AJ Allmendinger unsurprisingly will kick off his 2018 race season at Daytona International Speedway. But he won’t do so at the Daytona 500.
Allmendinger is set to compete for Michael Shank Racing on Jan. 27-28 in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, according to NBC Sports. Alongside Justin Marks, Lawson Aschenbach and Mario Farnbacher, Allmendinger will pilot the No. 93 Acura NSX GT3 in the GT Daytona class.
The 35-year-old had driven for Michael Shank in the 24-hour race from 2006 to 2016, winning the event in the Daytona Prototype category in 2012.
“I am pumped to be back racing for Shank in the (Rolex) 24. I missed the race last year and I hated to, so I’m really glad to be back,” Allmendinger said in a statement. “His whole team did an awesome job with the Acura last year and it is awesome to be back with him for the Rolex. After racing for the overall win so many years in Prototypes, it will be a completely different experience to be racing in the GTD class, but I’m looking forward to it. Mike always puts an awesome team together and this year is no different so I am counting down to get my first shot in this car.”
Having finished 27th in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series standings, 2017 was Allmendinger’s worst season in his four years with JTG Daugherty Racing. The Los Gatos, Calif., native recorded just one top five all season, though the fact that it came in the form of a third-place finish at Daytona could be a good omen.
Thumbnail photo via Timothy T. Ludwig/USA TODAY Sports Images
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