AJ Allmendinger Returns to the NASCAR Cup Series Full-Time in 2023

He'll be teaming up with Kaulig alongside Justin Haley.

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AJ Allmendinger after winning last weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks 300 at Talladega.
AJ Allmendinger after winning last weekend’s NASCAR Xfinity Series Sparks 300 at Talladega.
Photo: Sean Gardner (Getty Images)

AJ Allmendinger is officially returning to the NASCAR Cup Series on a full-time basis in 2023. He’ll be taking the wheel of Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Chevrolet and will compete alongside teammate Justin Haley.

Allmendinger just can’t get enough racing. He stepped away from full-time Cup Series competition in 2018, but has contested full Xfinity seasons since 2021 and has also been a reliable racer for Kaulig in the Cup Series. Allmendinger went from contesting a mere five races throughout the 2021 season (which included one win and two additional top-10 finishes) to competing in 13 Cup Series races so far this year.

After taking his fourth Xfinity win of the 2022 season last weekend at Talladega, The Dinger is prepared to continue his racing career.


From NASCAR.com:

“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,” Allmendinger said.

“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.”

At 40 years old, Allmendinger has had quite a storied career that started with open-wheel racing and has progressed into stock car and endurance racing, and his results include a win at the 24 Hours of Daytona and a frankly dominant partial season with Forsythe in Champ Car.