AJ Allmendinger will drive his #16 Camaro ZL1 for Kauling Racing at his favorite track, Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS), this weekend. As a full-time Xfinity Series racer and part-time Cup Series racer, the Los Gatos, Calif. native will have a full weekend of racing for both series.
However, the reigning winner at IMS will struggle to fight for the trophy after NASCAR ejected its car chief and denied him pit selection.
The penalty was issued after the #16 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 twice failed pre-qualifying inspection on Friday. AJ Allmendinger isn’t the only driver to be fired. His teammate Justin Halley, driving the #31 Chevy, will also suffer the same fate. Daniil Kvyat, a former F1 driver, will make his Cup Series debut without a mechanic in his #26 Ford Mustang crew for the Hezeberg team.
In 2021, AJ Allmendinger has made just five Cup starts and has one win and three top five finishes. To win the inaugural Cup Series race at Indianapolis Speedway, Allmendinger led only the final two laps, taking the lead from Denny Hamlin after Briscoe pushed him, knocking him out of the winning stage. The Indy win marked AJ’s second career victory in his 10th season.
AJ Allmendinger’s performance in the 2022 season
After five starts in the 2021 season, AJ Allmendinger has upped his game this season and managed to make 11 starts in the last 22 NASCAR races. He was also lucky enough to take part in the NASCAR’s Cup exhibition at the LA Coliseum earlier in the year, where he finished in the top ten.
After the show, his first Cup Series race for the 2022 season was at Phoenix, where he started his season with a P20 finish. Another discouraging result followed at the Circuit of the Americas, earning him only 33rd place. He also had other poor results, taking 27th at Richmond, 24th at Martinsville and 33rd at Dover.
The All-Star run served as a breakthrough after he scored his first top ten of the season, earning a P7. Since then, the worst he has recorded is a P19 finish. His last race was in New Hampshire, where he recorded a P16.
It will be interesting to see how he does at the Verizon 200 this weekend.