NASCAR driver announcement all but confirms hot rumor

A.J. Allmendinger is set to move back to Kaulig Racing's NASCAR Xfinity Series team, indicating that it's only a matter of time before Ty Dillon's move.
A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, NASCAR
A.J. Allmendinger, Kaulig Racing, NASCAR / James Gilbert/GettyImages

Even after A.J. Allmendinger won the NASCAR Cup Series playoff race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval, there was doubt over whether he would return to Kaulig Racing's Cup Series team for a second full season behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet in 2024.

There was thought that the 41-year-old Los Gatos, California native, who also earned the team their first ever Cup Series win as a part-time driver at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2021, would be better utilized in the Xfinity Series.

The team had already announced the promotion of Xfinity Series driver Daniel Hemric as Justin Haley's replacement behind the wheel of the No. 31 Chevrolet, as Haley had announced that he would be heading to Rick Ware Racing in 2024. With Chandler Smith out as well, there was a need for talent at Kaulig Racing's Xfinity Series team.

And with Kaulig Racing's Xfinity Series team being much more competitive than their Cup Series team, perhaps the best driver in their system would be a better fit there.

Kaulig Racing have indeed confirmed that Allmendinger is set to move back to the Xfinity Series, where he competed full-time in 2021 and 2022, in 2024. He won a total of 10 races in the series as a full-time driver in those two seasons, and he won two races as a part-time driver for the team in both 2020 and 2023.

Former DGM Racing driver Josh Williams had been the only confirmed driver in Kaulig Racing's 2024 Xfinity Series lineup up until the Allmendinger announcement.

Ty Dillon to Kaulig Racing's NASCAR Cup Series team all but confirmed

Ty Dillon, who lost his ride with Spire Motorsports to rookie Carson Hocevar after the 2023 season, has long been rumored to replace Allmendinger behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet in 2024, which would make Matt Kaulig's team his fifth team in the last five Cup Series seasons.

With Allmendinger officially set to make the move back to the Xfinity Series, Dillon's move to Kaulig Racing is all but officially confirmed, with an announcement expected in due time.

Dillon was statistically the worst driver in the series in 2023, finishing in last place in the point standings by nearly 100 points -- and without a single top 10 finish. Teammate Corey LaJoie comfortably outperformed him in every major statistical category.

Dillon had previously lost his ride with Legacy Motor Club (formerly Petty GMS Motorsports) following the 2022 season after being drastically outperformed by teammate Erik Jones as well.

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Though Kaulig Racing may give him the best opportunity he has ever had in the Cup Series, it remains to be seen whether or not he can take advantage and rejuvenate his career.