AJ Allmendinger and Regan Smith to share No. 51 Cup ride

John Harrelson

They will both drive the No. 51 Chevrolet fielded by Phoenix Racing for the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

Regan Smith and AJ Allmendinger will share the No. 51 Chevrolet fielded by Phoenix Racing for the duration of the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

As first reported by the Sporting News, Phoenix Racing is planning on running the full Cup schedule with Allmendinger behind the wheel for a majority of the season, with Smith starting "seven to 10" races, including the season-opening Daytona 500. Allmendinger's first race will be the following week at Phoenix International Raceway.

Both drivers raced the No. 51 car last season after the team parted ways with then-driver Kurt Busch.

Smith is unable to run the full slate of Cup races as he has signed with JR Motorsports to run the entire Nationwide Series schedule.

As for the Nationwide car that Phoenix Racing ran last year on a limited basis, the team is hoping to have Busch compete in the three restrictor-plate events and plans on meeting with him later this week about doing so. In the four Nationwide races Busch ran for the team in 2012, he finished in the top 10 on three occasions -- including a victory in the July Daytona race.

For Allmendinger, the opportunity afforded by Phoenix Racing is a perfect opportunity to continue to integrate himself back in the sport following a suspension last season for failing a NASCAR drug test.

As of now, Allmendinger has no other commitments to run any other NASCAR events, though, he will be competing in the Rolex 24 at Daytona sports car race later this month. Allmendinger was part of the overall winning team a year ago.

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