AJ Allmendinger will be returning to full-time competition with Kaulig Racing for the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season.
Allmendinger, who retired from full-time competition in 2018, joined Kaulig Racing’s NXS lineup in 2019, where he made five starts, earning a win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway ROVAL and two top-five finishes. In 2020, Allmendinger piloted the No. 16 Chevrolet for 11 races, and recorded two wins, his first-ever on an oval at Atlanta Motor Speedway, as well as a back-to-back win at the Charlotte ROVAL.
“As a part time driver for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity series, I have really enjoyed working with all the women and men in the organization these past two years,” said Allmendinger. “The love of showing up to NASCAR races has returned for me, and I truly have enjoyed myself on and off the racetrack. It starts with Matt Kaulig and 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.”
Kaulig Racing recently announced the return of 2020 Championship 4 contender, Justin Haley, as well as the addition of Jeb Burton to its stable, who will contend for the 2021 NXS Championship alongside Allmendinger.
“I am very grateful for Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice and everybody at Kaulig Racing for allowing this to happen,” continued Allmendinger. “I can’t wait to work with my son, Justin Haley, full-time and now Jeb Burton as well. I’m ready to go after a championship in 2021!”
During Allmendinger’s tenure in the NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) from 2007 – 2018, he made 371 starts and recorded one win and 11 top-five finishes. Before joining Kaulig Racing, the California native made 11 NXS starts and recorded two wins and three top-five finishes. In only 16 starts with Kaulig Racing, he surpassed that, recording three wins and eight top-five finishes.
“Having AJ race full-time for Kaulig Racing will only elevate our program to another level,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “I truly believe his veteran experience has helped us in every race he has ever run with us, and that is evident in his finishes. I’m sure he will complement our other two great drivers we already have, as he’s been a great teammate since day one. I love the challenge in front of us to go after the championship in 2021 with all three of our drivers.”
Kaulig Racing began as a one-car team in 2016 and expanded to two, full-time entries in 2020 with a part-time, third entry. The 2021 NXS season will mark the first time in the team’s history it fields a third, full-time entry.
“Kaulig Racing has come such a long way in only a few short years,” said team owner, Matt Kaulig. “We started this team in 2016 and have made the playoffs every year. This year we stepped up even more, and had two cars in the playoffs with one in the Championship 4 at Phoenix. With AJ Allmendinger added to our stable, and three fantastic drivers, we will have an even better chance at the championship.”
Allmendinger will pilot the No. 16 Chevrolet for Kaulig Racing beginning at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 13, 2021. Sponsor announcements to come at a later date.