AJ Allmendinger remembers his racing roots.

That’s why he has decided to start a scholarship program targeting young go-kart racers. The Sprint Cup driver has partnered with his primary sponsor — Shell/Pennzoil — to create the program and recently named Kyle Kirkwood as the first recipient of the scholarship designed to promote and help develop young drivers who show potential.

“It’s exciting to start this program and have Shell come on board. To me, it’s a huge deal,” Allmendinger said. “It shows their support of me, that they want to be part of this program. But more importantly, it shows they want to be part of helping get young drivers into this sport — which I think we need more help with.”