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Danny Stockman Jr. returning as Daniel Hemric’s crew chief in 2018

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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.”

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Daniel Hemric moves forward with new contract, but without key crew members in Xfinity playoffs

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CONCORD, North Carolina — It’s been an uneven week for Daniel Hemric.

The 26-year-old driver arrived at Charlotte Motor Speedway with a new contract with Richard Childress Racing, keeping him in the team’s No. 21 Chevrolet in the Xfinity Series next year.

But the rookie, one of 12 drivers in the Xfinity playoffs, also entered the 1.5-mile track without three key crew members who are suspended for the next four races.

Crew chief Danny Stockman Jr., car chief Clint Almquist and engineer Luke Mason were suspended after a piece of tungsten ballast fell off Hemric’s car on pit road at Dover.

They will not be eligible to return until the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The suspension comes with Hemric sitting fifth in the standings, 37 points above the first driver outside a transfer spot. The Round of 8 field will be decided by Saturday’s Drive for the Cure 300.

But Hemric believes his team will be unfazed by the suspensions due to RCR’s depth and experience. Randall Burnett, a former Cup crew chief, will serve as crew chief of the No. 21.

“Obviously, we accepted what happened,” Hemric said Friday. “We know it’s unacceptable and we’re not very proud of how it all went down on our end. But I talked about the depth of the company earlier and how we answer those calls, that depends on us. I feel solid with the group of guys we have to move forward with. I know Danny Stockman and my engineer back at the shop are still very, very, heavily involved in what’s going to happen at the race track, throughout the race weekends and know those guys have been a huge part of what’s gotten me into this situation we’re in.

“I know as a whole, RCR is rallying around myself and Brendan Gaughan here in the Xfinity Series to make sure that we have the best possible shop to run for the championship. We’re going to take what was given to us throughout the week (in) stride and feel like it’s not going affect us in any form of a negative way going forward.”

If Hemric falters and isn’t able to advance to the next round, he can be at ease knowing a disappointing end to the season won’t hurt his career prospects come February. Hemric and Matt Tifft were both announced as part of RCR’s Xfinity lineup for next season. 

“It’s obviously a very humbling situation to be a part of,” said Hemric, who is a native of nearby Kannapolis. “Just so pumped up to be part of Richard Childress Racing. … everybody knows we’re kind of in a rebuilding mode. I think we’ve done that all year on the Xfinity side. I know the Cup side’s doing the same thing.”

While RCR won two Cup races this year, the team’s five Xfinity cars have not won this season. The last year RCR did not win a Xfinity race was 2011, when it only made three starts with Tim George, Jr.

“I look forward to being able to stay with the progression of where the company’s going,” Hemric said. “Anytime you can be a part of that, it’s a very trying time because you can get down. But I think Richard Childress is a great leader, we’ve got a bunch of great leaders, a lot of depth in our company that’s allowed us to take these strides, staying together good or bad.”

Hemric has six top fives and 14 top 10s in 28 starts this season. He’s still looking for his first NASCAR victory after 49 starts in the Camping World Truck Series proved fruitless.

When RCR made its announcement regarding Hemric, it did not announce if Stockman would remain his crew chief next year.

“Danny Stockman has done an incredible job of not only assembling a race team from scratch, which is what we did over the offseason leading into this year,” Hemric said. “A group of guys that never really worked hand-in-hand together. What we did in such a short amount of time was pretty impressive from my side, on the outside looking in and being involved in it. I’m proud of that. We’ll get through the four-race suspension with those guys and kind of reevaluate everything over the offseason. That’s our time to figure out what’s best for my career and what’s best for the company moving forward.”

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NASCAR suspends 3 members of RCR No. 21 Xfinity team 4 races

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NASCAR issued six penalties Tuesday stemming from violations at both Dover International Speedway (Cup and Xfinity Series) and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (Trucks) this past weekend.

The most severe penalty came in the Xfinity Series with Richard Childress Racing getting hit hard for the No. 21 team (driver: Daniel Hemric).

Crew chief Danny Stockman Jr., car chief Clint Almquist and engineer Luke Mason have been suspended for the next four Xfinity Series races after a piece of tungsten ballast fell off Hemric’s car on pit road at Dover.

All will be eligible to return to the season-ending race at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 14.

The penalty comes from the NASCAR Rule Book, Section 20.3.5 Safety — Ballast Containers: loss or separation of added ballast from the vehicle.

Here’s a breakdown of the other penalties:

Cup: No. 14 (driver Clint Bowyer) crew chief Mike Bugarewicz fined $10,000 for violating Section 10.9.10.4 (one loose lug nut discovered after Dover race).

Cup: No. 77 (driver Erik Jones) crew chief Chris Gayle fined $10,000 for violating Section 10.9.10.4 (one loose lug nut discovered after Dover race).

Xfinity: No. 20 (driver Erik Jones) crew chief Chris Gabehart fined $5,000 for violating Section 10.9.10.4 (one loose lug nut discovered after Dover race).

Xfinity: No. 48 (driver Brennan Poole) crew chief Chad Norris fined $5,000 for violating Section 10.9.10.4 (one loose lug nut discovered after Dover race).

Trucks: No 88 (driver Matt Crafton) crew chief Carl Joiner fined $2,500 for violating Section 10.9.10.4 (one loose lug nut discovered after Dover race).

Three Xfinity crew chiefs fined, one suspended for lug nut violations

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Crew chief Danny Stockman Jr. has been suspended for this weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Talladega and fined $10,000 for only having 18 lug nuts secured on Daniel Hemric‘s No. 21 Chevrolet after last weekend’s race at Richmond.

Stockman is one of three Xfinity crew chiefs in trouble over lug nut violations.

Matt Swidersk, crew chief of Ty Dillon‘s No. 3 Chevrolet, and Mark Setzer, crew chief of  Quin Houff‘s No. 46 Chevrolet, have been fined $5,000 for only having 19 of 20 lug nuts secured.

Stockman’s punishment comes after Hemric finished a career-best third in his eighth race.

A Richard Childress Racing representative confirmed to NBC Sports that Chad Walter will serve as Hemric’s crew chief. Walter last served as a crew chief in 2012 with Team Penske. He has five wins in 207 Xfinity races as crew chief.