Kaulig Racing named Hemric to its No. 31 Cup car for next year. Justin Haley, who currently drives the No. 31 for the team, already had announced he signed with Rick Ware Racing in 2024.
Hemric drove part time in Xfinity for JR Motorsports in 2020 and then won the Xfinity championship in 2021 driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, capping the season with his first career Xfinity win in the season finale to clinch the crown. He moved to Kaulig Racing for 2022 and 2023.
Hemric was 25th in the Cup standings in 2019 driving for Richard Childress Racing before being released to make room for Tyler Reddick. Hemric had one top-5 (a fifth at Talladega) and two top-10s in averaging a 22nd-place finish at RCR.
“You do a lot about yourself through those ups and through those downs,” Hemric said. “I know what a race-car driver at that level has to go through in preparation and being on the racetrack but more so what happens once you leave the racetrack — how to detach, how to still mentally stay sound at home and still be the best father and best husband.
“I know without a shadow of a doubt — it would be naïve for me to think I’m the same person. I’m not. I’m excited about the person that I am going into this opportunity.”
The 32-year-old Hemric is known for being a strong racer, having made the Xfinity championship race three times and making his fifth playoff appearance this year. But he only has one win in 179 career Xfinity starts.
“Daniel continues to believe in the Kaulig Racing culture,” team president Chris Rice said. “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.”
Kaulig Racing has fielded cars in the Xfinity Series for several years and then added two Cup cars in 2022. Hemric drove in nine Cup races for Kaulig in 2022 in the No. 16 car, which was split among several drivers. AJ Allmendinger has driven it full time in 2023. He has said he will drive full time in Kaulig either in Xfinity or Cup.
While saying he is excited about the plans for the No. 16 car, Rice wouldn’t disclose those plans Friday.
Bob Pockrass covers NASCAR for FOX Sports. He has spent decades covering motorsports, including the past 30 Daytona 500s, with stints at ESPN, Sporting News, NASCAR Scene magazine and The (Daytona Beach) News-Journal. Follow him on Twitter @bobpockrass, and sign up for the FOX Sports NASCAR Newsletter with Bob Pockrass.
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