HAMPTON, Ga. – JTG Daugherty Racing officials announced today that A.J. Allmendinger will pilot the No. 47 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series entry full-time beginning with the 2014 season.
“For me, it is an amazing opportunity,” Allmendinger said. “I looked at this year as a new beginning for me. I have worked hard and feel fortunate about every opportunity this season and I am very grateful. It has been nice to have the chance to really get to know the JTG Daugherty Racing team and the owners Brad (Daugherty), Jodi and Tad (Geschickter). This is the start of something full-time and I look forward to the next full blown chapter of my career with JTG Daugherty Racing.”
Allmendinger, who has five top-five and 30 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, has piloted the No. 47 in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series events and delivered the team’s best finish (10th-place) of the season at Watkins Glen Int’l.
The announcement completes a journey for Allmendinger that started last year, when he was suspended by NASCAR for failing a random drug test. At the time Allmendinger was driving the No. 22 Sprint Cup entry for Roger Penske, a ride he lost in the weeks following his failed drug test.
Since being reinstated by NASCAR late last year, Allmendinger has worked hard to rebuild his reputation. He has spent time racing in the IZOD IndyCar Series and even competed for the victory in the 2013 Indianapolis 500. He also returned to Penske Racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series this season, winning races at Road America and the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Now his focus returns to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.
“It feels great that we chose each other,” Allmendinger said. “There are many reasons why I feel good about it. I have come to know Tad, Jodi and Brad and their values with the way they treat people. It is not just at the track, but away from the track. To have the opportunity to come back full-time with everything that happened, I know how very lucky I am.
“There are a lot of things about the team I like as well,” continued Allmendinger. “It is small and a fun atmosphere whether it is inside the hauler or goofing around after hours playing golf. It is the type of atmosphere and chemistry you need in this sport. I look forward to contributing to help build this team into something stronger and working with some of the best sponsors in this sport.”
Allmendinger will be supported by several different sponsors in 2014, including BUSH’S Best Beans, Charter Communications, Clorox, Dell, Freightliner, Glad, Hidden Valley, House-Autry, Kingsford Charcoal, Miller Welders, SCOTT Products and Sherwin-Williams.
The team thanked Bobby Labonte, who has driven for the team the last three seasons, for all his hard work.
“We are very thankful to Bobby,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty said. “He did such a great job establishing baselines for our company and we are glad we were able to extend his racing streak as long as we did. He is a champion of our sport and has won 21 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races. He has a Hall of Fame career and we are very thankful to him and want to work with him in the future with our company. We will try to provide him with best resources to get him to victory lane this season.”
As one chapter closes for the No. 47 team, a new one begins with Allmendinger.
“We are pleased to have an opportunity to work with AJ going forward,” Daugherty said. “We think he is up and coming with so much potential in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We have a great opportunity to get to victory lane. AJ’s hungry to compete to win. We are looking forward to the next chapter of our program and he is a big part of it.”