Allmendinger to make NASCAR debut on Sunday on Phoenix

By Jenna Fryer | Associated Press Published:

By Jenna Fryer | Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A.J. Allmendinger will make his NASCAR season debut this Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.

Allmendinger, who didn't have a ride for the season-opening Daytona 500, will drive for Phoenix Racing in the No. 51 Guy Roofing Chevrolet. It will be Allmendinger's fifth race with Phoenix Racing, which gave him a chance last year after NASCAR reinstated him following his suspension for failing a drug test.

"It's been a few months since I've been in a stock car," said Allmendinger. "I haven't been in one of the Gen-6 cars yet, so I think it will take a little time to get acclimated to it. Phoenix International Raceway is a great place for me to get back behind the wheel. I've always enjoyed the race track. It will definitely feel different, but I'll be ready to go."

Allmendinger has eight previous Cup starts at Phoenix, where he has two top-10 finishes. He's also won one pole and started on the front row three times.

"It definitely helps to go to a track that I enjoy already," he said. "Of all the tracks we go to, this is one of the most technical and challenging. It takes finesse and you have to hit your marks nearly perfect every time."

Allmendinger watched Phoenix Racing's run in the Daytona 500. Regan Smith drove the car Sunday to a seventh-place finish.

Kyle Larson has no hesitation about racing again

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kyle Larson says he has no hesitation getting back in a race car this weekend following his frightening crash at Daytona International Speedway.

The 20-year-old Larson was not injured when his car went airborne into the fence on the final lap of the Nationwide Series race on Saturday. More than two dozen fans were injured by large chunks of debris and a tire that flew into the stands from his car.

Larson told The Associated Press on Tuesday the accident was not the worst of his career, and he won't have a second thought about racing again.

Larson is scheduled to run for Nationwide Series rookie of the year and will race Saturday at Phoenix. He's also planning to run the USAC race Friday night at Canyon Speedway Park.

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