BRISTOL, Tenn. (AP) — Daniel Hemric will return to the NASCAR Cup Series next year in a promotion with Kaulig Racing.
Hemric is in his second full season racing in the Xfinity Series for Kaulig and third consecutive season overall. He won the Xfinity championship in 2021 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, where he briefly landed after unexpectedly losing his Cup ride after one season with Richard Childress Racing.
Hemric had won the 2019 top rookie honors in his only full season in the Cup Series. He finished 25th in the Cup standings that year with two top-10 finishes before Childress dumped Hemric for Tyler Reddick.
Hemric has had to claw his way back; it took him two more years to get a Cup ride even after winning the 2021 Xfinity title. He is now a 32-year-old father of two.
“We'll find out,” Hemric said Friday on how different he is as a driver four seasons later.
“I know without a shadow of a doubt, it would be naive for me to think, that I'm the same person,” Hemric said. “I'm not. I am excited about the person I am going into this new opportunity.”
Hemric will replace Justin Haley in the No. 31 Chevrolet. Haley will drive for Rick Ware Racing next season.
Kaulig is in its second full Cup season and owner Matt Kaulig on Friday would not address the future of its No. 16 Chevrolet currently driven by AJ Allmendinger. Kaulig said Allmendinger was consulted on Hemric's promotion, but that the team was not ready to discuss the future of that car.
Hemric starts the Xfinity Series playoffs Friday night ranked 11th in the 12-driver field. He has one career series victory and it came as a walk-off clincher of the championship in 2021. JGR had already decided it wasn't going to keep Hemric in 2022, and Kaulig had picked him up.
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