A.J. Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, and Noah Gragson to split Kaulig Racing Cup car in 2022

A.J. Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, and Noah Gragson to split Kaulig Racing Cup car in 2022

In nearly six years’ time, Kaulig Racing has grown from a little team that could

In nearly six years’ time, Kaulig Racing has grown from a little team that could into an emerging NASCAR powerhouse. After becoming a championship-caliber Xfinity team and winning their first Cup race in a part-time 2021 season, the organization will field two full-time Cup cars in 2022, including the No. 16 team, which will feature a trio of stars from NASCAR’s second level.

On Tuesday, Kaulig Racing announced the driver lineup for its No. 16 Cup car, which will be split by Xfinity Series regulars A.J. Allmendinger, Daniel Hemric, and Noah Gragson in 2022. Allmendinger and Hemric were already slated to compete for Kaulig in Xfinity next season, while Gragson will take on an expanded Cup schedule for Kaulig while racing for JR Motorsports in Xfinity.

Allmendinger, Hemric, and Gragson were all a part of the Xfinity Championship 4 in 2021, with Hemric winning the championship with a last lap pass of incoming Cup rookie Austin Cindric. All three will serve as teammates to Justin Haley, who will be the full-time driver of Kaulig’s No. 31.

“We think our roster for the 2022 season features some great drivers,” read a statement by Kaulig Racing team president Chris Rice. “Having three out of the four Xfinity Series championship contenders helping to build our new Cup Series program, is truly a tremendous opportunity for this Kaulig Racing team. While these guys have been fierce competitors for the last few years, having them bring that same tenacity as teammates will be extremely fun to watch and a great way for this team to grow in its first, full season in the Cup Series.”

After first joining Kaulig Racing in 2019, A.J. Allmendinger returned to full-time NASCAR competition in 2021 and subsequently enjoyed one of the finest years of his racing career. Allmendinger won five times in the Xfinity Series and was its regular season champion, and also ran five Cup races for Kaulig, scoring two top 5s, three top 10s, and an upset victory at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course.

Driving for Joe Gibbs Racing in 2021, Hemric scored 15 top 5s and 21 top 10s, but spent most of the year trying to shake the label of being a perpetual bridesmaid after a long series of second-place finishes. But in the season finale, Hemric shed that label for good in the most dramatic way possible, winning in a photo finish to score his first career win and the series championship. In addition to joining Kaulig in Xfinity for 2022, Hemric will also make his return to the Cup Series, where he earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2019.

Gragson has driven for JR Motorsports in Xfinity since 2019, and he has earned five career wins and finished a career-best third in the final standings in 2021. Gragson attempted to qualify for the 2021 Daytona 500 driving for Beard Motorsports, and he will do the same in 2022.