Hemric Ready to Rock in Debut for JRM at Las Vegas

Ron Lemasters | 2/20/2020

Daniel Hemric Las Vegas News South Point XFINITY Series

Daniel Hemric is ready to shine in his return to the Xfinity Series and debut for JRM Saturday in the No. 8 South Point Chevy at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 20, 2020) – You might forgive Daniel Hemric for looking ahead to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend. JR Motorsports’ newest addition to the driving lineup is eager to get back to work after watching his No. 8 Chevrolet Camaro lead a good portion of the season opener at Daytona.

“It’s interesting,” the 29-year-old Kannapolis, N.C. native mused. “I’ve never been part of a part-time effort in any of NASCAR’s top three series. It’s a different mentality when you’re watching the races. Coming from my situation, there’s a little bitterness because you want to be out there racing, but there’s some pride knowing that your guys put that much effort into having that fast a race car like they did down at Daytona.

“Everyone on this No. 8 team really seemed to gel, but everyone also knows Daytona is one thing and the rest of the schedule is something else. It will be a true test for us this weekend to hopefully unload with some speed, maintain that and have a solid weekend.”

Hemric will run the first of his 21 planned races on the 1.5-mile oval this weekend, driving the South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet. It’s a venue he’s good on, and 1.5-mile tracks have been particularly good for him in his NXS career. In 18 starts on those tracks, Hemric has five top-five and 15 top-10 finishes, the best being a second-place effort in 2018 at Kansas Speedway. In that race, he led a race-high 128 laps.

Heading to Las Vegas with South Point on the car—familiar colors, to be sure—gives Hemric a positive outlook for his JRM debut.

“I’m pretty optimistic heading to Las Vegas,” he said. “I am looking forward to knocking the rust off since it’s been a while since I’ve been in an Xfinity Series car. We’ll have South Point Hotel & Casino on our Chevrolet this weekend, a long-time partner of mine. That’s a lot of things adding up toward a really good weekend.”

Strapping into a JRM Chevrolet is going to be interesting, considering that as a driver at Richard Childress Racing, it was usually a battle between the two teams to see which came out on top. Hemric battled JRM in 2017 and 2018 in the Championship 4 at Homestead-Miami Speedway and watched his new team win both titles. That said, it’s been a good fit for Hemric.

“I’ve had an opportunity to race against JR Motorsports many, many times and been on the winning side and losing side of it,” Hemric said. “It’s incredible to see how family-oriented JRM is and its culture. You come to a new place, a new culture, you have to be able to fit in and conform to that culture. They’ve (JRM) welcomed me with open arms, and that gives me a lot of confidence going to Las Vegas.”

Going to a new team is always a bit stressful, especially when you’ve made a home at one place. Part of switching teams is getting used to different people and different ways of communicating. Hemric said that has been the easy part thus far.

“What I feel (on the track) is up to Taylor (crew chief Taylor Moyer) and the guys, making sure what I feel and everything is to my liking,” he said. “I feel we put a lot of time and effort into understanding all the little nuances. Everyone has to learn each other and we’ve put a lot of time into talking and communicating, things I’ve hit on, things I’ve thought were big hitters and others that weren’t.

“Some people say it doesn’t bear much fruit when you come from different organizations, but a race car is a race car and I feel like we’re all on the same page. It’s a matter of just getting out there, getting some laps under our belt and going from there.”

There might be a few butterflies when it comes to his first laps in JRM’s No. 8 machine, Hemric said.

“A lot of people say they get them, some say they don’t,” he said. “I’ve been racing since I was 5 years old, and I’ve always had them when I step into a race car. My personal feeling is, if I don’t have them, then I’m losing something.

“When I strap in for the first time at the race track for practice, I’ll have some. It’s also a good feeling knowing you’re back where you should be, which is in my office in the race car.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

  • May 23 01:00 PM ET
    Alsco 300 at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • May 30 01:00 PM ET
    Mid-Ohio 170Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
  • June 6 01:30 PM ET
    LTi Printing 250Michigan International Speedway
  • June 13 08:30 PM ET
    Iowa 250Iowa Speedway
  • June 20 04:00 PM ET
    Chicagoland 300Chicagoland Speedway

XFINITY Series Standings

After LS Tractor 200

Phoenix Raceway | 3/7/2020
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Harrison Burton #1760
2Chase Briscoe173-3
3Austin Cindric155-21
4Brandon Jones148-28
5Ross Chastain146-30
6Noah Gragson143-33
7Ryan Sieg143-33
8Justin Haley140-36
9Justin Allgaier138-38
10Michael Annett119-57