Kaulig Racing has just set the stage for the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The championship-contending organization has revealed the driver lineup for its second Cup Series car, headlined by Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, and Daniel Hemric.
Kaulig Racing revealed the news on Tuesday, December 14, with a video and a press release. The team embraced the past conflicts between the three drivers — especially Gragson and Hemric — before confirming that they will join forces and drive the No. 16 Chevrolet “as a family.”
Hemric, Gragson, and Allmendinger all competed with each other in 2021 for the biggest prize in the Xfinity Series. They all reached the championship four — along with Team Penske’s Austin Cindric — and raced for the trophy at Phoenix. Hemric ultimately captured the prize after a stunning last-lap pass of Cindric.
“We think our roster for the 2022 season features some great drivers,” said team president Chris Rice in a press release. “Having three out of the four Xfinity Series championship contenders helping to build our new Cup Series program, is truly a tremendous opportunity for this Kaulig Racing team. While these guys have been fierce competitors for the last few years, having them bring that same tenacity as teammates will be extremely fun to watch and a great way for this team to grow in its first, full season in the Cup Series.”
All 3 Drivers Will Combine to Run a Full Schedule
While Justin Haley will drive the other Kaulig Racing Cup Series car on a full-time basis, the other three drivers will each run a part-time schedule to fill out the calendar. The 2022 season will also mark Hemric’s return to the Cup Series after he won the 2019 Rookie of the Year award.
Kaulig Racing did not provide every detail about the upcoming schedule, but the team confirmed that Gragson will start 14 of the races in the No. 16. Hemric and Allmendinger will participate in the remaining events as they go “Trophy Hunting” with the two-car organization.
Gragson already has one date locked up with another team. Beard Motorsports announced on November 16 that it will try to qualify for the Daytona 500 in February 2022 with Gragson as the driver. He will pursue this goal while either Allmendinger or Hemric takes on the Great American Race in the No. 16.
“This is a really unique opportunity I have with Kaulig Racing to be able to share the No. 16 with two of my biggest competitors in the Xfinity Series,” said Gragson. “I’ve had the chance to work with Daniel before, but it will be a new experience working with AJ. We’ve raced against each other for a few years now, and I think working as teammates will only help us get better as drivers.”
Hemric & Allmendinger Will Also Run Full Schedules for Kaulig Racing
Hemric, Gragson, and Allmendinger will all make part-time starts in the NASCAR Cup Series, but they will also focus on their respective full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedules. Gragson will run for JR Motorsports while Hemric and Allmendinger will each suit up for Kaulig Racing.
Hemric won the 2021 championship with Joe Gibbs Racing and capped off his time in the No. 18 Toyota Supra. Once the celebrations came to an end, he officially joined Kaulig Racing and replaced Haley in the No. 11 Chevrolet Camaro.
Allmendinger, on the other hand, ran a full-time season with Kaulig Racing in 2021 while locking up five wins and the regular-season championship. The organization announced on June 18 that he would return to the Xfinity Series for another full-time run in 2022 while also making limited starts in the Cup Series.
Landon Cassill, a former driver for JD Motorsports with Gary Keller, will round out the list of Kaulig Racing drivers. He will replace Jeb Burton in the No. 10 Chevrolet Camaro and will run a full season with Voyager Digital as his primary partner.