Hemric Closes in on Summer Shootout Series Championship
Nearly 50 drivers have competed in the Bath Fitter Legends Car Pro division during this year's Summer Shootout Series at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but one of those drivers has separated himself from the rest of the competition.
That driver is 18-year-old Daniel Hemric, who currently leads the division's championship standings by 152 points after nine of 10 races.
Hemric, a Kannapolis, N.C., resident and recent graduate of South Rowan High School, has dominated the top division of the Summer Shootout Series this season by scoring five feature victories, each of which he has celebrated with a back flip from the roof of his car in Victory Lane.
"It's just something I do to get the fans involved and excited," said Hemric of his fan-pleasing back flips. "I'm just glad I've had so many chances to do it this year."
Making Hemric's season even more impressive is what he has done outside of the Summer Shootout Series this year. He has won an amazing 35 races out of the 52 events he has entered.
He has won races at tracks as far north as Pennsylvania and as far south as Louisiana, where he swept the five-race Battle of the Bayou in May.
"It's been a great season," said Hemric. "We've been able to win a lot of races, and even if we don't win, we're still usually near the front. Things don't usually go as good as they have this year, so I'm definitely happy."
Winning races is nothing new for Hemric. His resume includes nearly 100 feature wins, along with the 2008 Legends Car Pro division championship at Concord Speedway and the 2008 North Carolina state championship for the Legends Car Pro division.
Even with all the success he has already experienced, Hemric won't be completely satisfied until he wins a Summer Shootout Series championship.
"It would be easy to say that the Summer Shootout isn't as big of a deal as the other stuff I've won, but it is. It's even bigger," said Hemric. "In the Shootout you have the best competition and you're racing against 40 or 50 of the best cars in the nation. It would be unbelievable to win the whole deal."
What motivates Hemric to win the Summer Shootout Series championship even more is how close he has come in the past. He finished second in consecutive seasons while competing in the lower Legends Car divisions, then finished third last year in his first season competing in the Pro division.
"I've come close to winning a Summer Shootout championship a few times before, just never finished it off," explained Hemric. "Now I've ran in the Pro division for the last two years and won just about everything you can win in a Legends Car except for the Shootout. That makes it a huge deal to me.
"It would definitely be the icing on the cake, to top it all off with a Summer Shootout championship."
The 16th annual Summer Shootout Series continues Tuesday, Aug. 11, with Championship Night presented by Stock Car Steel. Cabarrus County principals will battle it out in a wild-and-wacky school bus race. Measuring 30 feet long, 112 inches tall and tipping the scales at nearly 13 tons each, these enormous racing machines will battle side-by-side and bumper-to-bumper on the tight quarter-mile oval.
In addition to the school bus race, a full slate of Legends Car and Bandolero action is scheduled. Spectator gates open at 5 p.m. with feature racing at 7:30 p.m.
Adult tickets are just $7 with children ages 6 to 12 admitted for $3 and kids under 6 are free.