AJ Allmendinger is set to compete in the Rolex 24 at Daytona along with transitioning into his new role with the NBC Sports Group.
Allmendinger, who is making his 13th start in the Rolex 24 on Jan. 26-27, will also begin the next chapter in his career as he will be a part of NBC Sports’ coverage of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Series in 2019 as a booth analyst.
“Looking forward to learning a new craft,” Allmendinger said. “I love auto racing in general and I love the IMSA Series so for me to be able to be a part of NBC Sports and kick off their coverage and be a part of it full time it’s going to be really enjoyable. I’m nervous about it because it’s something new and I want to be at my best doing it.”
For the Rolex 24, Allmendinger will once again race for his good friend Michael Shank.
“I’ll probably never do it without Michael Shank (involved),” Allmendinger said. “For many reasons the Rolex 24, the prestige of it, all the big names that show up it’s a lot of fun for those reasons but more importantly the biggest reason I do it is being a part of Meyer Shank Racing. The friendship that I have with Mike personally, I’ve said for many years he’s a big brother to me.”
Allmendinger will drive the No. 86 MSR/LaSalle Solutions Acura NSX GT3 Evo with teammates Mario Farnbacher, Trent Hindman and Justin Marks in the GT Daytona class. Hindman was one of the drivers that teamed with Allmendinger last season in the Rolex 24 where they finished second in GTD. Allmendinger does have a win in the Prototype class in 2012 – the 50th Rolex 24 – when he joined forces with Justin Wilson, Ozz Negri and John Pew in the No. 60 Michael Shank Racing Ford/Riley.
“To pull into victory lane, I knew it was going to be this emotional feeling of, ‘Gosh, we won. I won.’ The ‘we won for Mike Shank’ part felt more than I ever expected,” Allmendinger recalled about the win. “It just shows how much I care about him and we all do. Anybody that’s ever driven for him cares about the guy, because he gives everything he has.”
Along with covering IMSA’s 50th season, Allmendinger, who has made 371 starts in the Monster Energy Cup Series with one win, will also contribute regularly to NBCSN’s daily motorsports show NASCAR America.