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Allmendinger to drive No. 51 for third consecutive week

October 23, 2012, , NASCAR.com

A.J. Allmendinger will return to the No. 51 Chevrolet for a third consecutive week, according to the official Sprint Cup entry list released Tuesday.

Phoenix Racing added Allmendinger's name to the list of participants for Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. He was credited with a 35th-place finish at Kansas but had been running in the top 10 at the time of his Lap 70 crash. Allmendinger was 24th at Charlotte two weeks ago.

The native of Los Gatos, Calif., finished second to Ryan Newman in April at Martinsville, his first top-five finish at the flat 0.5-mile oval in 10 trips. His previous best was a ninth in 2009.

Allmendinger was released by Penske Racing after failing a random drug test at Kentucky earlier this summer. After missing 14 races, he was reinstated after completing NASCAR's substance abuse program. He landed the ride with Phoenix after Kurt Busch moved to the No. 78 Chevrolet following Talladega.

In 19 races this season, the 30-year-old Allmendinger has three top-10 finishes and started from the pole in the spring race at Kansas. He's currently 32nd in driver points.