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Allmendinger still may end up in IndyCars in 2013 UPDATE AJ Allmendinger tried to close the book on 2012 by going to bed early on New Years Eve and not celebrating the end of the year. But it was hard for him when just a few days later he drove through the tunnel at Daytona International Speedway. He couldn't help but remember last July when he drove through the DIS tunnel wondering if he would ever race again as NASCAR had just suspended him for a failed drug test the previous weekend at Kentucky Speedway. His return to Daytona Friday didn't have that type of drama as he set the fast time in testing for the Rolex 24 Hours At Daytona, which is scheduled for Jan. 26-27 on the track's road course.

Allmendinger is driving for Michael Shank Racing, whose team he anchored in winning the sportscar event a year ago in perhaps Allmendinger's biggest win in his racing career. Allmendinger was fired by Penske Racing for the failed drug test. He drove two races for #51-Phoenix Racing following his reinstatement and while mentioned as a possible driver for select races for the team in 2013 Allmendinger said he has nothing set beyond the 24-hour race.

"As of right now, this is the only race I've got planned," the 31-year-old Allmendinger said. "We know how this world works. It's crazy. & I definitely want to be back in the Cup Series because I have got a lot of unfinished business. It's not the way I want to go out like that. I'm open to all options - sportscar racing, IndyCar racing, Cup, Nationwide, trucks, whatever."  Sporting News

AJ Allmendinger
James (Finch) telling Newschannel 7 Sports he's committed to run at least 18 Cup races in 2013, starting with the Daytona 500. He says he's secured a sponsor for both Daytona races in February, but won't announce that sponsor until after the first. James says Regan Smith will drive for Phoenix in the Daytona 500. Finch will use Smith for some other Cup races, though he'll have to share Smith, since he will drive the Nationwide Series for JR Motorsports.

Allmendinger is another driver Finch would like to use on the Cup Series. AJ ran the final four races of 2012 for Phoenix and James says he liked how AJ handled the car. Allmendinger though apparently considering some offers to race Indy cars.

As for running the whole cup circuit, Finch says he's hoping for some early success and that more sponsorship will come along, making running a full slate more possible. News Channel 7, Panama City Beach, FL
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