Monday, March 4, 2024

A.J. Allmendinger returns to full-time Xfinity Series competition in 2024

A.J. Allmendinger was long expected to return to full-time NASCAR Cup Series competition in 2023 after an impressive stint in the Xfinity Series. Although he won at the Charlotte Roval, his third triumph in NASCAR’s top level, he will head back to Xfinity for 2024 in the #16 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing.

Allmendinger finished twenty-first in his first full Cup season since 2018 with seven top tens and the aforementioned Roval victory. He also ran five Xfinity races in their multi-driver #10, winning twice at COTA and Nashville. However, the team otherwise struggled with just two other Xfinity wins outside of Allmendinger courtesy of Chandler Smith, who has since left the outfit, and Cup driver Kyle Larson.

As a result, the team has overhauled their lineup for 2024 in both divisions. Daniel Hemric, who raced the #11 and #10, has moved up to the Cup Series in the #31 whose 2023 driver Justin Haley is now at Rick Ware Racing. Josh Williams will race the #11.

“My plans for 2024 have always been whatever Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice think is best for the team,” said Allmendinger. “We’ve got work to do on both our Xfinity and Cup side as we continue to grow but I think we are putting ourselves in the best position to keep improving. With Josh Williams coming on board, it’ll be fun to learn each other’s driving styles and work together as teammates on Saturdays. I’m excited to be a part everything we’re working on at Kaulig Racing and see what we can get done next season.”

While certainly a demotion and Allmendinger has stated his interest in remaining in Cup, he is deeply loyal to the team, having exclusively raced for them since 2019. He will still get some action at the top level with a part-time schedule with their Cup division.

“To Kaulig Racing, A.J. is much more than the trophies he’s won or the banners he’s hung in our shop,” Kaulig stated. “A.J. has always embraced what we are trying to do as an organization, and his contribution to the culture at Kaulig Racing is what truly makes him forever a part of our family.”