Kaulig Racing's Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice made the announcement this afternoon from the Nashville Superspeedway. While many of the fine details are still being worked out, Justin Haley will pilot one of those charter's for the full 2021 Cup Series season as part of a multi-season deal.
“I’m extremely proud of how far Kaulig Racing has come in just a few season years,” Matt Kaulig said. “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.”
“I’ve been so fortunate the past three years to drive for an amazing team owner like Matt Kaulig,” Haley said. “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.
“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. 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.”
AJ Allmendinger will remain a full-time driver for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series but run a part-time Cup schedule for Kaulig in its second car. Allmendinger has run two Cup Series for Kaulig this season at the Daytona and COTA road courses.
“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 Kaulig. “AJ has been a phenomenal addition to this Kaulig Racing family, and we are glad to have him back with us moving forward.”
“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,” Allmendinger said. “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.”
The charters were purchased from Spire Motorsports. Spire has three charters, and after selling two of them to Kaulig, will keep one for its No. 7 entry with Corey LaJoie.
With Kaulig striking first, many are wondering if this has raised the price of a few existing charters on the market for 2022. With many teams looking to enter the Cup Series or add additional teams, the next few weeks should be quite interesting.
Chris Bishop, Racing Pro Media