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NASCAR NEWS 

AJ Allmendinger stays on in Phoenix NASCAR team for Martinsville

AJ AllmendingerAJ Allmendinger will stay with Phoenix Racing for this weekend's NASCAR Sprint cup round at Martinsville Speedway.

The former Penske driver was reinstated by NASCAR last month following a suspension for using banned substances.

He got the chance to return to Cup competition at Charlotte after Phoenix's new signing Regan Smith was called up to replace Dale Earnhardt Jr at Hendrick Motorsports following the latter's concussion diagnosis.

With Earnhardt expected to return this weekend at Martinsville it was uncertain whether Smith would be called back to drive for James Finch's outfit, but the team has decided to keep Allmendinger in the car for a third consecutive weekend.

Allmendinger had a promising early run in last week's Chase event at Kansas, before crashing due to a deflating right-front tyre while running in the top 10.

If Earnhardt is ultimately cleared to race this weekend, following a succesful test on Monday at Gresham, Smith would be left without a drive, having lost his previous Furniture Row seat to Kurt Busch.

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