Allmendinger to replace Sadler

UPDATE #2 AJ Allmendinger will take over for Elliott Sadler behind the wheel of the No. 19 Dodge at Gillett Evernham Motorsports next season.

Sadler's possibilities are rumored to include the No. 41 Chevrolet at Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing or the No. 77 Dodge at Penske Racing should Sam Hornish Jr. replace Helio Castroneves in the IRL IndyCar Series.

Allmendinger will join Kasey Kahne in the flagship No. 9 GEM Dodge and newcomer Reed Sorenson, who will pilot the No. 43 Dodge following the imminent announcement of the merger between owner George Gillett and Richard Petty.

Rumor also has it that Raybestos Rookie of the Year recipient Regan Smith will drive for Furniture Row Racing in 2009. Foxsports

12/28/08 AJ Allmendinger is set to replace Elliott Sadler in the #19 Dodge in 2009, multiple Gillett Evernham Motorsports team sources told on Saturday. GEM CEO Tom Reddin told team employees and sponsors the news just before Christmas, causing some sponsors to consider leaving, according to team sources. Reached for comment Saturday, GEM spokesman Drew Brown chose not to comment. Sources also said Ray Evernham, who founded the team and sold majority ownership to George Gillett, cleared out all personal possessions from the team's shop, including the 2002 Brickyard 400 trophy he won as owner of Bill Elliott's #9 Dodge. Calls placed to Evernham and Sadler's representation were not immediately returned.

AJ Allmendinger reportedly moving from Red Bull Toyota team to struggling GEM Dodge team

12/28/08 Gillett Evernham Motorsports is working on replacing NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Elliott Sadler with AJ Allmendinger, according to sources familiar with the situation.

GEM spokesman Drew Brown said Saturday night he had no comment on the situation and Allmendinger business manager Tara Ragan told the Sporting News NASCAR Wire Service that Allmendinger is finalizing a contract with the team.

“We’re in the final stages of negotiations with Gillett Evernham," Ragan said. “I think things will be sorted out within the next week. Nothing’s done till it’s done – knock on wood – but I think we’re all eager to make that work, and I think it’s safe to say we’re in the fine details and the fine-tuning of that.

“I don’t foresee any problems coming up, and I don’t think they do, either. But is it signed, sealed and delivered? No, not quite, but hopefully it will be in the next few days."

Sadler's business manager couldn't be reached for comment.

Allmendinger drove the final five races of last season in the No. 10 car for GEM with an average finish of 16.4.

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