Allmendinger has Cup offer for '13

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Lee Spencer

Lee Spencer is the Senior NASCAR Writer for She has provided award-winning coverage of auto racing over the last 15 years. Spencer has lent her expertise to both television and radio and is a regular contributor to SiriusXM Radio and the Performance Racing Network. Follow her on Twitter.



AJ Allmendinger has an opportunity to initially run four NASCAR Sprint Cup races for Phoenix Racing as its driver roster starts to take shape.

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While Regan Smith will kick off the season in the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet at Daytona International Speedway, Allmendinger has been offered the chance to drive at Phoenix International Raceway, Bristol Motor Speedway, Auto Club Speedway and Martinsville Speedway. TAG Heuer will sponsor Austin Dillon in the car at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Considering that Allmendinger is still hoping to secure a full-time ride for the season – and Phoenix Racing’s sponsorship search is ongoing – both parties have agreed to keep their options open should an opportunity arise. Right now, they are working on a race-to-race basis.

Allmendinger ran four races with Phoenix Racing in 2012. Although his best finish in the No. 51 Chevrolet was 24th, Allmendinger and the team feel that with additional time together, the results will come.

“I’m really looking forward to racing with the team again,” Allmendinger said. “They’re an awesome group of guys and I’m grateful to (team owner) James (Finch) for the opportunity. It meant a lot to me to get back in a race car. We showed we were capable of being competitive and I think we can be competitive again. I’m looking forward to whatever races they offer. The possibility exists (to run more races) with Guy Roofing coming aboard as a new sponsor.”

Allmendinger’s best results came in open wheel while competing in the now-defunct Champ Car Series. In 2006, Allmendinger won five of 13 races competing for Gerry Forsythe. Allmendinger is not dismissing the opportunity to drive in the Indianapolis 500 should a competitive ride open up.

“I would love to do that,” Allmendinger said. “The best thing for me right now is to race in whatever I can but if something good comes up for the 500, I would jump at the chance. I really want to win again.”

Next up for Allmendinger is the Rolex 24 at Daytona on Jan. 26. He will defend his Rolex title driving a Ford for Michael Shank Racing.

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