richard childress racing

Getty Images

Daniel Hemric to make Cup debut at Richmond Raceway in April

Leave a comment

Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric will make his Cup debut next month at Richmond Raceway, Richard Childress Racing announced Tuesday on Fox Sports 1’s “NASCAR Race Hub.”

Hemric, 27, will drive the No. 8 Chevrolet for RCR at Richmond on April 21. He will also compete in the Sept. 30 race on the Charlotte Motor Speedway road course.

A native of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Hemric will be sponsored by Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff in both races. The company serves as an associate sponsor on Hemric’s No. 21 car in the Xfinity Series.

“You only get one chance to make your Cup Series debut, and it is pretty incredible to know that I am able to do it with Richard Childress Racing and with a partner such as Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff,” Hemric said in a press release. “RCR and Smokey Mountain Herbal Snuff have been so influential in so many drivers’ careers – a lot of my heroes growing up. To know they will play a large role in the next step of my career and my initial Cup Series debut is very special.”

MORE: Daniel Hemric’s racing career saved by a Ford Mustang

“Since joining our organization, Daniel Hemric has shown his determination and dedication to this sport both on and off the track,” said Richard Childress in a press release. “Making his Cup Series debut is the next step in his career and we are proud to have him take that step with RCR.”

Hemric is in his second full-time season with RCR in the Xfinity Series. Last season he was part of the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Through five races this season, Hemric is fifth in the standings.

“To make my debut at Richmond will make me feel at home, since I spent years coming up through the ranks at short tracks across the country,” Hemric said. “To do it again in front of my hometown crowd in Charlotte later in the year is an overwhelming feeling. Many people have laid everything on the line to get me to this point and I am extremely grateful to all of those people for putting me in position to get this shot in the Cup Series. These are going to be two very special weekends, to say the least.”

The Richmond race weekend won’t be Hemric’s first time in a Cup car. He was called on by RCR last year to drive Ryan Newman’s car in a Goodyear tire test on the CMS road course. He also practiced and qualified Paul Menard‘s car last November at Texas Motor Speedway.

 and on Facebook

Ryan Newman fastest in final Cup practice at Atlanta

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Ryan Newman topped the speed chart in the final practice session for Sunday’s Cup race at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Newman, who will start second in the race, posted a top speed of 184.868 mph around the 1.54-mile track.

He was followed by Martin Truex Jr. (184.597), Paul Menard (184.566), Denny Hamlin (183.564) and Joey Logano (183.303).

“I feel like we’ve got a good car,” Newman said. “I think for sure a top-10 car, maybe a top-five car, but the Liberty National Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was good off the truck and with this whole one Happy Hour it kind of changes things a little bit in how you approach it. Just look forward to the race whenever we get to it, whenever Mother Nature allows us and feel like we will be plenty competitive, just got to put it all together.”

Logano recorded the most laps in the session with 74.

Pole-sitter Kyle Busch was 15th fastest at 180.369 mph.

Hamlin had the best 10-lap average at 176.557 mph. Busch was second at 175.704 mph.

The Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on Fox.

Click here for the speed chart.

Austin Dillon reunited with boy who gave him lucky penny

Photo: Richard Childress Racing

In the midst of a whirlwind following his Daytona 500 victory, Austin Dillon received a surprise.

On Wednesday morning, Dillon was reunited with the boy who gave him the lucky penny that was glued to the dashboard of his No. 3 Chevrolet on Sunday.

Dillon met the boy, named Jordan Wade, at an autograph session prior to the Advance Auto Parts Clash. He gave Jordan a signed hat to replace the Ford hat Jordan was wearing.

The next day, the two encountered each other at the fence around the Cup Series garage, where Jordan presented Dillon with the penny.

In his post-race press conference, Dillon said he hoped to somehow meet Jordan the next day at the track. Instead, Richard Childress Racing managed to track him down and surprised Dillon back at RCR’s headquarters in Welcome, North Carolina.

Jordan met Dillon and Darrell Wallace Jr., who finished second in the Daytona 500.

 and on Facebook

Social Roundup: The day after the Daytona 500

Richard Childress Racing
Leave a comment

Just over 15 hours have elapsed since Austin Dillon won the 60th Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing.

Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet is now on display at Daytona International Speedway’s museum.

It will stay there until next February, when it’s dethroned by the winning car of the 61st Daytona 500.

The winning team posed with the car Monday morning.

And the whirlwind media tour for the new Daytona 500 winner had gotten underway.

While Dillon, owner Richard Childress and crew chief Justin Alexander are still in Daytona, other members of RCR are trickling back to the team’s headquarters in Welcome, North Carolina.

Employees arriving there Monday morning were greeted with a sign congratulating RCR and ECR engines on the victory, which is the third Daytona 500 win for RCR.

William O’Dea, a spotter for Matt Tifft in the Xfinity Series and Ty Dillon in the Cup Series, shared a picture of the sign.

And the town of Welcome shared in greeting the winners back home.

Aric Almirola, who was leading the race at the white flag before wrecking on the backstretch from contact with Dillon, wouldn’t change a thing about how he raced.

And there’s no hard feelings between Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney after aggressive racing between them resulted in a crash with two laps left in the original distance of the race.

Check back for more.


Déjà vu: Lucky penny once again rides with the No. 3 to Daytona 500 victory

Leave a comment

Twenty years ago, Dale Earnhardt Sr. won his only Daytona 500 with a lucky charm on-board his No. 3 Chevrolet.

Glued to his dashboard was a penny given to him by then 6-year-old Wessa Miller the day before the race.

On Sunday, Richard Childress Racing’s No. 3 returned to Daytona’s victory lane in a Cup Series race for the first time since Earnhardt’s historic day.

Austin Dillon, the grandson of team owner Richard Childress, took the checkered flag after contact between him and race leader Aric Almirola on the last lap resulted in Almirola wrecking.

Glued on the left side of dashboard in Dillon’s Chevrolet was his own lucky penny, also given to him by a young fan.

“We did an autograph session before the Clash (on Sunday), and a lot of fans were there, and some kids that I don’t think they knew a whole lot about racing, but they were enjoying themselves,” Dillon said Sunday night.

One of the fans was a seven or eight-year-old boy wearing a white Ford hat.

“I said, ‘Man, you’ve got to take that off,'” Dillon recalled. “I signed my hat, gave it to him, and said, ‘Now, look, I’ve got to be your favorite driver, right?’  And he’s like, ‘All right, cool, I’ve got you now.'”

The next day, Dillon encountered the boy standing at the fence of the Cup garage. He wore the hat Dillon had signed.

“He yelled at me, and I turned, I seen he had my hat on.  So I was like, sweet.  He’s like, ‘Hey, I got this for you.’  It was a lucky penny.  Put it in the car, and it’s sitting on the dash right now, and it’s pretty special.  I think that’s really cool.  I’ve never been that superstitious in my life, but my grandfather is very superstitious, so I listened to him in the race, I ran the bottom more, I found a lucky penny, and it just worked out tonight, I guess.”

The penny that was given to Earnhardt is still in the car that won in 1998. It sits in the Richard Childress Racing Museum in Welcome, North Carolina.

Dillon’s penny will also remain where it was glued as the car is displayed in Daytona’s museum for the next 12 months.

“I think that penny deserves to stay with its owner, the car, so it’s going to stick right there,” Dillon said. “You guys can go check it out. I’d like to find that kid, though.  Maybe I can ‑‑ if somebody knows (him), if you could get him to the track tomorrow, that would be really cool.”