Acquiring three out of the four 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Championship 4 drivers, Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Camaro ZL1 will be piloted by AJ Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric and Noah Gragson, as each will compete part-time in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS).
While the team announced earlier this year that Allmendinger would pilot the No. 16 for select races in the 2022 NCS season alongside full-time driver, Justin Haley, Kaulig Racing has finalized its second, full-time entry with Gragson and Hemric.
“We think our roster for the 2022 season features some great drivers,” said team president, Chris Rice. “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.”
With the 2021 NXS champion already tabbed for Kaulig Racing’s flagship, No. 11 Chevrolet in the series, Hemric will make his 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.
“I have had the chance to race against some great drivers over the past few years,” said Hemric. “AJ (Allmendinger) is a great competitor, who can win on any track, and Noah [Gragson] and I have been teammates in the past at JR Motorsports. 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.”
Finishing third in the 2021 NXS points standings, Noah Gragson will compete in 14 NCS races for Kaulig Racing, while Allmendinger and Hemric will participate in the remaining series events.
“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 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.”
The 2022 season will mark Kaulig Racing’s first-ever full-time season in the NCS, as the team will field two, full-time entries. More news regarding specific events and partners will be announced at a later date.