Updated: Friday, June 18th, 3:08 p.m. EST – Kaulig Racing has confirmed additional details in their plans for 2022 following a media availability at Nashville.
Kaulig Racing has purchased an adjacent shop space on the RCR campus and is spending over $1 million on renovations for the shop. The RCR alliance will continue heading into 2022.
As far as the Xfinity Series, Kaulig Racing assured their stance on staying, saying that they’re eyeing “at least” two entries in 2022. The team also wants to keep Kaz Grala in their fold after solid performances this year, but those details remain TBD.
The races for Allmendinger’s part-time Cup effort remain TBA.
Trackhouse Racing’s co-owner Justin Marks said he learned about the two charters being sold to Kaulig today. Trackhouse is leasing one of the three Spire holds for 2021, with Spire occupying two for their two full-time entries. Thanks to the charter agreements, a team cannot lease the same charter for two consecutive seasons, meaning that Trackhouse will have to acquire a new one for next season. Spire will continue to field Corey LaJoie in the No. 7 next season.
I learned about this deal when everyone else did today https://t.co/FRX8W314SN
— Justin Marks (@JustinMarksDG) June 18, 2021
One of the biggest dominos has fallen for the 2022 Cup Series silly season, with Kaulig Racing confirming their plans for 2022.
Kaulig Racing announced on Friday that NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Justin Haley will race full-time in the NASCAR Cup Series in a multi-year deal for 2022, piloting the No. 16 Camaro ZL1 1LE.
“I’ve been so fortunate the past three years to drive for an amazing team owner like Matt Kaulig,” said Haley. “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.”
Many recall that the Indiana driver is a race winner in Cup, winning the wild Coke Zero 400 in 2019 that was rain-shortened.
“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,” continued Haley. “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.”
Starting in 2016, Kaulig Racing made the Championship 4 in 2020 and expanded to three full-time cars in 2021. With five wins in 2020, Kaulig Racing has emerged as one of the most consistent teams in the Xfinity Series field.
“I’m extremely proud of how far Kaulig Racing has come in just a few short years,” said Matt Kaulig, Kaulig Racing team owner. “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!”
The organization also confirmed multiple pieces to their own puzzle for 2022.
Kaulig Racing acquired two charters for the 2022 season, with Haley occupying one of them. A.J. Allmendinger will race in a part-time Cup effort while contending for the Xfinity Series title full-time. It was confirmed in the media availability on Friday that both charters came from Spire Motorsports.
“We will continue to field the No. 7 with Corey LaJoie as a chartered entry in 2022,” Spire said in a statement. “We remain committed to NASCAR and the Cup Series and we will continue to look for opportunities to grow and compete in the future.”
Plans for the second car, regarding its status with the charter, will be announced at a later date.
Kaulig Racing’s Cup efforts of the last two seasons featured multiple drivers including Justin Haley, A.J. Allmendinger, and Kaz Grala. Allmendinger is responsible for the best finish in a Kaulig Cup entry which came at COTA this season. Impressively, of the team’s five Cup starts, four have ended with finishes within the top 15.
“We are confident that this is the right time to take this next step for Kaulig Racing,” said Chris Rice, president of Kaulig Racing. “I had the honor of being a part of handpicking Justin Haley as the driver of our No. 11 car in the NXS, and he has truly become an integral part of this Kaulig Racing team. We feel it’s only right that he is a part of taking that next step with us, and we are looking forward to the next couple of years with him.”
Haley will make his full-time Cup debut in February for the 2022 Daytona 500.
This is a developing story and will be updated .