Racing. The Kannapolis, North Carolina, native has 47 career Cup Series starts with a best finish of 5th coming at Talladega Superspeedway in April 2019.
“This is a big day, and it means so much to my family and me,” said Hemric. “It’s truly special to have an opportunity to do something big with a group of people that want it just as bad as you. It takes heart, and each and every person at Kaulig Racing has it. I’m looking forward to finishing out this season strong and getting right back to work in the off season with everyone at Kaulig Racing.”
After stepping back from the Cup Series following the 2019 season, Hemric weathered many ups and downs on his journey back. Despite going back to the Xfinity Series and overcoming struggled on the track, Hemric credited those in his close circle for keeping him motivated and focused on getting back to the top series in the sport.
"Through the process of just trying to be a better person and better racer, you do learn a lot about yourself through those ups and downs," he said Friday at Bristol. "From attaching to what a race car driver at (the Cup) level has to go through preparation and being on the racetrack, but more so, what happens once you leave the racetrack. How to detach, how to mentally stay sound at home and be the best father and husband. I know without a shadow of a doubt, I would be naive to think I am the same person and I'm excited about the person I am, to say the least, going into this opportunity."
“They say that tough times don’t last, but tough people do,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “That rings true with Daniel Hemric. Throughout all the ups and downs the past couple of years, Daniel continues to believe in the Kaulig Racing culture. Over the last few months, we have been asking ourselves, ‘What can make us a better race team?’ We truly believe Daniel can and will continue to make Kaulig Racing better as an organization.”
In four years of Cup Series competition, Kaulig has a total of 141 starts, one victory (Allmendinger at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2022), 11 top-five and 27 top-10 finishes. Team president Chris Rice said there was no news to share concerning the No. 16 Kaulig Racing Chevrolet or the Xfinity Series ride that Hemric is vacating concerning 2024.
So far in 2023, Justin Haley and the No. 31 Kaulig Racing team have earned one top-five and five top-10 finishes. Haley announced earlier in the season he would be making the move to Rick Ware Racing for the 2024 season
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