Allmendinger replaces Labonte for five races
June 08, 2013, Staff report, NASCAR.com
JTG Daugherty Racing announced that AJ Allmendinger will share seat time with Bobby Labonte in the No. 47 Toyota Camry for the rest of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Allmendinger, who has driven in four NASCAR events for Phoenix Racing this year, will start with JTG in next Saturday’s Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.
Labonte, the 2000 series champion, will extend his string of consecutive Cup starts to 702 tomorrow at Pocono Raceway in the Party in the Poconos 400 presented by Walmart. Jeff Gordon owns the longest active consecutive starts streak at 702, soon to be 703. Labonte's streak dates back to 1993 and ranks third on the all-time list. The record for consecutive starts is 788 held by Ricky Rudd from 1981-2005.
JTG Daugherty hopes that Allmendinger will help refine their approach to the Generation-6 car moving forward.
"A single-car team does not have the benchmarking capabilities of all the multi-car operations we compete against each weekend," JTG Daugherty Racing competition director Bobby Hutchens said. "This move will help us identify where our cars stand so that we can go to work on the next generation of our car design.”
Allmendinger, who recently entered into an agreement with Penske Racing to participate in two road-course races in the NASCAR Nationwide Series for them and who runs for Penske's IndyCar team, is confident he can help assist the JTG Daugherty team.
"I have raced for Phoenix Racing some this year and feel confident I'll be able to provide JTG Daugherty Racing with a good comparison," Allmendinger said. "I’m thankful for this opportunity to work with the team and Bobby (Labonte).”