The Latest: Hemric eager to rep North Carolina in No. 8


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on NASCAR media day for the Daytona 500 (all times local):

10 a.m.

Daniel Hemric hopes his surprise run in time trials for the Daytona 500 is just one of many highlights in his rookie season.

Hemric advanced into the final round of single-car qualifying and landed fifth on the timing stand — behind only Hendrick Motorsports’ four-car sweep.

Hemric will make his Cup Series debut in Sunday’s season-opening race and use the biggest stage to introduce himself as a throwback of NASCAR’s earliest stars. Hemric grew up in Kannapolis, North Carolina, home of the Earnhardt family and he grew up rooting for the late Dale Earnhardt.

His big break came with Richard Childress Racing, Earnhardt’s old team, and his car number is from a sacred stash that isn’t given to just any driver. Hemric will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet, used before by Earnhardt family patriarch Ralph Earnhardt and later Dale Earnhardt Jr.

Earnhardt Sr. drove the No. 3 Chevrolet, and Childress brought that number back for his grandson, Austin Dillon. Dillon drove the No. 3 to victory in last year’s Daytona 500.

“It’s a huge sense of pride to be from Kannapolis and also a sense of pride in our race shop, when guys realize where I come from, where I’ve been and how I got to this point, it puts a pep in everybody’s step,” Hemric said. “It’s the American dream of how a guy can get to this level, and I’m pumped up to carry the flag for Kannapolis and have a shot to build something incredible.”

Source: Fox Sports

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