“Best Road Course Racer” – Kaulig Racing Owner Explains How AJ Allmendinger Took up Their Full-time NASCAR Xfinity Deal

Published 12/02/2020, 8:09 AM EST
Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver AJ Allmendinger (16) leads Noah Gragson (9) and Daniel Hemric (8) during the Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports


Only a few days back, seasoned NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger had said that he would return with Kaulig Racing for 2021. However, it was not known whether that would be on a full-time or part-time commitment, considering his analyst duties with NBC Sports as well.

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However, the latest announcement by Kaulig Racing confirmed that ‘AJ’ would indeed race full-time with the team. The 38-year-old would take on the Chevrolet No.16 car, which also gave him two race wins in Xfinity Series 2020.

The team’s owner Matt Kaulig was understandably delighted with bringing on an experienced racer of AJ’s stature. Naturally, he revealed how it came to the point where they could convince him to join the side for the entire 33 races.

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Kaulig is delighted to have Allmendinger on their NASCAR program

Kaulig stated, “So we were sitting around talking about how do we get better, how do we get our program get better, how do we get our cars better. And it comes down to, ‘okay, why don’t we get the best road-course racer that we could possibly get?’”

“He [AJ] came into our shop and you know we talked about him running some road-course races. And then I think we just threw in the fact that alright we want you to run our road course races. But you’re gonna have to run our super- speedway races too.”

The former Team Penske driver last raced full-time for JTG Daugherty Racing in the Cup Series season. Having built some experience part-time in the last three years, he obviously now feels comfortable to take on permanent racing duties.

Allmendinger liked the team’s program and had fun racing in Xfinity, says Kaulig

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The team owner continued and said, “We negotiated all of that and then it turned out to him having so much fun. He likes our program, he likes the direction of our program. He likes where we are going and our goal is to become the premier team in Xfinity and ultimately NASCAR.”

Concord, North Carolina, USA; NASCAR Xfinity Series driver AJ Allmendinger (16) races through the chicane in the rain during the Drive for the Cure 250 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

“We couldn’t be more excited to have him, in the 16 car and full-time next year. But we have high hopes and we’re putting a really great team together. And again like I said, we’ll see what happens,” concluded Mr. Kaulig on the subject.

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Given the way Kaulig’s cars performed in 2020, AJ could actually have a genuine shot at the title. With all his experience and racecraft, he will look to marshal the team to more success.

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Bhargav Gopal

927 articles

Hailing from Bengaluru, Bhargav is an F1 and NASCAR author for EssentiallySports. He is a huge fan of Max Verstappen and Red Bull Racing. Bhargav also has an MBA in Sports Management from the Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences, Pune.

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