RICHMOND, Va. — Daniel Hemric says he’s confident he did everything in his power to keep his seat with Richard Childress Racing’s No. 8 Chevrolet in 2020, saying that the decision came as a mild surprise.
Hemric reflected on the announcement of his impending departure from the RCR camp after Friday’s practices at Richmond Raceway, host of Saturday night’s Federated Auto Parts 400 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, MRN, SiriusXM). The .75-mile track was also the site of Hemric’s Monster Energy Series debut with RCR in April 2018.
“I feel like every night I’ve laid my head down, I knew I did everything I could do. I’ve always said that,” Hemric said. “If you do that, that’s all you can do in life, no matter what it is — driving a race car, being a father, a husband, a parent, whatever it is. If you lay your head down, you know you gave it everything you had, then that’s what allows me to sleep at night.”
Hemric spent two full seasons in each the Xfinity and Gander Trucks series before moving to NASCAR’s top division for a Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign this year. The 28-year-old driver ranks 25th in the Monster Energy Series standings with a best finish of fifth — his lone top five — at Talladega Superspeedway in April.
RELATED: Full schedule for Richmond
News of RCR’s decision to release Hemric at season’s end trickled out Wednesday, just 10 days shy of a year since an emotional press conference at Charlotte Motor Speedway when Hemric was introduced as Ryan Newman’s successor. Friday at Richmond, Hemric spoke about his future in terms of landing with another organization, including those in NASCAR’s other national series.
“Listen, I’ve been down and out many times,” Hemric said. “Everybody knows my situation, where I’ve come from, the things I’ve had to overcome to get to here, and it’s no different. Back’s been against the wall and hey, somehow you made it to the top level of the sport. So I don’t care where I end up at. I’m not done.”
Hemric joined RCR on the Xfinity Series side, driving its No. 21 Chevrolet for two seasons from 2017-18. He qualified for the Championship 4 round both years, winning five pole positions.
Hemric’s rookie season has been a rocky one, marked by inconsistent results that fueled speculation surrounding his job status for 2020. That instability coincided with the rise of Tyler Reddick, who has won five Xfinity Series races in his first year for RCR, one season removed from claiming the series title for JR Motorsports.
Though team owner Richard Childress has publicly been bullish about Reddick’s premier-series future, the defending series champ has kept mum when asked about a potential link to the No. 8 Chevy. “I got nothing on that for you,” he reiterated Thursday at an Xfinity Series Playoffs kick-off event, saying he was trying to block out distractions as he chases a second title.
For Hemric, he said was “blown away” by the outpouring of support as he tries to determine the next step in his stock-car racing career.
“It’s very humbling to have not only people inside the industry but your peers as far as guys you race with on the race track to have some of the stars of the sport reach out with their gratitude and their praise for what they feel like you’re doing on and off the race track,” Hemric said. “Those are the guys who really see you in the heat of the moment. To have everyone on that side support me like they have, that’s led to a lot of phone calls and a lot of conversations with a lot of race teams over the last week. Because of that I’m thankful.”