NASCAR: A.J. Allmendinger to return full-time in 2021

A.J. Allmendinger has confirmed that he will return to full-time NASCAR competition in the 2021 Xfinity Series season with Kaulig Racing.

On Sunday, A.J. Allmendinger confirmed that he would be back for a third season with Kaulig Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in 2021.

But he could not provide any details about the deal, such as how many races in which he would be competing and where he would be competing.

Now the 38-year-old Los Gatos, California native has confirmed that he is set to compete full-time for the team in the 2021 season and run all 33 races on the schedule behind the wheel of the #16 Chevrolet, with sponsorship set to be announced at a later date.

Here is what he had to say about the opportunity in a team statement.

“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. The love of showing up to NASCAR races has returned for me, and I truly have enjoyed myself on and off the race track. It starts with Matt Kaulig and (team president) 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.”

Here is what Kaulig Racing team president Chris Rice had to add.

“Having AJ race full time for Kaulig Racing will only elevate our program to another level. 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.”

Allmendinger has not competed full-time in NASCAR since his final Cup Series season with JTG Daugherty Racing in 2018, and he has never competed full-time in the Xfinity Series.

In 16 starts with Kaulig Racing since the 2019 season, Allmendinger has secured three victories and an additional five top four finishes. The latter number would be seven, but he was stripped of a third place finish in his first start for the team at Daytona International Speedway and a second place finish in his second start for the team at Watkins Glen International in 2019 after his car failed post-race inspection.

He has won twice at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval and got his first career NASCAR oval win at Atlanta Motor Speedway this past season.

He has five career Xfinity Series wins to his name, as he won at Road America and Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course driving for Team Penske in 2013.

The NASCAR Racing Experience 300 is scheduled to get the 2021 Xfinity Series season underway at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 13.