Ty Dillon was kind of left high and dry when Germain Racing decided to shutter their doors on their NASCAR operation after last season. Without much funding to offer, Dillon didn’t have much of a shot at landing in another seat to remain in NASCAR’s premiere series for 2021.
They worked hard at it, but without that money tied to your name, it doesn’t matter your accomplishments, it’s hard to open enough doors for the next opportunity.
A similar thing happened to Daniel Hemric. After finishing seventh in the final standings in the Truck Series in in 2015 and sixth in 2016, he moved to Richard Childress Racing in the Xfinity Series for 2017. Following two straight Championship 4 appearances, Hemric graduated up to the Cup Series with RCR.
He won Rookie of the Year in 2019 but due to Tyler Reddick coming up with RCR behind him and him winning two straight NXS titles in back-to-back years (2018-2019), it was either move up to a Cup ride for him with RCR or go elsewhere.
RCR couldn’t afford to lose someone like Reddick which unfortunately came at the expense of Hemric. RCR didn’t want to cut ties with Hemric but with Austin Dillon already under contract and being Childress’ grandson, the only way to accommodate Reddick and Hemric was to expand back to a three-car team.
RCR didn’t have the funding and resources for that in 2020, so in came Reddick and out went Hemric.
Now, both Ty Dillon and Hemric are with Joe Gibbs Racing as teammates in 2021. They’ll compete in the Xfinity Series in top caliber rides.
These are seats that each can win in and make a name for themselves to hope that their name, not their checkbook, lands them a better ride for 2022.
“This is a great opportunity for me to go prove that I’m a winner and show what I know I can do in a race car,” Dillon said on Wednesday.
Hemric, has never won a NASCAR race actually. He’s 0-for-175. It’s astonishing in the sense that he’s finished in the top seven of the points in four of his last five full time seasons. He has 83 combined top 10’s across the top three national divisions and 46 top fives. He’s just not had that victory.
Dillon, hasn’t won a race since 2014 in NASCAR. He won the NXS race at Indianapolis that year for his lone victory of the season. Dillon, went winless in 2015 and 2016 in the series but moved up to Cup with Germain full time in 2017. He was 0-for-162 in Cup unfortunately which with just one win in his last 277 starts, he has been overlooked.
That’s why 2021 is a prove it year for both because if they can’t win with JGR in NXS competition, then what can they win in?
Hemric, has a full season in the No. 18 Toyota. Dillon, only has four opportunities as of now in the No. 54 Toyota as he’ll share that seat with Ty Gibbs and all four Cup Series drivers. That’s why you know this car will be top notch. To have all four Cup drivers and Joe Gibbs’ grandson in that seat, this will get a ton of attention from the team.
Dillon, also finagled a deal to race for the Gaunt Brothers for the Daytona 500 next month in the No. 96 Toyota as his only Cup opportunity right now too.
Sometimes you have to take a step back down to go back up. Germain wasn’t ideal for Dillon. RCR didn’t give enough time for Hemric and lets be honest, they weren’t win ready in 2019 anyways.
Being with JGR can certainly boost their careers, but it could bring them further down too. Pressure is on.