Saturday, April 20, 2024

Daniel Hemric returning to Cup full-time in 2024

In 2019, Daniel Hemric raced for NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year but was released by Richard Childress Racing at the end of the year. Over four years and an Xfinity Series championship later, he is back at the top level of stock car racing.

On Friday, Kaulig Racing announced Hemric will run the full Cup schedule in 2024 in the #31 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The seat is currently filled by Justin Haley, who will vacate it as he heads to Rick Ware Racing at the end of 2023.

“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.”

Hemric finished twenty-fifth in points in his lone season as a Cup driver with a best finish of fifth at Talladega. The season came after spending two years at the Xfinity level for RCR and making the Championship Round both years, while also running two Cup races in 2018. He entered eight Cup races for Kaulig in 2022 including the Daytona 500 in the multi-driver #16, scoring a ninth at Fontana, along with the season finale at Phoenix for 23XI Racing in relief for Ty Gibbs.

After his departure from RCR, he returned to the Xfinity Series as a part-timer for JR Motorsports before latching on with Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021, with whom he simultaneously scored his maiden NASCAR victory and that year’s championship. Hemric signed with Kaulig for 2022 onwards and finished ninth in points in his first year with them.

While he has not won since his championship year, Hemric made the playoffs again in 2023 as the eleventh seed. He moved to the team’s #10 for the postseason, which is competing for the owner’s title. During the regular season, Hemric scored thirteen top tens and a best finish of second at both Atlanta races.

“Daniel’s grit and determination both on and off track are what make him such an integral part of our Kaulig Racing family,” team owner Matt Kaulig added. “Daniel’s competitive edge is what drives him, and his focus on giving back is what grounds him. That’s what has earned him the respect and admiration from his peers at Kaulig Racing, and we will continue to grow with him.”

Kaulig Racing fields the #31 and #16 for A.J. Allmendinger. The team has not confirmed if Allmendinger will return to the car for 2024.