NASCAR Cup Series

Kaulig Racing reveals #31 for Justin Haley

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Credit: Kaulig Racing

Justin Haley‘s maiden full NASCAR Cup Series campaign in 2022 will see the return of the #31 to the top level. Kaulig Racing revealed Haley’s number prior to Wednesday’s Next Gen car test at Charlotte.

In the Cup Series, #31 is synonymous with Richard Childress Racing, who maintains an alliance with Kaulig in the Xfinity Series. RCR fielded the #31 from 1996 to 2019 for Mike Skinner, Robby Gordon, Jeff Burton, Ryan Newman, and Tyler Reddick. Burton, Gordon, and Newman won four, three, and one time respectively with the number.

#31 has been used since the very first Cup Series race in 1949 by Sterling Long, who finished seventh in the inaugural event. In the seven decades since, the number has run 1,177 races with the eight aforementioned victories, 300 total top tens, and ten poles. The number has never won a championship, though Newman came close when he finished second in 2014. Other notable #31 pilots include Jim Vandiver and Ward Burton, as well as legends like Buck Baker, Curtis Turner, and Joe Weatherly in one-off starts.

A number in the thirties breaks away from Kaulig’s traditional pattern of using numbers in the tens. The team’s three Xfinity cars are the #10, #11, and #16, though Kaulig is only riding with #16 in the Cup Series as Stewart-Haas Racing and Joe Gibbs Racing respectively run the #10 and #11. Other teen numbers are also unavailable: Team Penske has #12, #13 is owned by MBM Motorsports, Stewart-Haas Racing hold #14, Rick Ware Racing has #15, #17 is Roush Fenway Racing’s, and JGR occupy #18 and #19.

While no Camping World Truck Series team uses #31, another RCR client in Jordan Anderson Racing currently does in the Xfinity Series.

Haley was announced as a full-timer for Kaulig on the Cup side in June. He will be partnered by A.J. Allmendinger, Noah Gragson, and Daniel Hemric in the #16. Allmendinger and Hemric both race for Kaulig’s Xfinity programme.

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