What a special two years it has been for Kaulig Racing and AJ Allmendinger in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, and now AJ is back for the 2023 Cup Series. The first time around in the Cup Series for Allmendinger did not go well. He hit the broadcast booth for a bit and then had a great opportunity with Kaulig put in front of him.
However, it was clear that AJ Allmendinger was going to have to prove himself. So, he got to work. Racing in the Xfinity Series for a veteran driver would be insulting to some. Allmendinger took it as a chance to show what he could do. He now has two regular season championships to his name in the series and is vying for a playoff championship now.
The team made the announcement with a full event and everything. This was not the most surprising decision ever made, but it is the best one these folks could make. AJ Allmendinger is going to be a teammate with Justin Haley full-time next season. Expect Kaulig Racing to compete.
Also, this couldn’t have been better timing. Allmendinger just won the Xfinity Series race at Talladega. He did so in dramatic fashion, diving in for the win, proving he is more than just a road course driver. It was his fourth on the season and puts him in a great position to try and grab that championship in Phoenix.
Here is the announcement broadcast from earlier on Wednesday. Everyone was all smiles throughout. It wasn’t the only big news they had, either.
AJ Allmendinger Replaced by Chandler Smith in Xfinity Series
Not only did Kaulig Racing have the AJ Allmendinger announcement for fans. They also had quite the Xfinity Series news. After all, with Allmendinger taking the No. 16 in Cup, his No. 16 in Xfinity needed to be filled. This was basically only made possible with the move Kyle Busch made to RCR and Chevy.
So, Chandler Smith is going to be in that Xfinity Series car. That’s a great move. Smith comes to the Xfinity Series with two previous races under his belt. He is also one of the best Truck Series drivers out there at just 20 years old. He has 5 wins and 31 top-10 finishes in 57 total races. If Smith doesn’t get a top-10 finish, it’s news.
Kaulig Racing seems to be doing it right. Moving guys up, bringing new ones into the pipeline and keep reloading.