NASCAR: Allmendinger returns to Cup Series full time with Kaulig in 2023

Kaulig Racing announced Wednesday that AJ Allmendinger will return to the NASCAR Cup Series on a full-time basis in 2023, driving the team’s No. 16 Chevrolet.

The news emerged during a presentation at Kaulig Racing’s Fan Day festivities at the organization’s Welcome, North Carolina, race shop. Allmendinger will team alongside Justin Haley in the two-car Cup Series effort for team owner Matt Kaulig and team president Chris Rice next year.

It’s the latest step in a career resurgence for the 40-year-old Allmendinger, who stepped away from a full-time Cup schedule after the 2018 season before wading back into Xfinity Series competition with the Kaulig group the following year. He added to an increased Xfinity workload with partial Cup Series duty last year, bringing Kaulig its first Cup Series win in 2021 at Indianapolis.

“I’ve always told Matt and Chris over these last four years, and especially the last couple of years of doing this full time in Xfinity that I would always do what’s best for the company,” Allmendinger told NASCAR.com last weekend at Talladega Superspeedway, where he brought home his fourth Xfinity Series win of the season. “Something I found out when I thought I was retiring or semi-retiring when I was doing the TV side of things for NBC, I really enjoyed that side of it and needed a break from racing, at least full time.

“But as I started running a few races with Kaulig Racing the first year, and then especially in 2020, having some success, like the weekends I wasn’t there, I kind of really started to miss it. And that’s what led to doing the Xfinity side of it full time. And out of all of it, I’ve just really have enjoyed the team, the atmosphere at the race track, the atmosphere away from the race track, and I thoroughly just enjoy everybody and appreciate and love the hard work, the support and the confidence that they give me. And so yeah, I wanted to be fully open to whatever they wanted to do.”


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