Team Owner Matt Kaulig of Kaulig Racing and Team President Chris Rice have confirmed the 2023 NASCAR Cup and Xfinity Series lineup. Kaulig Racing has spent the last seven season fielding cars in the NASCAR Xfinity and Series and made its debut in the NASCAR Cup Series back in 2020. The team has continued to grow and find victory circle in both Cup and the Xfinity Series. The team has a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing.
Here is a breakdown of what 2023 holds for the team both in the Cup Series and Xfinity Series.
AJ ALLMENDINGER - 16
Fresh off a win at Talladega, Kaulig Racing announces that AJ Allmendinger will race for them in the Cup Series Full-Time in 2023. Allmendinger ran in the cup series from 2008 to 2018 scoring one victory at Watkins Glen in 2014. Allmendinger retired after the 2018 season to work for NBC. However, Kaulig Racing approached AJ about running a 3rd car in their road course program. Since joining Kaulig, AJ has won 13 times with the team and has won two straight regular-season championships. Allmendinger also returned to the Cup Series part-time with Kaulig scoring a win at the Indianapolis Road Course in 2021. After a great season in 2022, Kaulig Racing has decided to move Allmendinger up to the Cup Series again full-time. Allmendinger hasn’t run full-time in the cup series since 2018. However, with 5 Top 10’s in his past 8 races in Cup, it's safe to say that he can contend.
JUSTIN HALEY – 31
Haley will be back in the 31 for Kaulig next season. There was really no doubt that the 23 year old driver would be back in the seat for 2023, and now that he is partnering with his racing dad AJ Allmendinger. Haley could definitely make a run for a playoff spot. Justin Haley has scored 3 Top 5’s and 4 Top 10s this season, with great runs at Darlington and Texas where he finished P3 in both events. He also had a strong showing at the ROVAL with a Top 5. With a full-time teammate now, Haley and the whole 31 team could step up and get better results.
LANDON CASSILL – 10
Cassill will return to Kaulig Racing in 2023 driving the 10. After a disappointing first year with the team, Cassill wasn’t able to find victory lane or make the 2022 Playoffs. However, Cassill did have his best season to date. Cassill so far has 10 Top 10s and has been close to winning a handful of races. I expect Cassill to do better next season, make the playoffs and win in 2023. Sponsorship by Voyager will continue.
DANIEL HEMRIC – 11
The 2021 Xfinity Champion will return to Kaulig in 2023. He was recently eliminated from repeating as champion after a subpar Round of 12, but I could see Hemric breaking through in 2023 and stepping forward as the number one driver. If Hemric doesn’t win at least twice next season however, I think it's fair to say that he will continue his career as a journeyman.
CHANDER SMITH – 16
Current Truck Series championship contender and driver of the 18 for Kyle Busch Motorsports Chandler Smith was announced to be AJ Allmendinger’s replacement in the 16 today. Smith is currently leading the points in the Truck Series and is a favorite to make the championship 4. Over the last two seasons, Smith accumulated five wins in the Truck Series with three just this season. Smith was expected to move up to Xfinity, and with KBM switching to Chevy next season, it's no surprise that Smith would also find a Chevy ride. Exciting to see what the young driver will do next season in new colors.
So, what should expect from Kaulig Racing in 2023? In the Cup Series, AJ Allmendinger will make the Playoffs. I can almost guarantee you that he will win on a road course in 2023. With AJ back in Cup, I know he’s only looking for wins, so expect AJ to make the playoffs. I also think we could see Justin Haley take a step forward. Haley has run well this season at mile and a half tracks so he could win his way in early in the year if things fall his way. I think we could seriously be talking about Haley in the bubble conversation for a playoff spot.
In Xfinity, Kaulig should have all their cars make the playoffs. With veterans like Cassil and Hemric leading the charge and the best trucks prospect joining their program, Kaulig Racing should be the favorites for the championship in 2023. Cassill, Hemric and Smith should all easily find victory lane and could contend for the title. If I’m Kaulig, the expectation is all three cars battling for the title at Homestead in Fall of 2023.
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