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Daniel Hemric: ‘Windows of brightness’ in 2020 job search

TALLADEGA, Ala. — Just more than three weeks ago, Daniel Hemric received word that he’d be looking for a new job for the 2020 racing season. That prospective employer hasn’t been decided yet, but Hemric says the outlook is now much rosier.

“I feel like there’s windows of brightness here and there,” Hemric said Friday, in between Monster Energy Series practices at Talladega Superspeedway. “I think I will land on my feet, and I’ll land right where I’m supposed to. Just got to have faith in the good Lord taking care of me. There’s a lot of variables here involved, so hopefully in the next week or two, I can really feel comfortable with what’s going on.

“Still, just a lot of moving parts and pieces that have to fall … so you just try to keep yourself as pumped up as you can in a time like this and just know the sun’s going to come up tomorrow, and we’ll all be better for it. Just trying to keep that mindset and do all I can do to control the outcome, but at the end of the day, it’s going to work out the way it’s supposed to.”

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Hemric’s first full season in the Monster Energy Series has been marked by uneven results, but this weekend’s return to Talladega rekindles memories of one of the year’s bright spots. Hemric placed fifth as part of a stellar team effort by Chevrolet to notch his first — and thus far only — top-five finish.

In the weeks since that late April race here, the landscape has changed for driver-team alignments with new alliances taking shape for 2020. Hemric wasn’t immune, and the news trickled out Sept. 17 that Richard Childress Racing was heading in a different direction with its No. 8 Chevrolet, a seat to be filled by the rookie-in-waiting Tyler Reddick.

Those job ripples haven’t stopped, and Hemric figures prominently in where the next scenarios may shake out.

“As a whole, our sport — especially at the Cup level — has had some pretty big dominoes fall over the last two to three weeks,” Hemric said. “Some of those were a week or two following me finding out what my future was — or what I thought it was. As that’s all happened, it does. It shakes up everything and it brings conversation with folks you never thought you’d be having conversations with, and that’s from all three series. … All I want is a shot to compete and do it at a high level, no matter what level that’s in.”

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Though his time with Richard Childress Racing is winding up after three seasons — two in the Xfinity Series, one in Cup — Hemric insists he’s not simply playing out the string. The 28-year-old driver is in the midst of a tight Sunoco Rookie of the Year battle with JTG Daugherty Racing’s Ryan Preece with six races remaining, starting this weekend at Talladega.

“I think no matter what you want to look at it, all the way up to Homestead, I still have jobs and goals that are still obtainable in what I set out to do — not only this year as my rookie Cup season, but what I set out to do three years ago at RCR,” Hemric said. “I want to check those things off and be in the mix all the way up until the checkered flag flies at Homestead.”