AJ Allmendinger to race full-time in Xfinity Series in 2021

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AJ Allmendinger will run for the 2021 Xfinity Series title.

Kaulig Racing announced Tuesday that Allmendinger would race for the team full-time next season. Allmendinger has raced a part-time Xfinity Series schedule over the past two seasons since he last raced full-time in the Cup Series in 2018.

“The love of showing up to NASCAR races has returned for me, and I truly have enjoyed myself on and off the racetrack,” Allmendinger said in a team statement. “It starts with [owner] Matt Kaulig and [competition director] Chris Rice. I can’t thank them enough for giving me a call at the start of 2019 and offering me races that continued into 2020. More than anything, I have really loved being part of the team and watching the growth of the organization, and because of that, the opportunity to come back full time in 2021 was something I just could not pass up.”

Allmendinger, 38, last raced in the Cup Series in 2018. After he parted ways with JTG-Daugherty Racing he joined Kaulig Racing for five races in 2019 and 11 races in 2020.

He won in three of those 16 starts over the past two years including at Atlanta over the summer of 2020. That win was his first on an oval in NASCAR. His only Cup Series win — in 2014 at Watkins Glen — came on a road course and his four other Xfinity Series wins have come on road courses.

AJ Allmendinger stands beside his trophy after winning a NASCAR Xfinity Series auto race at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)
AJ Allmendinger won two races in 11 Xfinity Series starts in 2020. (AP Photo/Nell Redmond)

An Xfinity favorite?

Allmendinger is immediately the most accomplished driver going for the Xfinity title in 2021. He should contend with defending Xfinity Series champion Austin Cindric and Kaulig teammate Justin Haley for the Xfinity title as Chase Briscoe is off to the Cup Series with Stewart-Haas Racing.

Allmendinger has spent the last two seasons doing broadcast work for NBC while also racing part-time. He came to NASCAR from Champ Car and raced for Red Bull when the team ventured into the Cup Series. Allmendinger then moved on to what’s now Richard Petty Motorsports and got a ride at Team Penske ahead of the 2012 season.

He raced just 17 races with Penske in 2012 before he was suspended by NASCAR for taking a banned substance. He returned to the Cup Series later that season and ran for Phoenix Motorsports before joining JTG-Daugherty midway through the 2013 season.

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