Growing up in Kannapolis, Daniel Hemric never thought he would have the opportunity to race cars professionally, but this year the 24-year-old is fulfilling his dream and chasing championships in two series.
After seven of 23 races in NASCAR’s Camping World Truck Series, Hemric is seventh in the standings. In the Southern Super Series, he’s third in points, seven races into the 13-event schedule for super late models.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Hemric said about racing full-time in the two series. “It’s been a little hectic, but that’s been the story of my life, just trying to figure how to race every weekend.
“It’s really a dream come true because ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to race cars for a living, but I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do it. I’ve had a lot of really good people step up and help coordinate the whole deal to make it all work. It’s been a dream year so far.”
Hemric began racing go-karts at age 5 at Concord Motorsports Park. Five years later he moved up to Bandoleros and competed in that division until he was 15. Next he focused on Legend cars where he won the 2009 national championship in addition to Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Summer Shootout Series title. In 2010, he won CMS’ Legends Million and points to that event as the boost his career needed. Then, in 2013, Hemric claimed the Southern Super Series championship. That year Hemric also made his NASCAR Truck Series debut, but he didn’t have a full-time ride on that circuit until this year when he joined NTS Motorsports.
“The (truck) deal came about near the end of last year, around October or November,” said Hemric, who now lives in Mooresville. “The Southern Super Series deal with Carswell Motorsports, we’ve been together ever since the (series) inaugural year two years ago. This is the third year of that series and we’ve been pretty committed to running all of those races every year.”
Hemric opened the truck series season with a 26th-place finish at Daytona due to a wreck. It’s the only race he’s failed to finish and he hasn’t been outside the top 20 since.
Normally, Hemric travels with his Kernersville-based truck team, which uses the Statesville airport, but the Texas race was different due to the super late model event in Georgia.
“It was a big task to get back, but we made it all work,” Hemric said.
Hemric flew to Texas with his truck team, spent the night after the Friday truck race and then took a 5:30 a.m. commercial flight to Atlanta on Saturday. Once landing in Georgia, his Carswell Motorsports team picked him up at the airport. They then drove for two hours to Watermelon Capital Speedway in Cordele and arrived just as the gates opened at noon.
After an afternoon of practice and qualifying, Hemric piloted his Woodstock, Ga.-based team’s entry to victory. The victory was Hemric’s second this season in the Southern Super Series and gave him his fifth top-five. He now trails standings’ leader Casey Smith by 38 points heading into the June 20 race at Montgomery, Ala., Motor Speedway.
Hemric said his toughest adjustment in competing in the two different series was the mindset needed when he transitioned from the trucks back to the super late models.
“In the late models, you get one set of tires for the whole race so you have to manage that,” Hemric said. “In the trucks, you can make pit stops throughout the race, so you get a chance to make your stuff better and better and you get new tires.”
Hemric said with his focus on the two series this season he won’t compete in CMS’ Summer Shootout Series.
X Games Medals
Rallycross may be relatively new to the United States, but drivers living in North Carolina received international recognition at this year’s X Games in Austin, Texas.
Mt. Holly resident Scott Speed, driving a Volkswagen Andretti Rallycross Beetle, claimed the gold medal, while Huntersville’s Steve Arpin earned the silver in a Ford Fiesta ST fielded by Concord-based Chip Ganassi Racing. Sebastian Eriksson, driving for Mooresville-based Olsbergs MSE, received the bronze.
It was Speed’s second consecutive gold medal in the X Games and his third overall, with his first coming in 2013 in Brazil. Arpin’s silver medal was his first in X Games competition. Eriksson’s bronze medal is his second. He earned his first in GRC Lites competition in Los Angeles in 2013.
The Red Bull Global Rallycross Series resumes its regular schedule June 20-21 at Daytona International Speedway.
Harrisburg-based U.S. Legend Cars International has scheduled a three-day speed camp at Charlotte Motor Speedway’s quarter-mile oval. The camp is set for June 25-27.
Anderson leads in points
Greg Anderson, whose 2014 NHRA season was cut short due to heart surgery, took the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Pro Stock point lead with his 76th career victory in the Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. It was the Mooresville resident’s sixth Pro Stock victory at the Englishtown, N.J., facility. He also was the event’s No. 1 qualifier in Pro Stock.
Anderson’s teammate, Mooresville resident Jason Line, was third in the standings heading into the June 12-14 New England Nationals at Epping, N.H.
Ward rejoins Ganassi
Jeff Ward, the first rider to win every AMA national motocross championship and a former member of Chip Ganassi Racing’s IndyCar program, has joined the team’s Concord-based Red Bull Global Rallycross team for two events.
Ward will drive for the team June 19-21 at Daytona and Aug. 15 in Washington, D.C. Ward will step into the team’s No. 38 Ford Fiesta ST in place of Brian Deegan, who is running a limited schedule for the team this year. Ward’s last full IndyCar season came with Ganassi in 2002 when he finished 11th in points and claimed his first open-wheel victory in Texas.
Josh Berry and William Byron won two Twin 75 NASCAR late model events at South Boston, Va., Speedway earlier this month for Mooresville-based JR Motorsports.
Byron is a Charlotte native, while Berry grew up in Hendersonville, Tenn. Byron also is competing for the Mooresville-based HScott Motorsports in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East. He leads those standings heading into the June 20 race at Langley (Va.) Speedway.
In a night of two modified races at Bowman Gray Stadium in Winston-Salem, Danny Bohn of Mooresville emerged victorious in the second event. He finished seventh in the first race, which was won by Jason Myers. Bohn is the defending Bowman Gray modified champion.
Salisbury’s Jantzen Stirewalt claimed his third Allison Legacy Series victory this season at Florence Motor Speedway in Timmonsville, S.C.
Heading into the July 3 event at Hickory Motor Speedway, Stirewalt possesses a 25-point lead in the standings over Hunter Moody of Landis.
Deb Williams is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Deb? Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.