DENVER, N.C. - From speeding down the go-kart track to winning back-to-back Legends Pro Championships in 2008, 2009, Kannapolis native Daniel Hemric is no stranger to the sport of racing.
Now at 22, Hemric is getting the chance of a lifetime with Sharp-Gallaher Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Hemric credits his current situation to Austin Dillion, who introduced him to Eddie Sharp and Bill Gallaher, the owners of SGR.
Hemric began racing go-karts and then graduated to Legends cars at the age of 16.
Shortly after, Hemric won back-to-back Legends Pro Championships, and claimed a 2009 Summer Shootout Championship at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
On top of that, Hemric made the trip to victory land during the Summer Shootout series six times during the 10 race series at his favorite track.
"Charlotte Motor Speedway has been very good to me over the past several years. You know, I have competed in a bunch of big races there and that is mostly on the quarter mile, so hopefully I will be able to win on the big track there someday," he said.
IMAGES: Daniel Hemric at Charlotte Motor Speedway over the years
In 2010, Hemric won the nationally televised Legends Million event at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and then he moved up to race the modifieds and the late model series.
Going into the weekend, Hemric talked about what the whole experience feels like.
"I was a little overwhelmed to start with, but now that we have got the test and we got to really kind of break the ice, it is really going to be a lot of fun. I woke up this morning though, and we are only a couple days away now, so I have kind of started to realize now that it is just a few days away. It is really hitting home," he said.
Hemric is not alone either; he has a lot of support from SGR and sponsors who believe in him.
"That is only the way that I am going to be able to do this. We have a lot of good people who have come on board with this and to give me the opportunity to do this. You know we have Jack Links Beef Jerky and Valvoline coming on, that is huge for us and it is going to give us everything that we can to make this happen," he said.
For the future, Hemric has big goals, but he is making sure to take it one day at a time.
VIDEO: Kannapolis native Hemric to make NASCAR debut at Martinsville
"Ultimately the goal this weekend is to complete 200 laps and get ourselves in good position to, you know, hopefully end up with a really good run and are in contention to win. Looking forward, the ultimate goal is to move forward and progress into the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series later," he said.
And those goals include working on his truck. Hemric said that it has been a major adjustment to not have the responsibility to really maintain his race car, but that doesn't stop him from lending a helping hand when need be.
"That is the only way that I have ever raced – to be hands on, and that is usually the only way I made it to the race track. So it is a little bit different. I have been trying to stand back a little bit and let everyone else do it, but it has definitely been fun so far," he said.
Hemric grew up in Kannapolis and said that he hopes to make those from that area proud.
"It is huge for me and my family. Even more it is cool to be able to give everyone in Kannapolis the shot to cheer for someone from Kannapolis, so I am really excited about it," he said.
Overall, Hemric's main feeling about his debut was "I am just really excited and glad that I get to work with a lot of good people."
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