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Unser, Allmendinger eye NASCAR - NoUPDATE #6 A reader asks, If AJ goes to NASCAR do you think Forsythe should go after Buddy Rice? At first I didn't think it was a good idea BUT you need a recognizable American driver in your series as your backup plan. Plus I think the France Family is out to get Champ Car because of the Phoenix Grand Prix fiasco too. Alistair Fannell
It's not only the France family that would want Allmendinger, so too would Toyota and of course Red Bull. However, our sources say that Allmendinger will probably stay in Champ Car and not walk away from the winning combination he has with his engineer Mike Cannon. As for other American drivers, Graham Rahal is expected to move up to Champ Car next year so Buddy Rice may not be viewed as necessary by the Champ Car owners. Mark C.
10/06/06 As we reported on September 29th, and now reported by SPEEDTV.com, Gerald Forsythe has made a longtime contract offer to A.J. Allmendinger to remain in Champ Car but the only American in the series hasn't made his decision.
"We had dinner after Elkhart Lake and I offered A.J. a five-year deal," said Forsythe, who fired Mario Dominguez and hired Allmendinger four races into the 2006 season.
"I told him we wanted him in Champ Car and he indicated he wanted to stay here but said he didn't feel comfortable negotiating so I'm going to meet with his agent before Australia."
09/29/06 According to our sources today, much like his teammate Paul Tracy, Allmendinger has been offered a long-term contract with Forsythe Racing to stay with Champ Car. Since moving to Forsythe Racing, Allmendinger has been on a tear, winning five races in 7 or 8 starts. Allmendinger is happy to be in a winning situation and Gerald Forsythe is happy to be winning on a regular basis again. If Allmendinger had been with Forsythe since the start of the season, we suspect Sebastien Bourdais would not be leading the championship and on his way to a third straight title.
09/26/06 According to AutoRacing1.com sources, as tempting as NASCAR may be, AJ Allmendinger will very likely remain in Champ Car for the foreseeable future.
09/23/06 Despite Allmendinger saying this week that he would probably re-sign with Forsythe, we are hearing that he has already signed a deal to run NASCAR trucks full time next year. We are bumping this rumor back up to 'speculation' and we'll see how this plays out.
09/18/06 This rumor is downgraded to 'false' today for AJ Allmendinger. Obviously, with his three consecutive wins for Gerald Forsythe this summer and the fact he's been great for open wheel racing, the fans of Champ Car don't want to see this talented kid head for NASCAR in 2007.
"First of all Gerry (Forsythe) was nice enough to let me run these two races and I appreciate that," said the 24-year-old Californian. "He's made me a contract offer and most likely I'll be back." ChampCar.ws
09/18/06 From the "Everyone-Loves-NASCAR" department" - Al Unser Jr. is the latest driver interested in moving into stock-car racing. Unser, 44, certainly has the name and the credentials. An Indy-car star - he was the tour champion in 1990 and 1994, IROC series champ in 1986 and 1988, and 1992 and 1994 Indy 500 winner - Unser retired as a driver two years ago but came back this spring to run the Indy 500, finishing 24th.
In his only NASCAR Cup start, Unser finished 36th in the 1993 Daytona 500 in a Rick Hendrick Chevy.
And Indy-car driver A. J. Allmendinger, 24, finished 13th here in Saturday's Truck debut, running for Bill Davis, in what could be a tryout for a Toyota ride next season with Team Red Bull on the Nextel Cup circuit. Allmendinger has won four Indy-car Champ Car series races this season. He plans to run a Davis Truck at Talladega in three weeks. Winston Salem Journal
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