Allmendinger gets full-time Sprint Cup ride for 2014
AJ Allmendinger will return to fulltime racing in the Sprint Cup Series next season, driving the No. 47 car for JTG Daugherty Racing, the team announced on Saturday at Atlanta.
Allmendinger has not had a full-time ride since he failed a NASCAR drug test a year ago. He was reinstated late in the 2012 season, and has driven races in NASCAR and IndyCar since.
"For me, it is an amazing opportunity," Allmendinger said. "I looked at this year as a new beginning for me. I have worked hard and feel fortunate about every opportunity this season and I am very grateful."
Allmendinger will replace Bobby Labonte, who will leave the organization at season's end.
"To have the opportunity to come back full-time with everything that happened, I know how very lucky I am," Allmendinger said. "There are a lot of things about the team I like as well. It is the type of atmosphere and chemistry you need in this sport."
The 64-lap race marks the series' return to road-course racing for the first time in more than a decade. The most recent road course event was June 2000 at Watkins Glen, N.Y.
NASCAR drivers Scott Speed and Travis Pastrana are scheduled to compete in the event. Tickets are $25; children ages 10-and-under are $10. Call (800) 455-3267 for more information.
Three things to watch
1. A year ago, Jeff Gordon finished second at both Atlanta and Richmond to claim a wild card spot in the Chase. The most recent of his five Atlanta victories came in 2011.
2. Joey Logano has finished in the Top 10 in five consecutive races which has propelled him into the Top 10 in the series standings.
3. Goodyear is debuting its "zone tread" technology in the Cup series with its new right-side tire for Atlanta. It's success could bode well for use at other tracks.
Three picks for your fantasy team:
Jeff Gordon, Denny Hamlin, Carl Edwards