It’s fair to say that it was a bit of a shock to see Richard Childress fire Daniel Hemric before he’s even done with his rookie season. Especially since Austin Dillon has been allowed to put up the same type of numbers for 6 years now.
Hemric received the #8 car when in my opinion he hadn’t earned his due yet in the Xfinity Series. But, Hemric still had a decent rookie year. Averaging a finish of 23rd each race – Dillon is only averaging 20th – and sitting 25th in the standings – Dillon 23rd – he hasn’t been deplorably bad or shown any sign that he wouldn’t improve.
Doing all this nowadays in RCR cars is actually pretty solid considering how rough things have gotten for the team lately.
I think unfortinately, this decision comes down to age. Hemric is 28-years old, back in the ’90s that would’ve been on par for the norm, but today, if a prospect is not under 24 there considered too old for yellow Cup stripes.
Reddick has had a great season in the Xfinity Series and at age 23, he should be given a Cup ride this coming season. I don’t think it’s fair that Hemric’s shot was taken away in favor of Reddick’s based on driving.
These are Hemric’s Xfinity stats last season and also Reddick’s this season:
Top fives: 16
Top tens: 23
Average finish: 10th
Standing finish: 3rd
Top fives: 24
Top tens: 27
Average finish: 6th
Standings finish: 1st
The discrepancy favoring Reddick is obvious, but to compare their numbers, outside of the win column, Hemric is not dwarfed by Reddick’s stat line. I won’t neglect the fact that Reddick actually won the championship the last two years. But, Hemric actually had better stats than Reddick in every category except for wins, Reddick had 2.
Again, Reddick deserves this ride, no question. But, there was no reason that Hemeric should be fired in order to make room for him outside of the age difference alone.
I’d like to say I hope Hemric lands another ride in Cup next season to see what he can do with some seasoning. However, whatever ride he gets will be lesser than an RCR ride, so I’m not sure it’d actually further his career positively.
Maybe the best option for Hemric is to take a step back with this Cup experience and use it to his advantage and go after an Xfinity or Truck Series championship.