Daniel Hemric will return to the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2020, driving in a part-time role for Dale Earnhardt Jr. — who also will race once next year in his team’s No. 8 Chevrolet.
JR Motorsports announced its 2020 driver lineup for the No. 8 car on Wednesday, with Hemric as the headliner for 21 (of 33) races. Jeb Burton will add 11 races in the entry, and Junior will have one race, yet to be announced.
“I want to thank Dale, Kelley (Earnhardt Miller) and everyone at JR Motorsports for believing in me,” Hemric said in a team release. “For a Kannapolis (N.C.) boy like me, driving for the Earnhardt family is pretty awesome. My goal here is simple — to go win races for JR Motorsports and to help their program any way that I can. I’ve raced against their cars before and I know how they’re capable of running. My focus is on finishing the Cup season out strong, but once the checkered flag flies at Homestead, we’ll set our sights on getting the No. 8 car to Victory Lane early and often next season.”
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Fascinating where this journey called life takes you…..this move to @JRMotorsports is what felt right to me. Humbled, and so thankful for this opportunity! I’m ready to chase wins and a owners championship for @DaleJr @EarnhardtKelley & everyone at @JRMotorsports next year! 👊 https://t.co/ZyT8Vhezz2
— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) November 13, 2019
Hemric will conclude his rookie season with Richard Childress Racing in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. After two years of making the Championship 4 for RCR in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, RCR promoted him to the premier series for this season.
Earlier this year, RCR announced that Tyler Reddick would drive its second car next year, leaving Hemric looking for a new ride.
He found it at JRM.
“Daniel is a solid competitor with a great personality,” Earnhardt Jr. said. “He’ll be a quality addition to our lineup in 2020. We’re lucky to have him. I feel like he has grown as a driver from his time in the Cup Series. That will be valuable to him with this new opportunity to compete in the Xfinity Series. He’s a local Kannapolis (N.C.) native with a lot of determination to succeed, and I’m excited to work with him.”
Burton, meanwhile, made six starts for JR Motorsports this year. Excepting when he had brake issues at Bristol, his average finish was 6.8, earning him more seat time.
Earnhardt’s one start will come at Homestead-Miami Speedway, which he confirmed on Twitter on Thursday night.
Just got into @HomesteadMiami and it’s driving me CRAZY that I have to wait till next March to turn some laps here. I sure miss it. Such a fun track. Gonna be a great weekend for our sport. @NASCARonNBC @NASCAR
— Dale Earnhardt Jr. (@DaleJr) November 15, 2019