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NASCAR Race Weekend Central

AJ Allmendinger Returning to Cup With Kaulig at Daytona Road Course

For the first time since 2018, AJ Allmendinger will attempt a NASCAR Cup Series race.

Allmendinger, who retired from full-time Cup competition after the 2018 season, will attempt the Cup race at the Daytona International Speedway road course for Kaulig Racing next month, the team announced Jan. 21.

Allmendinger will drive the team’s part-time No. 16, which is competing in all superspeedway and road course events in 2021. As a part-time organization, it does not have a charter, meaning it will either have to qualify on time at races with qualifying sessions or will need to be in the top 40 of owners points of the entered cars in order to race.

“I am really looking forward to racing in the Cup Series once again, but more importantly, I am pumped to be racing in the Cup Series for Kaulig Racing,” Allmendinger said in a team release. “I keep wanting to help Kaulig Racing grow as much as possible, and the next step is racing in some Cup races with them. Daytona is a prestigious race track to compete at, whether you are on the oval or road course, so this is a great place for Kaulig Racing’s first non-superspeedway Cup race.”

Allmendinger is competing full time for Kaulig in the Xfinity Series in 2021 in its No. 16.

The previous week, the No. 16 will attempt to qualify for the Daytona 500 with Kaz Grala.

Allmendinger last raced in Cup in 2018, when he scored one top five and five top 10s for JTG Daugherty Racing.

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Last year, in a limited Xfinity schedule, he won two races and earned six top fives and eight top 10s in 11 starts.

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Rutherford is the managing editor of Frontstretch, a position he gained in 2015 after serving on the editing staff for two years. At his day job, he's a journalist covering music and rock charts at Billboard. He lives in New York City, but his heart is in Ohio -- you know, like that Hawthorne Heights song.

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