With Carl Edwards the only Joe Gibbs Racing driver in the Championship 4, what is the path for the other three racers to join him at Miami Homestead? NBC Sports’ Marty Snider reports from the JGR shop ahead of the elimination race at Phoenix International Raceway.
After ending his rookie Xfinity season with Randall Burnett as crew chief, Daniel Hemric will be back with Danny Stockman Jr. on top of his pit box in 2018.
Hemric made the announcement Saturday during the Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series Award ceremony in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Burnett led Hemric’s No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for the final five races of the season. Stockman was suspended for four races after a weight fell off Hemric’s car during practice for the Dover playoff race in September
After Hemric narrowly raced his way into the Championship 4 in the Phoenix elimination race, RCR stuck with Burnett for the title race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Hemric wound up placing fourth in the standings after a battery issue resulted in him finishing 34th.
“I’m very excited about that,” Hemric said of Stockman’s return. “We had some situations that were thrown our way with five races left in the season. … I have all the faith in the world in Danny and in our race team and the direction we’re going as a company and knowing I’ve got him to lead our group is very exciting.”
Hemric finished his rookie year with no wins, seven top fives and 16 top 10s.
He’s still winless in three full-time seasons in NASCAR, including two in the Camping World Truck Series.
The 26-year-old driver addressed some of the struggles he faced in his transition into Xfinity.
“You’ve got more Cup guys on a regular basis,” Hemric said. “Those guys you’re trying to race but you’re trying to learn from them and you’re trying to as a rookie in this series and with a rookie team. We were all working together, so just trying to process all of that. But more than anything else, you’re racing so much more that you see the learning curve kind of take its own path a lot quicker throughout the year. It’s taking advantage of the moments knowing that you get to turn around every four or five days and get back on the race track and you get to work on your craft. It was good to be able to that and kind of have some success early on like we did.”
With Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring from Cup Series competition this season, that means one thing for diecast collectors.
Get them while you still can.
The Racing Collectables Club of America, through Lionel Racing, has released its top-10 list of 1:24-Scale RCCA ELITE diecasts for 2017. The list was included in the RCCA’s year-end catalogue.
According to the Lionel Racing website, ELITE diecasts are the most detailed produced, with more than 260 individual parts.
Earnhardt, who just earned his 15th straight most popular driver award, dominates the list with six of 10 cars.
Below you can see a picture of the full top-10 list.
Here’s the entire top 10.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Axalta “Last Ride” No. 88 Chevrolet – Earnhardt drove this car, based on the No. 8 Budweiser Chevrolet from his 2000 rookie season, in his final start at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
- Ryan Blaney: Motorcraft No. 21 Ford, Pocono race win diecast – Blaney drove this car to his first Cup win on June 11 at Pocono Raceway.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide No. 88 Chevrolet, Darlington throwback paint scheme – Earnhardt raced this car, based on his ACDelco paint scheme from his two Xfinity Series championship seasons (1998-99), in the Southern 500.
- Kurt Busch: Haas Automation No. 41 Ford, Daytona 500 race win diecast – The confetti and grass-covered car Busch won the 59th Daytona 500 in to start the year.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide No. 88 Chevrolet, primary paint scheme
- Austin Dillon: Dow Salutes No. 3 Chevrolet, Coca-Cola 600 race win diecast – The car Dillon drove to his first Cup win in May, sending the No. 3 to Victory Lane for the first time since Dale Earnhardt Sr.’s last win in October 2000 at Talladega Superspeedway.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide No. 88 Chevrolet, patriotic paint scheme – Earnhardt drove this scheme in the Coke 600.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Mountain Dew/Ride With Dale No. 88 Chevrolet, race version – Earnhardt drove this car in his final start at Talladega Superspeedway in October. Fans were able to register to have their names inscribed in the scheme. Earnhardt started from his 15th and final Cup pole in this race.
- Chase Elliott: Hooters No. 24 Chevrolet – Elliott drove this car in the spring Talladega race and the playoff races at Phoenix Raceway and Texas Motor Speedway.
- Dale Earnhardt Jr.: Nationwide “Gray Ghost” No. 88 Chevrolet – Earnhardt drove this car in his final Cup start at Martinsville Speedway. Earnhardt originally intended to run the scheme in the 2016 Southern 500, but Jeff Gordon did when Earnhardt missed the last 18 races of the season for a concussion.
See the list below.
The NASCAR season officially came to a close Saturday night in Charlotte, North Carolina, with the annual Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series Awards at the Charlotte Convention Center. The ceremony will air at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 17 on NBCSN.
Xfinity driver William Byron and Truck Series driver Christopher Bell were recognized as this season’s champions before they move on with their careers. Byron will race in the Cup Series for Hendrick Motorsports and Bell moves up to Xfinity with Joe Gibbs Racing.
NASCAR handed out plenty of annual awards for each series.
Rookie of the Year: Byron (Xfinity) and Chase Briscoe (Trucks)
Manufacturer title: Chevrolet (Xfinity) and Toyota (Trucks)
Comcast Community Champion: Chip Ganassi Racing pit crew department
Mobil 1 Driver of the Year: Kyle Busch (Xfinity) and Bell (Trucks)
Mahle Engine Builder of the Year: Roush Yates Racing’s Doug Yates (Xfinity) and Joe Gibbs Racing’s Mark Cronquist (Trucks).
Duralast Brake in the Race: Busch (Xfinity) and Bell (Trucks)
JR Motorsports’ Elliott Sadler was voted most popular driver for the third time after he finished runner-up in the season standings to Byron.
Brad Keselowski Racing’s Chase Briscoe was voted most popular driver in the Truck Series, though there was a slight mixup with his name on the trophy. We’ve all been there.
Here are more sights from the award ceremony brought to you by social media.
The 2018 NASCAR Cup season is still two months away from its start with the 60th Daytona 500.
But it’s not too early to start brushing yourself up on the various Cup Series paint schemes.
Some teams haven’t made many changes to their cars (Team Penske, Joe Gibbs Racing), while others have completely revamped their looks (Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing).
Here’s your look at all the released paint schemes so far for next season.
This post will be updated.