Sunday was bittersweet for Daniel Hemric.
After finishing 12th in his final run in the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Hemric was crowned Sunoco Rookie of the Year in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
Next year, however, Hemric won’t be driving in the Cup series, having been replaced in his RCR ride by two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick. Hemric will compete in 21 races for JR Motorsports in the Xfinity Series in 2020.
“Yeah, I’m really pumped up starting right to getting to work on that deal,” Hemric said after the Ford EcoBoost 400. “It’s kind of a breath of fresh air knowing I’ve got the opportunity to go back and… having runs like tonight make me go into the offseason knowing I can compete and race at this level.”
Hemric finished 25th in the final standings in his first season at NASCAR’s top level.
“It’s the little things when you have a season like we’ve had that get you over that emotional hump,” he said. “I mean, I passed a seven time champion (Jimmie Johnson) on the last lap of a 60 lap run at Homestead. Those are little victories you find in the light at the end of the tunnel in years like this.”