The next AJ

Posted by Iannucci | 9/14/2007 | 4 comments »
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Could be basic speculation but here's this from

Reports are surfacing that NASCAR Toyota Red Bull Nextel Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger is trying to get out of his NASCAR contract with Toyota and move to the Indy Racing League in 2008.

Allmendinger has had a difficult rookie campaign in Nextel Cup with the first year Toyota Red Bull team and there may be as many as three top tier rides up for grabs in the open-wheel series: Ganassi’s IRL operation (if current driver Dan Wheldon leaves), Team Penske (he would replace the ‘almost sure to be departing’ Sam Hornish) or Andretti Green Racing (in place of Dario Franchitti).
This goes along with a Yahoo! Sports report that also said Allmendinger is longing to return to open-wheel, but in that previous story it was mentioned that AJ was already under contract with Ganassi. Well, which is it guys?

Above all, remember this folks: Mario Andretti loves Allmendinger.


  1. pressdog // September 14, 2007 8:47 AM  

    AJ has skillz. With the IRL going street/road racing more and more, he'd be a great grab for any team. Nice to see someone bailing from The Other League (or at least rumored to want to) and coming home to real racing.

  2. mmack // September 14, 2007 11:01 AM  

    Jeff and 'Dog,

    All this is predicated on Red Bull and how much love (and $$$$$) they want to keep sending to A.J. (W)Allmendinger. Remember Wallie's in NA$CAR because Red Bull wanted him there. If Red Bull is serious and wants Scott Speed (!!!!!) to go to NAPCAR, would he be a teammate to A.J., or would A.J. find himself bounced out of a ride? I'm guessing both Toyota and Red Bull are pretty fed-up with the Return on Investment for young A.J. If so, word may be getting back to him and he may want to quit before he gets fired. He couldn't go back to CART\OWRS\CCWS\"Hey, let's see what OTHER races we can cancel today" since a) he and his agent burned his bridges in 2006 and b) he'd like to get paid for driving a race car (a foreign concept for most teams in that series).

    All this is dependent on how iron clad his Red Bull contract is. I still stand by my supposition from yesterday that either Toyota or Red Bull is sending A.J. to Chip so the Chipster can polish the rough edges off their investment. I do agree he'd be a great catch for an IRL team (Andretti Green anyone?)

  3. pressdog // September 14, 2007 11:15 AM  

    Kind of following in Paul Tracy's footsteps. He bolted for BUSCH, found out it was harder than it looked on TV, came on back to Champ Car. mmack is probably right that Humdinger has some smoldering bridges in CC, but, then again, given how shaky they have been lately, I don't see a ton of people making huge investments in that league until they figure out if it will be around in 2008.

  4. Johnny // September 14, 2007 12:13 PM  

    Just not buying this one all the way yet. Allmendinger's contract has a lot of guaranteed money and is a multiyear deal. RBR in NASCAR spent a disproportionate amount of time and money on COT development for next year, so I'm betting both parties want to see what happens results-wise next year before pulling the trigger on a move this big.