NASCAR championship contender strangely omitted from preseason list

A.J. Allmendinger is not currently included in the NASCAR Xfinity Series preseason championship odds at DraftKings Sportsbook.
NASCAR Xfinity Series
NASCAR Xfinity Series / Meg Oliphant/GettyImages

After spending the 2023 season competing full-time for Kaulig Racing in the Cup Series, A.J. Allmendinger is set to return to Matt Kaulig's Xfinity Series team full-time for the 2024 season.

The move comes despite the fact that Allmendinger earned the team their first ever Cup Series win at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course in 2021 and then added another win at the Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval as a full-time driver in 2023. He is still set to run a partial Cup Series schedule in 2024, including the season-opening Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

DraftKings Sportsbook, which is offering fans an instant $200 just for betting $5 on any driver (win or lose), recently revealed the championship odds for the 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season.

Reigning champion Cole Custer of Stewart-Haas Racing is listed as the favorite at +260, followed by JR Motorsports teammates Justin Allgaier (+350) and Sam Mayer (+600). They are followed by Joe Gibbs Racing teammates Sheldon Creed (+850) and Chandler Smith (+900) and Richard Childress Racing's Austin Hill (+900).

But it may be wise to hold off on placing a bet for a bit, as one driver who is expected to contend for the title is not yet listed. That driver is A.J. Allmendinger.

A.J. Allmendinger omitted from opening NASCAR Xfinity Series championship odds

Allmendinger won a race in his first season competing part-time for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series back in 2019, and he added two more wins in 2020. In 2021, he became a full-time driver and advanced to the Championship 4 with five wins. He added five more victories in 2022.

Even as a full-time Cup Series driver in 2023, he competed in five Xfinity Series races. He won two of them and only finished lower than third place once.

While Kaulig Racing's Cup Series team may not be a championship contender, the team is exactly that on the Xfinity Series side.

Allmendinger's teammates, Shane van Gisbergen and Josh Williams, are listed at +1100 and +40000, respectively, to win the 2024 Xfinity Series championship. With that in mind, expect the driver of the No. 16 Chevrolet to be listed in the +500 to +800 range when he is eventually added.

Update: A.J. Allmendinger is now listed at +600. Sign up with DraftKings Sportsbook today and bet $5 now to secure your instant $200!

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The 2024 NASCAR Xfinity Series season is scheduled to begin on Saturday, February 17 with the United Rentals 300, which is set to be broadcast live on Fox Sports 1 from Daytona International Speedway beginning at 5:00 p.m. ET. Start a free trial of FuboTV and don't miss it!