A.J. Allmendinger will return to the NASCAR Sprint Cup series with Phoenix Racing to compete in Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500k at Phoenix International Raceway, the team announced Tuesday. He will drive the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet in his fifth Sprint Cup Series start with the team.
Allmendinger has eight previous Cup Series starts at the one-mile oval and has driven to four top-15s and two top-10s. He has started on the front row three times, including one pole, which he captured in 2010.
Allmendinger’s NASCAR career came to a halt in July after he failed a random drug test administered by NASCAR. He was reinstated on Sept. 18 after he completed their Road to Recovery program, allowing him to return to the track. Sam Hornish Jr. finished the 2012 season in the 22 and Joey Logano is driving the car for the 2013 season.
Allmendinger returned to drive four races for Phoenix Racing at the end of the 2012 season.
"This will be good,” Allmendinger said in a team release about his return to NASCAR. “It's been a few months since I've been in a stock car. I haven't been in one of the Gen 6 cars yet, so I think it will take a little time to get acclimated to it. Phoenix International Raceway is a great place for me to get back behind the wheel. I've always enjoyed the race track. It will definitely feel different, but I'll be ready to go.”
With the Daytona 500 and restrictor-plate racing in the rear view mirror, the NASCAR Sprint Cup cars hit the track at Phoenix International Raceway Sunday for the Subway Fresh fit 500 at the one-mile track.