A.J. Allmendinger to replace Bobby Labonte in No. 47 at Michigan


A.J. Allmendinger will drive the No. 47 Toyota of JTG Racing at Michigan International Speedway next weekend. Allmendinger will take over the seat which has been occupied by Bobby Labonte since 2011 season.

Currently JTG plans to return Labonte to the drivers seat at Sonoma the following week.

“We’re not replacing Bobby – he’s still our driver,” co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “But we have a few races that we don’t have any sponsor activation and it was pretty easy to do (a change and) some benchmarking.”

Labonte has not recorded a top-five since the 2011 Daytona 500.

“We just felt like the people that could, without blowing up their race team, give us a good benchmark, AJ is a guy that has been pretty fast,” Geschickter said.

“Bobby has given his opinion what we need to work on next,” Geschickter said. “For this race, we can put AJ in the car and see what his opinion is. He has driven Penske-based stuff and Hendrick-based stuff at Phoenix (Racing).”

Allmendinger will drive the No. 51 Chevrolet of Phoenix Racing this weekend at Pocono. It is unknown if Labonte will have a car to drive at Michigan but one option could be the Phoenix Racing machine.

The 31-year-old Allmendinger has made 177 career starts in the Sprint Cup Series with a career best of secon

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