Daniel Hemric on Tough Start: ‘I Don’t Attach Myself to Results’

By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer

Daniel Hemric, through six races, has yet to score a top-15 finish in his first NASCAR Cup Series season with Kaulig Racing.

Sitting 27th in points in the team’s lone full-time Cup vehicle, some on the outside could become worrisome while looking at the slow start.

By not those inside.

Hemric, in fact, has recently separated himself from the week-in, week-out stress fest of scoring the best finish possible on Sundays, and hanging his head low if that doesn’t occur.

“I’m in a really, really good spot mentally, to be honest with you,” Hemric said. “I’m back getting a chance to compete with the best in the world every single Sunday. That’s something I take pride in.

“You can harp or dwell as much as you want on the finishes but at the end of the day, I’m putting the work in and the team is putting the work in. The results haven’t followed but my mindset is not worried about the results, it’s about being the best prepared.”

A racecar driver not worried about where he or she finishes can sound foreign to most race fans. This new take on professional auto racing, however, has lifted the weight off his shoulders in recent years, giving him more time to focus on preparation and appreciation.

“Thankfulness, yes. Separating it [from results], no,” he said. “I was terrible at it all the way up until the last couple years.

“I don’t find myself attached to results, which has been extremely freeing, on good weekends and bad.

“We all like to think we can thrive and strive to be better on all points of execution every weekend. I look at our raw green-flag pace through the first couple weeks of the year, our average running pace versus our finishing. Our finish was way higher than our average pace.”

Only twice this season, however, has Hemric’s finishing position been higher than his average running position.

“At the end of the day, it’s all pretty surface, it’s just finishing positions,” he said. “The journey to be better at all aspects of life, I’m in a good spot.

“It is competition and we got to compete at a high level. I’m thankful to have [Team President, Chris Rice and Owner, Matt Kaulig] in my corner, but more or less thankful for the stuff outside the racecar that I have in my life.”

That life includes wife and ex-racer Kenzie and their four-year-old daughter Rhen and one-year-old son Ruston.

To this day, Hemric holds his 2021 Xfinity Series championship close to his heart. Especially, given it’s his lone win in any NASCAR national series.

“It’s always like, ‘Remember that one time when you did something special?’ Gosh, that makes you feel like you’re getting old or phasing yourself out. In the grand scheme of things, it was. It was years ago.”

Hemric is not the only one who remembers that night, to his delight.

“My daughter will see a picture from that night… I never thought in a million years she would remember moments from that night,” he said. “She will bring up things that only she could remember, it’s bizarre.”

Her vivid memory confirms Hemric’s attitude of “results are just results”, whereas family comes first.

“That’s something that has caught us off-guard throughout her entire development — her little mind and attaching it to moments and little things that you wouldn’t think she’d remember from as early as a year old,” he said. “That’s crazy to me that she can remember that. Now, maybe that phases out, right? We’re trying to figure out as parents how long that lasts.

“We were watching my buddy Scott McLaughlin on the IndyCar side finish second in the Million Dollar race out there. They were spraying champagne and [his daughter] all of sudden said, ‘Dad, you remember that time you sprayed that?’ He’s like, ‘What are you trying to say baby girl?’ She said, ‘Yeah you had the orange car and we won, you’re on stage.’ I’m like, how do you remember that? Completely blew my mind. She was maybe shy of a year-and-a-half old at the time.

“It’s pretty mind-boggling. That is the fun of parenting, being surprised every day.”

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