Daniel Hemric used his best performance of the year on an intermediate track to clinch the 2019 Sunoco Rookie of the Year Award on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
The Richard Childress Racing rookie entered the final race of the year 10 points ahead of JTG Daugherty’s Ryan Preece, then turned in a 12th-place performance in the Ford EcoBoost 400. The 25-point day topped Preece’s 12-point race, clinching the honor.
“It’s pretty special to say the least,” Hemric said. “I wish we were able to win Rookie of the Year and have a couple more solid finishes throughout the year than what we had, but about five or six years ago, myself and Preece somehow ended up tied with four or five races to go, so we knew we had to buckle down. And really proud of this group for doing that.”
Hemric drove the No. 8 for Richard Childress Racing this year, finishing the year with one top-five finish, two top-10 finishes and one Busch Pole Award.
The 28-year-old Kannapolis, North Carolina, native will join JR Motorsports in 2020 and drive 21 NASCAR Xfinity Series in that team’s No. 8.
“We are proud of Daniel Hemric for winning the 2019 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of the Year title,” said Jim Campbell, Chevrolet’s U.S. Vice President of Performance and Motorsports. “Daniel is a talented driver, teammate, and class act. We are excited that he won this award and we look forward to more great things from him in the future.”
Hemric joins Chase Briscoe and Tyler Ankrum as the top rookies of the year. Briscoe won the honor in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, with Ankrum taking it in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.