This past weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway, while many focused on the present playoff battle, two teams directed their attention to the future.
JTG Daugherty Racing and Richard Childress Racing announced that they would be bringing two new drivers to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series with Ryan Preece replacing AJ Allmendinger in the No. 47 and, Daniel Hemric doing the same with Ryan Newman and the No. 31 car.
Now, when more casual fans, who may not pay much attention to lower series see these two names, they may wonder how they got themselves into these rides. Is it family money that is backing their way to the top? Or, do they have a multi-million dollar sponsorship attached to them?
After all, that seems to be the growing stereotype with young drivers, and there is nothing wrong with that, as many have proven that they still belong. However, this isn’t the case with Preece and Hemric.
Both of these drivers have had a tall mountain to climb to get themselves here, driving for smaller teams to earn their opportunities in lower series.
Hemric, who earned the opportunity with RCR after showing his skill at the now-defunct Brad Keselowski Racing, a ride in which he received after initially proving himself with NTS Motorsports. While these teams were shutting down around him, his talent has kept him in the sport, and in competitive equipment.
Then there is Preece who may have taken the most significant risks to get to JTG. Leaving a full-time XFINITY Series ride with JD Motorsports for a limited role with Joe Gibbs Racing, to show that he could win races in the right equipment. A move that could very quickly put an end any hope for his career has proven to be the proper chance taken. It’s also a move that may have started a trend, as recently Chip Ganassi Racing allowed the opportunity for Ross Chastain to prove himself.
Now, these two silly season decisions may not be the flashiest or, involve any of the current star but they are without statement moves that should be echoed throughout the sport.
A declaration that it is not all about the money. While it’s without a doubt nicer to have a sponsor or family member that help give you an in, you can still succeed with talent. Something that has proven time and time again in the sport, but bears repeating.
EMAIL MITCHELL AT firstname.lastname@example.org
The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularSpeed.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement.