AJ Allmendinger gets Cup Ride with James Finch Racing, Regan Smith to sub for Dale Jr

By Chris Creighton
3/17/2012 | Rainier Ehrhardt/Getty Images for NASCAR

AJ Allmendinger will pilot the James Finch #51 Chevrolet this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. In what was going to be Regan Smith’s debut in the #51, circumstances quickly changed with the announcement of Dale Earnhardt Jr. missing at least the next two races because of a concussion that he received in a vicious 25 car wreck during the last lap at Talladega Superspeedway on Sunday.

Regan Smith was called to sub for NASCAR’s Most Popular Driver, leaving a door of opportunity for the recently suspended NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger. AJ was at Talladega over the weekend discussing possible rides for next year, and had actually spoken with James Finch about his open seat. Finch originally went with Regan Smith to replace former driver Kurt Busch, but with the turn of events and a call from Hendrick Motorsports, Regan Smith opted to drive in replacement of Dale Jr. in his infamous #88 Diet Mountain Dew Chevrolet.

Dale Earnhardt Jr. had the 5th longest streak of consecutive races with a combined total of 461 races in a row.

More information about this news will come out as the day progresses, so make sure you tune into RantSports.com for any breaking news. Dale Earnhardt, Steve Latarte, and Rick Hendrick have scheduled a press conference today at 11:00 am eastern time.

Chris Creighton is a member of the NASCAR media and a journalist for RantSports.com. You can also follow me on Twitter @FlagofCaution for all the latest updates in the racing community.

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