AJ Allmendinger made his return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series on Saturday night driving the No. 51 Chevrolet of Phoenix Racing. After starting 38th for the Bank of America 500 he worked his way up to a 24th place finish.
Allmendinger was penalized late in the race due to a tire rolling out of the pit box but performed well enough that team owner James Finch will again place him in his car for the race at Kansas Speedway.
“It was great to get back into a Cup car, and I just want to thank James Finch and everyone at Phoenix Racing for giving me this opportunity–I’m really grateful,” said Allmendinger. “I was hoping I could have repaid that favor with a little bit stronger finish. But it was great to get back in the car and compete again. It was a solid weekend all around despite everything coming together so quickly. I want to also thank everyone who has been so supportive through this entire process. It meant a lot, and now we are all focused on building on this and looking forward to whatever comes next.”
When asked about the performance of Allmendinger at Charlotte Finch told Fox Sports “He did a real fine job before he received the penalty. And he was outrunning Kurt (Busch, Phoenix Racing’s driver for 30 of the first 31 races).”
In six starts at Kansas Speedway Allmendinger has two top-ten finishes and won the pole for the spring race there this season.