Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek to make NASCAR Truck Series debuts at Martinsville

John Hunter Nemechek congratulates Daniel Hemric following his victory at Mobile in June. - Matt Weaver

A pair of Southern Super Series championship leaders will make their NASCAR debuts in next week's Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway.

The Southern Super Series takeover of the Camping World Truck Series event at Martinsville Speedway continues next weekend as Daniel Hemric has been announced as the driver of the Sharp Gallagher Racing No. 6 Chevrolet for the Oct. 26 race.

While the opportunity is just a one-off for Hemric, he hopes it could lead to something more permanent further down the road. The deal came together when Austin Dillon -- a Hemric friend -- suggested that the Super Late Model standout talk to Eddie Sharp.

The driver and team tested together at Martinsville and quickly worked out a deal with sponsors Jack Link's Beef Jerky and Valvoline.

"This came down to getting people behind me," Hemric said on Thursday on Sirius XM NASCAR radio. "Austin suggested that I talk to Eddie Sharp and with some help from Jack Link's and Valvoline, we were able to put this deal together.

"A lot of people pitched in to make this happen and we're coming to Martinsville with the intention of winning -- that's what all of us are in this to do. Win."

He joins Super Series championship rival John Hunter Nemechek as Super Late Model standouts making their debut at the Virginia half-mile and will also compete against Chase Elliott, who has made two starts on the tour this season.

Elliott won his third start this season in the Alabama 200 at Montgomery Motor Speedway.

Both Hemric and Nemechek are behind Bubba Pollard in the inaugural season championship standings but Hemric will have a chance to take the crown in the season-ending All-American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, as he only trails Bubba Pollard by 48 points.

Drivers can score a maximum of 125 points during the event.

Nemechek has spent most of his season doing battle with Hemric and is looking forward to taking their rivalry to the big leagues, in a NASCAR Truck at Martinsville.

"I have a lot of respect for Daniel," Nemechek told SB Nation on Thursday afternoon. "We don't hang out with each other a lot off the race track but you can call us buddies. We know how to push each other and where our competitive limits are so I'm looking forward to being able to take that to a NASCAR race next weekend."

One of the more memorable battles of the season took place at Mobile International Speedway on June 23. Both drivers swapped the lead on several occasions over the final 20 laps before Hemric was able escape Nemechek off turn four on the final lap.

Despite that familiarity with Hemric and Elliott, Nemechek says it doesn't help calm his nerves. This is still the biggest stage of his career.

"I'm not that much more comfortable at all," Nemechek said. "It's going to be so much different than a Late Model race just because of who we're racing against. The talent level at the NASCAR Truck Series is the toughest that we've ever raced against and I'm looking forward to see what we are capable of."

Nemechek will make his start for the family-owned NASCAR Truck and tested at both Martinsville and Caraway Speedway in Sophia, NC.

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