Daniel Hemric’s name has been floated around for a few rides this NASCAR Silly Season. However, the most obvious spot for him and his future was never brought up. Until Friday night when Adam Stern tweeted this;
— Adam Stern (@A_S12) August 17, 2018
Daniel Hemric is the best driver Richard Childress Racing currently has on their roster in Cup or Xfinity. The 27-year old is essentially a younger, cheaper Ryan Newman. Hemric gets the most out of the car while not jeopardizing a solid points day. The biggest knock against Hemric is the fact he has yet to win in a national NASCAR series.
In 55 Xfinity starts he has 30 Top-10’s, 17 Top-5’s and three poles. Unfortunately, he has yet to break through for that first win, but it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. There have been a handful of races over the past two seasons where it looked like it would be Hemric’s day.
Hemric is running two NASCAR Cup Series races for RCR in 2018. His first start at the spring Richmond race resulted in a 32nd place finish. Think of the worst possible debut and that’s what happened for Hemric, nothing went right. Much like Chase Elliott’s first start at Martinsville in 2015.
JTG Racing and LFR have both been mentioned as possible landing spots for Hemric. Both are essentially on par with RCR equipment on most tracks. LFR by all accounts will be a Toyota team in 2019 which would be a huge upgrade for Hemric.
If RCR does elect to put him in the #31 in 2019 it will likely be a lateral move for a year but an increasingly more productive move after the learning curve.
In 4 seasons with RCR Ryan Newman has recorded exactly one win and that was on strategy at Phoenix last season. Overall he has been that very steady drive whose average finish floats around 15. He’ll likely put you in the playoffs but barring a 2015 miracle run, he isn’t competing for a championship.
So why not put the younger, cheaper guy in the car if you can get the same results? The plus side for Hemric is his upside. We’ve seen Newman level off whether that’s a loss of drive or an inability to adapt to the new package. Hemric can replicate the results of Newman and likely build off them in year two and three.
Not to mention Hemric is the most naturally talented driver RCR has and if Richard is smart he’ll start fielding cars for drivers who have long-term talent. Austin Dillon will be in NASCAR long term and while he has two “circumstantial” wins he isn’t the future of RCR.
If RCR doesn’t promote Hemric they will lose him. And for what? Because CAT likes Newman and he’s a good guy? Don’t sacrifice the future of the company for one driver with a year or two left.
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