Kaulig Racing has finalized its NASCAR Cup Series line-up for the 2022 season, with Noah Gragson and newly-crowned Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric coming on board to share the No.16 Chevrolet Camaro with A.J. Allmendinger.
The addition of Gragson and Hemric gives the Matt Kaulig-owned organization three out of the four Championship 4 drivers from this year’s Xfinity Series title battle. Justin Haley remains team’s only full-time Cup Series driver for next season.
“We think our roster for the 2022 season features some great drivers,” said team president Chris Rice via a team release. “Having three out of the four Xfinity Series championship contenders helping to build our new Cup Series program is truly a tremendous opportunity for this Kaulig Racing team. While these guys have been fierce competitors for the last few years, having them bring that same tenacity as teammates will be extremely fun to watch and a great way for this team to grow in its first, full season in the Cup Series.”
A specific schedule for each of the three drivers in the second entry was not announced, and nor was the car number Haley will use for 2022.
The Cup Series is familiar territory for Hemric. The 30-year-old Kannapolis, North Carolina native earned one pole, one top five and two top 10s, along with Rookie of the Year honors during his lone full-season campaign in 2019. Despite winning the Xfinity Series championship with Joe Gibbs Racing, he will defend the title in Kaulig Racing’s No. 11 entry in 2022.
“I have had the chance to race against some great drivers over the past few years,” said Hemric. “A.J. is a great competitor who can win on any track, and Noah and I have been teammates in the past at JR Motorsports. Each of us are different, but seeing how intense both A.J. and Noah are as professionals gets me excited for this upcoming season. Now we have the opportunity to be able to lean on each other and try to build a program here at Kaulig Racing at the highest level of our sport. I feel fortunate to be a part of this.”
After finishing third in this year’s Xfinity Series championship bout, Gragson is set for 14 Cup races for Kaulig Racing, with Allemendinger and Hemric filling out the rest of the schedule.
“This is a really unique opportunity I have with Kaulig Racing to be able to share the No. 16 with two of my biggest competitors in the Xfinity Series,” said Gragson. “I’ve had the chance to work with Daniel before, but it will be a new experience working with A.J. We’ve raced against each other for a few years now, and I think working as teammates will only help us get better as drivers.”