A turning point for Champ Car?

A reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Mark down these dates, dates that may have been the turning point for Champ Car and perhaps the future of American Open Wheel racing.

  • June 9th, the day A.J. Allmendinger was let go by Carl Russo
  • June 11th, the day Forsythe signed him to replace Mario Dominguez, and,
  • June 18th, the day he scored his first career Champ Car victory.

I don't know what happen behind the scenes between him and Russo but whatever happened it was so exciting to hear the more than 45,000 fans chanting U.S.A. after he crossed the finish line. I hope Champ Car realizes the importance of having an American driver in an American based Open Wheel Series in a top notch team.

Even though he's the only American driver, hopefully Champ Car will take this momentum by marketing him at the next race in Cleveland and other stops in the U.S. like San Jose, Denver and Road America. His victory may have stolen the thunder of both Danicamania and Marcomania. Sure the IRL can boost about having more American drives but since the IRL series went to both road and street circuits events no American has won a race to this date which tells you a lot about the talent pool between the two series.

A.J. won a race that has a lot of drivers who came from both F1 (Justin Wilson, Cristiano da Matta) and Formula 3000 (Sebastian Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira). If he starts to win more races this year and dominate like Bourdais has done, there's no question that he'll gain a lot of attention from American Open Wheel Racing fans throughout the coming year. He's the new poster boy for Champ Car and even though Sam Hornish and Buddy Rice have won Indy, A.J. proved that an American driver can be talented at turning right and left instead of turning left just left. Alistair Fannell, Springfield MO.

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