HARRISBURG, N.C. – A.J. Allmendinger will run select races in the JTG Daugherty Racing No. 47 Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series during the remainder of the season.
Allmendinger will replace Bobby Labonte, the regular driver of the No. 47, in at least five Sprint Cup events during the remainder of the season. Allmendinger’s first race in the No. 47 will be next weekend at Michigan Int’l Speedway in Brooklyn, Mich.
The move is being made to help refine the direction for the team’s development of the Gen-6 Camrys housed in their Harrisburg, N.C., shop.
“Bobby Labonte wanted to help our team grow and develop when he signed on with our organization at the beginning of the 2011 season,” stated JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Brad Daugherty. “He continues to do a tremendous job for us. Bobby has given us his ideas for improving the product and we believe A.J. will do the same.”
“A single-car team does not have the benchmarking capabilities of all the multi-car operations we compete against each weekend,” said JTG Daugherty Racing Competition Director Bobby Hutchens. “This move will help us identify where our cars stand so that we can go to work on the next generation of our car design.”
Allmendinger believes he can assist the JTG Daugherty Racing team.
“I have raced for Phoenix Racing some this year and feel confident I’ll be able to provide JTG Daugherty Racing with a good comparison,” said Allmendinger. “I’m thankful for this opportunity to work with the team and Bobby.”
“At the end of the day, the name of the game is to provide value to our sponsors,” JTG Daugherty Racing co-owner Tad Geschickter said. “We are realistic about our position in the garage as a single-car operation. However, we have always been able to punch above our weight to deliver a great value to our partners on and off the track. We have not been doing that with the new car and this move is an additional step in determining what areas we need to work on to improve our performance.”
With Allmendinger driving the No. 47 next weekend at Michigan, Labonte’s current consecutive start streak that stands at more than 700 races could come to an end. Following Sunday’s race at Pocono Labonte’s streak will stand at 702 starts.