There's smiley faces on the car and AJ Allmendinger in it. (Getty)
With Kurt Busch in the Furniture Row Racing No. 78 for the remainder of the season, Phoenix Racing went with a new paint scheme for its first race with Busch in another car.
This week at Charlotte, the red No. 51 has a smiley face on the hood and the sides of the car. Why? We'll let car owner James Finch explain:
"If you wreck 25 cars this year, you haven't been smiling much," Finch said. "That's 25 wrecks. I don't think the whole garage has used that much sheet metal this year — except at Daytona and Talladega.
"Twenty-five wrecks would make anyone dizzy. For a small team to repair 25 wrecks and show up for every race on time, I think they did a great job."
Regan Smith, who was in the No. 78 until Busch replaced him this week, was scheduled to be in the car this weekend, but he was called into action over at Hendrick Motorsports after Dale Earnhardt Jr. was diagnosed with a concussion. That opened the spot for AJ Allmendinger, who is making his first start after completing NASCAR's Road to Recovery program.
Allmendinger was suspended just before the July Daytona race after failing a drug test after the Kentucky race, and was replaced in the Penske Racing No. 22 by Sam Hornish and eventually released from his contract at Penske. He qualified 38th for Saturday night's race.
- Motor Racing
- Sports & Recreation
- Kurt Busch
- Phoenix Racing
- James Finch