A Story of Perseverance
Daniel Hemric, the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series Champion, joined Kaulig Racing in 2022, where he currently aims to retake the title while driving the No. 11 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series.
Hemric broke through in the most dramatic way possible in the 2021 season finale at Phoenix Raceway, with a dramatic last lap, last corner pass to score his first career NASCAR victory, and secure the series championship at the same time. Driving the No. 18 Poppy Bank Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, Hemric excelled in the post season, racking up top-five finishes in all but one of the seven playoff races. He made the championship round for the third time in three full-time Xfinity Series seasons.
Hemric began his racing career at the young age of 5 behind the wheel of a go-kart and collected a combined 11 wins and a track championship at Concord Speedway before the age of 10. After his successful stint in go-kart racing, Hemric advanced to Bandoleros and Legend Cars, earning additional victories and back-to-back Legend Car Pro championships.
In 2009, Hemric made 80 Legend Car starts and scored 60 wins en route to the National Legend Car Pro championship as well as the Summer Shootout Series championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Hemric also jumped over to Late Model racing, breaking the track record and scoring a runner-up finish in his first-start at Concord (N.C.) Speedway.
Hemric earned the largest paycheck in Legend Car history in 2010 after he scored a victory in the inaugural Legends Million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway, in an event that saw over 300 entries in the one-of-a-kind grassroots event.
With his super late model career in full swing, Hemric earned two championships in back-to-back years as he was crowned champion in the 2012 Champion Racing Association JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour and the Southern Super Series in 2013. He also picked up another Legend Car title as Summer Shootout Series champion in 2012.
Hemric made his NASCAR debut in the Truck Series at Martinsville Speedway in 2013. He made three starts in the Truck Series in 2013 and 2014, earning a best finish of 12th at Homestead-Miami Speedway before joining NTS Motorsports, full time in 2015. Hemric’s first season netted the young driver four top-fives, 13 top-10 finishes, resulting in a seventh-place finish in the championship standings.
For his sophomore campaign in the Truck Series, Hemric moved to Brad Keselowski Racing for 2016, qualifying for the inaugural NGOTS Playoffs on the heels of 11 top fives and 17 top 10s, ultimately ending the season sixth in the championship standings.
Hemric continued his ascent up the NASCAR ranks in 2017, moving into the Xfinity Series. During his two full-time NXS seasons, driving for Richard Childress Racing, Hemric scored a combined 23 top fives, 39 top 10s, five poles and an average finish of 11.1 in 66 starts. Hemric also qualified for the Championship 4 in each of his two seasons in the series, finishing fourth in 2017 and third in 2018.
2018 also saw Hemric make his NASCAR Cup Series debut at Richmond Raceway. Hemric would go on to make an additional Cup start at the Charlotte Roval in 2018 before graduating to full-time Cup Series competition for Richard Childress Racing in 2019. The 2019 campaign for Hemric saw the rookie-driver earn a top-five result at Talladega as well as a pole position at Kansas, propelling the then 28-year old to the 2019 Cup Series Rookie of the Year award.
Hemric moved back to the Xfinity Series in 2020, driving a partial schedule for JR Motorsports. He racked up seven top-five and 12 top-10 finishes in his 21 starts with JRM, including four top-five finishes in his last five starts, all during the Xfinity Series playoffs. At the conclusion of the 2020 season, it was announced that Hemric would return to full-time competition in 2021, driving the No. 18 Toyota Joe Gibbs Racing in the Xfinity Series, where he would eventually be crowned the 2021 Xfinity Series Champion.
For 2022, Hemric made the switch to Kaulig Racing and back into the Chevrolet camp. An opportunity giving him a full-time Xfinity Series schedule, as well as a part-time schedule in the NASCAR Cup Series. He would go on to make the Xfinity Series Playoffs. Hemric had a comeback for the record books at Fontana, when he came back from being six laps down, to finish 9th in the NASCAR Cup Series race.