Article originally published by Joe Scalzo on Crain’s Cleveland

Kaulig Racing is known for the phrase “trophy hunting.”

As it prepares for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series, it went big-name hunting, too.

Kaulig Racing, the North Carolina racing company owned by Hudson-based Kaulig Cos., announced Tuesday, Dec. 14, it has added Xfinity Series champion Daniel Hemric and another member of the Championship 4, Noah Gragson, to its No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 lineup next season.

Gragson, who placed third in this year’s Xfinity Series, will compete in 14 Cup Series races in 2022. Hemric will split the other 22 events with Kaulig driver AJ Allmendinger, who finished fourth in the Xfinity Series.

“This is a really unique opportunity I have with Kaulig Racing and to be able to share the No. 16 with two of my biggest competitors in the Xfinity Series,” Gragson said in a Kaulig release. “I’ve had the chance to work with Daniel before, but it will be a new experience working with AJ. 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.”

Kaulig will have two full-time entries in 2022, with Justin Haley driving the full season in the No. 11 Chevrolet.

“We think our roster for the 2022 season features some great drivers,” team president Chris Rice said. “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.”

Hemric will return to the NCS for the first time since winning the Cup Series Rookie of the Year award in 2019. Hemric has made 38 starts in the NCS, earning a pole award, one top-five and two top-10 finishes.

“AJ is a great competitor, who can win on any track, and Noah and I have been teammates in the past at JR Motorsports,” Hemric said. “Each of us are different, but seeing how intense both AJ 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.”