There's not as much money on the line this season, but the stakes are just as high for Daniel Hemric.
The Legends driver from Kannapolis, N.C., then 19 years old, won 2010's Legends Million race at Charlotte Motor Speedway and its $250,000 payout the biggest prize in Legends racing.
The Legends Million was the biggest race of my career and the biggest race Ive ever had the opportunity to win, said Hemric, now 20.
It was amazing for myself and whole team. We had all put so much effort into the whole deal.
As with most aspiring drivers, almost all of the money Hemric won in the event went back into his helping to foster his racing career.
The publicity from winning helped a lot. From the money aspect, we were able to run two to four more Late Model races, Hemric said. All in all it was a good deal for everyone.
This year, CMS owner Bruton Smith has changed the Legends Million to the Legends Big Money 100, where the winner of Tuesday nights 100-lap finale will receive $25,000 still one of the biggest purses in Legends racing.
Qualifying and heat races get under way Monday on the quarter-mile frontstretch oval at CMS.
This years event will serve as a comeback of sorts for Hemric.
He began the year with a win in a Super Late Model race during NASCAR Speedweeks at Daytona. The plan was to tackle more big car racing this season.
Two months ago, however, he severely hurt his knee, which required reconstructive surgery. A pair of Legends races last week at CMS were his first since his surgery. He finished second and sixth.
Hemric hopes another successful performance on a big stage can help him land an opportunity in NASCAR.
Last year, I dont feel like we took advantage of that win as well as we should have. Our goal coming back is to perform well and get another prestigious win, he said.
Then, I want to really charge after the sponsorship the money to help me take a step up.
The Legends Big Money 100 is open to all Legend Car competitors, 12 years of age and older, and is not restricted by division.
For more information and tickets, call 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or visit www.charlottemotorspeedway.com.