Daniel Hemric returns to NASCAR Cup series in Kaulig Racing’s No. 31 car in 2024

BRISTOL, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 15: Daniel Hemric, driver of the #10 Cirkul Chevrolet, looks on during qualifying for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway on September 15, 2023 in Bristol, Tennessee. (Photo by Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Former NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric will fill the seat of the No. 31 Kaulig Racing NASCAR Cup Series Chevrolet next season, team president Chris Rice announced during a press conference on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hemric succeeds Justin Haley, who is leaving Kaulig at the end of the season to drive for Rick Ware Racing.

In 276 starts across all three of NASCAR’s national series, Hemric has posted one victory, but that lone win came in the Xfinity Series Championship 4 race at Phoenix in 2021, earning Hemric the series title.

The 2024 season will mark Hemric’s second full-time foray into NASCAR’s top division. In 2019, he drove the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet to a 25th-place finish in the Cup standings, with a best result of fifth at Talladega.

“I appreciate these guys,” Hemric said of Rice and team owner Matt Kaulig. “They went to bat for me when I didn’t know what I had next, in 2021. When I got to sit down and actually hear them out, hear what their vision was, not only for 2021—but for 2024 and 2025 and beyond—back well before that was on the horizon, I knew after hearing what they had to say that I wanted to be a part of it.

“You’re never promised anything. You never know what’s to come, but one thing’s that’s always been true is if you keep showing up, put the work in and bring that heart each and every week, you’re going to have that same shot you can only dream of.

“Yeah, it’s been a whirlwind, to say the least… But it’s here—I’m going back.”