AJ Allmendinger will remain with Richard Petty Motorsports for at least the next 18 rounds of NASCAR's Sprint Cup.
The former Champ Car race-winner signed an eight-race deal with the Dodge squad at the start of the season, which was due to expire after the next round at Phoenix International Raceway. But following a string of impressive results – including a career-best third place at the Daytona 500 – Allmendinger lies 20th in the championship with his car firmly locked into the top 35 in the owners' points standings, guaranteeing him a starting spot for future races.
As a result, the team has managed to secure vital additional sponsorship, meaning that his deal will now run up to and including the Richmond race in September – the final race before the start of The Chase.
"I think we have shown that we have the ability to run up front in this series," Allmendinger said. "I think you are going to see our results get progressively better the longer this team stays together.
"We started the year putting an emphasis on qualifying, but now that we are locked in the starting field, we can turn our attention to the race, and that's going to help our race results."