For the past 11 years, AJ Allmendinger would make his way in the middle of January to Daytona International Speedway for the Rolex 24 with Michael Shank Racing. However, this yearly tradition comes to a halt in 2017 as Allmendinger will not be making the trip to Daytona at the end of this week.
Allmendinger took to the stage at the 2017 NASCAR Media Tour hosted by Charlotte Motor Speedway to explain the decision.
Allmendinger stated that the main reason he would not make the trip to Daytona was because Michael Shank Racing received a deal from Honda. Because Honda is also a manufacturer in IndyCar, they preferred to have their drivers in the race. This was a pretty special deal for Michael Shank Racing because they have been “working kind of by themselves”
“Part of doing the Rolex each year is doing it with Michael Shank for the last 10 years,” said Allmendinger. He admitted that he did not try to find another ride because he “didn’t really look hard for anything else” and that it “would have been strange being there and not running with him.
Allmendinger joked that he would miss racing in the Rolex 24, but would not miss the “knock on the door at four to wake up and get in the race car is pretty tough.”
Despite not being at the track, Allmendinger will watch on TV and be there in spirit.