AJ Allmendiner and his wife Tara stand during the national anthem prior to the 2022 Contender Boats 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway on October 22
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A.J. Allmendinger's Wife Is an Award-Winning Pageant Queen

A.J. Allmendinger may be nicknamed "the Dinger," but the longtime NASCAR driver has sustained a couple dings himself over the years. He had a tough divorce in 2012, followed by a lengthy suspension that derailed most of his NASCAR Cup Series season that year. Then, in 2015, came the death of Justin Wilson, A.J.'s close friend and teammate when he competed for RuSPORT in the Champ Car World Series. Finally, after the 2018 Cup Series season, the Los Gatos, California native parted ways with his longtime team at JTG Daugherty Racing, leaving him without a full-time Cup ride for several years.

Thankfully, things seem to be turning around for A.J., and that is, in huge part, thanks to his wife Tara. She's been by his side since 2015, and she'll be there for his big redemption moment: when A.J. Allmendinger steps behind the wheel of the No. 16 Chevrolet Camaro for Kaulig Racing at the 2023 Daytona 500, it will kick off his first full-time Cup season since 2018. What an incredible moment for the Allmendingers!

Getting to Know Tara Allmendinger

AJ Allmendinger and his wife Tara celebrate in victory lane after winning the 2022 Pennzoil 150 at the Brickyard at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on July 30

Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images

Originally from Nebraska, Tara Lea Meador graduated from Fort Calhoun High School back in 2007. She then attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in architecture. On top of earning valedictorian honors in undergrad, Tara was involved in a number of impressive co-curricular and extracurricular activities.

Over the years, Tara has worked as an aquatic consultant and an architectural design consultant and associate in the North Carolina area. Today, she works as the president of Glorie, Inc. and is also the creator of Anarchii Designs. Tara also volunteers for the Catawba Riverkeeper, which is a non-profit organization that advocates for the waterways on the Catawba-Wateree River Basin. But, the accolades don't stop there. Add motivational speaker and avid American pageant contender to Tara's impressive resume.

Tara's social media accounts are filled with tons of pictures from different pageant events, and it's clear she also has a strong interest in the health and wellness industry. In 2021, she was named Mrs. North Carolina, and she also competed in the Mrs. America pageant. In 2022, she was named Mrs. North Carolina Earth. As for her other hobbies, Tara has always been just as big of a sports fan as her racer husband. Maybe that's part of the reason they mesh so well together.

Tara and A.J.'s Love Story

AJ and Tara Allmendinger on the grid before the 2022 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix held March 27 at the Circuit of the Americas

Photo by Allan Hamilton/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Before A.J. tied the knot with Tara, he was married to Canadian model and chiropractor Lynne Kushnirenko, who he met at a Champ Car race in Toronto in 2005. After five years of marriage, the couple divorced in 2012. Things weren't exactly going great for Allmendinger during this time, as NASCAR suspended him in July of that year after he failed a random drug test. This prohibited Allmendinger from running in nearly half of the Cup races that season. He was reinstated in September.

Even before they met, Tara was no stranger to attending racing events. Interestingly enough, the two were first introduced at the 2015 Indianapolis 500. Love must've been in the air at Indianapolis Motor Speedway that day, because Tara and A.J. started dating soon after the Indy 500. In 2016, Tara and A.J. took in a cat named Mr. Tickles, who actually has his own Instagram account with a few thousand followers. They also have a french bulldog named Xena (yes, named after the Warrior Princess).

Finally, in 2019, longtime girlfriend Tara Meador became wife Tara Allmendinger in a beautiful wedding ceremony at Murray's Mill in Catawba, North Carolina. These two clearly seem like a perfect match. You can guarantee that whatever road course or speedway A.J. is racing on, Tara will be right there cheering him on. What more can you ask for?

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