Kaulig Racing moving to NASCAR Cup fulltime with Justin Haley in 2022; Allmendinger extends in Xfinity

LEBANON, TENNESSEE - JUNE 18: (L-R) Justin Haley, driver of the #11 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet, Matt Kaulig, owner of Kaulig Racing, Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing and AJ Allmendinger, driver of the #16 Hyperice Chevrolet pose for photos after the announcement that Kaulig Racing will race full time in the NASCAR Cup Series season in 2022, during a press conference prior to practice for the NASCAR Xfinity Series Tennessee Lottery 250 at Nashville Superspeedway on June 18, 2021 in Lebanon, Tennessee. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Kaulig Racing announced Friday that Justin Haley will race full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series for the 2022 season as part of a multi-year agreement, following the team’s procurement of two charters for the upcoming season.

Matt Kaulig’s involvement in NASCAR began in 2014 when he decided to put his company, LeafFilter Gutter Protection, on a Cup car as the primary partner. Bit by the NASCAR bug, Kaulig formed his own team, Kaulig Racing, in 2016 and began full-time competition in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“I’m extremely proud of how far Kaulig Racing has come in just a few short years,” said Matt Kaulig, Kaulig Racing team owner. “We entered our first Daytona 500 in 2020 and have already made it known in just a handful of races that we are there to compete. It’s been no secret that going full-time racing in the NASCAR Cup Series was our goal at Kaulig Racing, and that is exactly what we are doing by purchasing two charters for 2022 and having Justin Haley as our first, full-time driver!”

Haley, who has served as Kaulig Racing’s longest-running, full-time driver in the Xfinity series, will continue his full-time commitment as the team’s first-ever, full-time NCS driver. Haley, a past winner in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway in the Cup series, has driven the team’s flagship No. 11 Chevrolet in the NXS since 2019.

“I’ve been so fortunate the past three years to drive for an amazing team owner like Matt Kaulig,” said Haley. “He has been a great mentor in my professional career, as well as my personal life away from racing. It’s been my dream from the start to race full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series, and to do so with everyone at Kaulig Racing just feels right.”

During his tenure at Kaulig Racing, Haley has scored three wins, 15 top five, and 50 top-10 finishes for Kaulig Racing in the NXS, including the team’s first-ever NCS start in the 2020 Daytona 500.

“This is an opportunity of a lifetime for me, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the endless support from Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice,” said Haley. “This team has done more for me than I could ever do for them. I’m so honored to stay in the Kaulig Racing family for years to come.”

Following the team’s first Cup start in 2020, the team has since made four starts in the series for the 2021 season and has already earned a top five and two top-10 finishes in the No. 16 Camaro ZL1 1LE.

“We are confident that this is the right time to take this next step for Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “I had the honor of being a part of handpicking Justin Haley as the driver of our No. 11 car in the NXS, and he has truly become an integral part of this Kaulig Racing team. We feel it’s only right that he is a part of taking that next step with us, and we are looking forward to the next couple of years with him.”

Justin Haley will make his next appearance in Kaulig Racing’s No. 16 Camaro ZL1 1LE in February of 2022 to kick start both his and Kaulig Racing’s first, full-time NASCAR Cup season.

The team also announced a multi-year agreement with AJ Allmendinger will continue competing full-time in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and part-time in the NASCAR Cup Series in select events for the 2022 season.

“Not only are we planning on making a splash in the NASCAR Cup Series, we plan on continuing to trophy hunt in the Xfinity Series!” Said team owner, Matt Kaulig. “AJ has been a phenomenal addition to this Kaulig Racing family, and we are glad to have him back with us moving forward.”

Since making his first start for Kaulig Racing in 2019, Allmendinger has earned five wins, 16 top five and 19 top-10 finishes in the NXS, with the most recent win coming at Kaulig’s home track of Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.

“Over the past three years, I have fallen in love with this team and have enjoyed every aspect of trying to help the organization grow,” said Allmendinger. “To know that I will continue to be a part of it moving forward and that this will most-likely be the last NASCAR team I drive for, is truly special. I appreciate Matt Kaulig, Chris Rice and all the men and women at Kaulig Racing for allowing me to be a part of this team. I can’t wait to see what the future holds on both the Xfinity and Cup sides of the program and what it will look like for Kaulig Racing. I’m thoroughly enjoying it, and I can’t wait for the next couple of years together.”

In only two starts in the 2021 NCS season, Allmendinger has earned the team’s best NASCAR Cup finish, a top five at Circuit of the Americas, as well as a top-10 finish at the Daytona International Speedway road course earlier this year.

“Not only a good colleague, AJ has become a good friend over the past few years,” said Kaulig Racing president, Chris Rice. “He has long been considered a ‘Road-Course Ringer,’ but since joining Kaulig Racing, he has proven to be an all-around talented driver, and we can’t wait to continue having him elevate our program.”

Slated to run the remainder of the road-course races for Kaulig Racing in the 2021 NASCAR Cup season, Allmendinger will continue his part-time NCS schedule for the 2022 season, while also competing for the NASCAR Xfinity championship for the second year in-a-row.