With the NASCAR offseason nearly over, Daniel Hemric is itching to get back to the racetrack. Poised to begin his sophomore season with Richard Childress Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Hemric is eager to get the No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet in the thick of competition.
While the Xfinity season does not kick off until Feb. 17 at Daytona International Speedway, the Kannapolis, North Carolina, native went back to his roots for some Super Late Model racing with new partner South Point Hotel & Casino on the side of his car.
The 4th Annual Winter Showdown at Kern County Raceway in Bakersfield, California is what Hemric described as “the Snowball Derby” of the West Coast. The 300-lap race around the half-mile track had a total of 36 cars take the green flag, with NASCAR drivers such as Kyle Busch, Ty Majeski, Noah Gragson and Mason Mingus also entered in the field.
Before making the trip to California for the event, Hemric learned that South Point Hotel & Casino owner Michael Gaughan was old friends with one of the investors in the Super Late Model team he would be running for in the Winter Showdown.
A simple discussion about helping with a tire bill eventually led to a partnership to carry the South Point colors on his No. 21 Chevrolet Super Late Model. Not only did Hemric kick the dust off and get back behind the wheel of a race car before the start of the official NASCAR season, he did so with South Point Hotel & Casino on board.
Rolling off third, Hemric rode inside the top 10 for much of the event saving tires as he knew it could come down to a late battle. Although Busch had the car to beat, Hemric’s No. 21 South Point Hotel & Casino Chevrolet lined up fourth with a late-race restart. The RCR Xfinity Series regular got a strong jump on the restart and was forced to fight with teammate Buddy Shepherd over the final laps of the race.
Coming home in the third spot, Hemric missed out on the win but was able to get some on-track time before heading to Daytona, carry the South Point Hotel & Casino colors on the racetrack and have some fun along the way.
Had a great time all week at @KernRaceway…..Gave it all I had, just came up short, finished 3rd. Thankful to everyone that allowed me to come out here and have some fun. @KyleBusch wore us out, plain and simple. Congrats man 👍
— Daniel Hemric (@DanielHemric) February 4, 2018
“I truly enjoyed racing Kern County Raceway, and having the opportunity to compete against some of the best racers in the country and do it on the West Coast,” said Hemric. “Three-hundred laps is a long race in a Super Late Model, but it was definitely a good tune-up race for myself and a great run to begin our partnership with South Point Hotel & Casino. I’m very thankful they came on board and supported my effort at the Winter Showdown with the entire Wilson Motorsports group.
“Hopefully, we can use our third-place finish out there to give us some momentum as we roll into Daytona in one short week.”