A.J. Allmendinger Returns to the NASCAR Cup Series in 2023

In a press release anticipated this upcoming Wednesday, Kaulig Racing will announce A.J. Allmendinger as their full-time driving force in the Cup Series

Bobby Scott and Bob Russell as soon as wrote in a music:
The street is lengthy with many a winding flip…
and a street it’s been for a 40-year-old driving force from Los Gatos, California.
From tumultuous beginnings to a loss of luck, he opted now not to be held down and allowed their talent to profess.
It wasn’t till a gathering with an entrepreneur that inventory automotive racing aspirations led to him to rethink.

A.J. Allmendinger is returning full-time to the NASCAR Cup Series.

History Lesson

In a profession that started racing BMX motorcycles when he was once 5, Allmendinger moved up the ladder to quarter midgets the place he competed on oval tracks throughout the west coast. When he increased his profession to karting, he captured two Grand National Championships in the IKF. When he was once 20, he earned a possibility to compete in the penultimate season of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, the place he noticed a 60% luck fee en direction to taking pictures the total championship.

It was once this efficiency that garnered the consideration of Carl Russo and RuSport who signed him to compete in the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship. “The Dinger” went on to seize the sequence championship.
This luck impressed the crew to transfer up to the Champ Car World Series for 2004. Despite placements of 6th and 5th in the standings and 8 podium placements over 31 occasions, he was once launched from RuSport and changed with 2002 CART Champion Christiano De Matta.

Five days later, Allmendinger was once signed through Indeck Forsythe Racing, the place he captured his first Champ Car victory in the Grand Prix of Portland. In the 9 races he drove for Forsythe, he ran smartly sooner than a profitable be offering led him to greener pastures.

Stock Cars Come Calling

Despite his open-wheel luck, the Dinger cited a loss of advertising, sponsorship, and the results of “the split” in American open wheel racing as what led him to inventory automotive racing.
Saying to TSN in 2007:

“It’s opportunity…Between the (NASCAR) Cup (Series), Busch (Series) and (Craftsman) Truck (Series), you can still make a living in racing. You can go out, show your talent, get noticed and move your career forward. Unfortunately right now you don’t have that in open-wheel racing in North America. It comes down to who has money, who can most help bring sponsorship in…Champ Cars were awesome cars to drive, the most fun cars I’ve ever driven and we took them to some real badass venues – Long Beach, Surfers Paradise, Toronto. They were awesome races to go to, and there is still a good potential package there – the racing and the venues are great…But the marketing and the sponsorship isn’t there, and for that you need one series. So be it Champ Car dying and IRL taking over, or the other way round – it needs to be one series. To have all the best open-wheel drivers on this continent racing against each other, you’d hopefully get some sponsors back and get a decent TV package…In the long term, it would work for the standard of the series too: you’d get drivers there on merit rather than because of how much money they bring.”

Though the cash was once there when he signed with Red Bull Racing, the duo most effective certified for 47.2% of occasions in 2007. He most effective posted two Top 10 finishes the following season sooner than being launched from his contract that September.

Over the subsequent 3 seasons, he would compete for Richard Petty Motorsports, hanging fifteenth in the ultimate standings in 2011. After a short lived tenure at Team Penske, he competed for JTG Daugherty Racing between 2013 and 2018, posting his first profession victory in the Cheez-It 355 and hanging a career-high of thirteenth in the ultimate standings.

Despite reasonable luck, it was once now not what Allmendinger envisioned his inventory automotive profession to be. For 2019, he opted to reevaluate his profession as he competed part-time in the Xfinity Series and labored as a colour commentator for NBC’s motorsports protection.

Resurgence with Kaulig Racing

After part-time luck that resulted in 2 victories in the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Allmendinger was once introduced as Kaulig Racing’s competitor for 2021, the place he would cross on to seize 5 victories en direction to the common season crown. The Dinger was the heavy favourite to be introduced as the franchise’s face once they deliberate on increasing to Cup pageant in 2022, however proprietor Matt Kaulig opted for formative years over revel in and signed Justin Haley as an alternative. In combining back-to-back common season championships and 9 victories over the previous two seasons, if any Xfinity Series competitor is worthy of a possibility, it’s the Dinger.

The luck he has had in this few minutes span with Kaulig has showcased what he’ll deliver to the desk as the face of a franchise. It is that this luck he showcased when he piloted a Lola Ford in the overdue 2000s, and the luck he envisioned when he made the transition to inventory vehicles 16 years in the past.

A generational skill, in the proper cases, can absolutely exhibit to the global why he’s one in every of America’s absolute best.

In a profession overshadowed through the successes of Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson, Tony Stewart, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., the Busch brothers, and extra, a possibility has arrived the place he can show complete doable and capacity to compete for a cup championship

This is the Dinger’s absolute best likelihood.

Featured Image Credit: Sean Garnder/Getty Images

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