AJ Allmendinger made his first appearance at a NASCAR event on Friday, appearing at Talladega Superspeedway. It marked the first time Allmendinger had appeared at a NASCAR event since his suspension on July 7.
Allmendinger was reinstated by NASCAR last month after completing the road to recovery. The former driver of the No. 22 car is said to be looking for a ride in 2013.
“I’m looking, but from reading the Internet, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of jobs out there,” Allmendinger told ESPN. “Nobody has told me to get out yet,” joked Allmendinger, who stopped in the Penske Racing garage stalls and visited with his former crew. “It’s been a lot of fun to be back in the garage. It’s been a rough few months, and I’m just really glad to be back here.”
One ride which whispers arose that could suit Allmendinger is the No. 51 ride of James Finch. Finch said today that he plans to use Regan Smith in the car at Charlotte but would not be opposed to talking with Allmendinger.
“I like AJ, I’d be willing to do something with him, but I don’t know what sponsors would have to say about him,” Finch said. “It’s something I just don’t have an answer for right now.”
Kurt Busch will drive the car this weekend and then take over the seat of the No. 78 car which Smith currently drives.
Allmendinger described his talk with Finch as “small” but that he is “going to work my butt off” in order to get back into the Sprint Cup Series.