Daniel Hemric – the latest champion of the NASCAR Xfinity Series – won’t get the chance to defend his title in 2022, after getting eliminated after Saturday’s Drive For The Cure 250 at Charlotte’s ROVAL.
However, the 31-year-old’s opportunity to secure a second championship in NASCAR’s second-tier series will continue into next season, as he’ll return to Kaulig Racing full-time in 2023.
Confirmed during Kaulig Racing’s “Team Announcement” on Sunday, Hemric will return to the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro for a second season.
At times, Hemric wasn’t 100-percent confident that a return to Kaulig Racing would be in the cards, after a season that has featured its share of struggles.
“I don’t want to speak for these guys to my left and right, but I believe that they believe in hard work,” Hemric said. “They were assuming something is happening, right. Through the Playoffs, I didn’t necessarily have that, right? I didn’t necessarily know if it was going to work out. You got to do something along the way that makes a team want you.”
Leaving Charlotte’s ROVAL, Hemric currently sits 10th in NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings, having recorded two top-five and 10 top-10 results throughout the season’s 29-race campaign.
Overall, the Kannapolis, North Carolina-native is ecstatic that things worked out to return to the organization for a second year.
“I sit here today, no different than I sat on the floor of my girl’s bedroom last year when Chris (Rice) called me and told me the vision of Kaulig Racing, and I wanted to be a part of that,” Hemric continued. That’s why I came here in the first place. But I didn’t know if I had done my job good enough to have another year. Super thankful to have that, obviously.”
For the 2023 season, Hemric will be paired with current teammate Landon Cassill, as well as up-and-coming driver Chandler Smith, who will graduate to the Xfinity Series full-time.
“For me personally, with 2022 still here, 2023 also starts here today. To be able to go and work with Chandler Smith and to work with Landon Cassill, those are guys I respect.”
At the time of Sunday’s announcement, there had been no further partnership announcements for Hemric’s entry for the 2023 Xfinity Series season.