Kaulig Racing is expanding to a three-car Xfinity Series operation with the announcement that AJ Allmendinger will compete for the team full-time next year.

Allmendinger will drive the No. 16 Chevrolet in what will be his first full season in the Xfinity Series. He’s made 27 starts in the series since 2007. Sponsorship for Allmendinger was not announced.

Over the last two years, Allmendinger has run 16 races with Kaulig Racing. He won three times, including for the first time on an oval in NASCAR earlier this year at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Allmendinger last ran a full NASCAR season in 2018 in the Cup Series.

“As a part-time driver for Kaulig Racing in the Xfinity Series, I have really enjoyed working with all the women and men in the organization these past two years,” said Allmendinger. “The love of showing up to NASCAR races has returned for me, and I truly have enjoyed myself on and off the racetrack. It starts with Matt Kaulig and Chris Rice. I can’t thank them enough for giving me a call at the start of 2019 and offering me races that continued into 2020.

“More than anything, I have really loved being part of the team and watching the growth of the organization, and because of that, the opportunity to come back full time in 2021 was something I just could not pass up.”

Allmendinger will be a teammate to Justin Haley and Jeb Burton. Haley returns for a third season in the No. 11 Chevrolet and fresh off a Championship 4 appearance, while Burton joins the team in the No. 10 Chevrolet.

Kaulig Racing fielded two full-time teams for the first time in 2020. Allmendinger ran a third car for the team in select races. The ’21 season will be the first time the organization has run three teams full time.

“Kaulig Racing has come such a long way in only a few short years,” said team owner Matt Kaulig. “We started this team in 2016 and have made the playoffs every year. This year we stepped up even more and had two cars in the playoffs with one in the Championship 4 at Phoenix. With AJ Allmendinger added to our stable and three fantastic drivers, we will have an even better chance at the championship.”

Kaulig Rac ing won five races in 2020 and put both its drivers, Haley and Ross Chastain, in the playoffs. Haley earned the organization’s best finish in the championship standings by winding up third.

“Having AJ race full-time for Kaulig Racing will only elevate our program to another level,” said team president Chris Rice. “I truly believe his veteran experience has helped us in every race he has ever run with us, and that is evident in his finishes. I’m sure he will complement our other two great drivers we already have, as he’s been a great teammate since day one. I love the challenge in front of us to go after the championship in 2021 with all three of our drivers.”