by Matt Mercer, Special To NASCAR commentary and driver pictures, 2012 NASCAR schedule, video, Bench Racing With Steve and Charlie
I'm the former blogger of The Catfish Show NASCAR Blog and a contributor to On Pit Row. Follow me on Twitter: @mattmercerSeptember 21, 2008 7:58 pm UTC 4 Comments
Should Red Bull Racing make the (stupid) decision to fire A.J. Allmendinger, Ganassi will score a coup. Allmendinger has returned from the brink in fine fashion this season after getting Mike Skinner in the car to confirm what he was feeling. A.J. has gone on to score no fewer than 9 finishes in the top half of the field, with 5 top 15 finishes – a marked improvement from his 2007 and early 2008 results. What’s more, Allmendinger won the Sprint Open in May and has run in the top 5 during races, specifically his race at California a few weeks ago. Yet he will likely face termination, possibly as soon as this week or next, to make room for Scott Speed. Sure, Speed has talent coming out of his painted toenails, but there is no reason to rush him to Cup – especially not to replace Allmendinger, who has shown more improvement than any driver except for David Ragan in 2008.
Should it happen, Ganassi will likely swoop in and sign Allmendinger to drive the #41 in 2009 – or sooner, should Reed Sorenson cause enough trouble to get released early to his new ride at GEM. It wouldn’t be the first time for Allmendinger and Ganassi to work together, last season Ganassi put A.J. in the #42 Busch car 7 races. It’s believed that this seat time helped A.J. immensely. Not to mention, as others have, Ganassi has multiple teams in open-wheel and sports cars to scratch whatever itch his drivers may have. That could include moving to the IRL and compete for the championship, or an Indy 500 win.
Simply put, I don’t want Allmendinger gone from Red Bull. He has done too much and shown too much promise to be shown the door. If it happens, I look at Ganassi being his best option. Juan Pablo Montoya’s been running a bit better lately, perhaps showing that the disbandment of the #40 team has helped. I know this: A.J. Allmendinger belongs in the Sprint Cup Series – whether it’s with Red Bull or Ganassi. He’ll prove to whoever doubts him that the talent and desire are there. He just needs the team and the equipment.
Photo credit: Icon Sports Media
by Steve Wronkowicz
I am co-host of the syndicated radio show: ON PIT ROW. Over ten years on the air and three on the net; see what can happen when I don't let the facts get in the way of my opinions.February 4, 2008 6:59 am UTC No Comments
Much of what has been written about this change has been about how this will affect Robby and his team. But; what impact will this have on GEM and why was it in their best interest to bring the Robby’s team under the GEM umbrella?
Most importantly this gives GEM another guaranteed car in the field every week at the start of the season. More cars in the field equals more information gained for all involved. 2007 was a nightmare season for GEM. They were behind on the development of the CoT and their old car program went up in smoke with over reliance on some less than competent engineers. 2008 needs to be a turn-around year for GEM and having Robby in the fold, even as a satellite team, makes them stronger.
Just as building and supplying engines to Petty Enterprises and BAM makes Gillette-Evernham’s engine program better, having more cars on the track every weekend will strengthen a team surely needing to make a rebound.
This week The Fast Lap asks:
1) Who will benefit most from the new alliance; Robby Gordon or GEM?
2) With The Wood Brothers being the only full-time independant Ford team left, is Ford interested in anyone other than Roush carrying the Blue Oval banner?
3) Everyone is well aware of the lack of a rivalry between Jimmy Johnson and Jeff Gordon. Is there anything currently close to the Petty/Allison or Waltrip/Yarbrough rivalries of the past?
4) Twin 150s or the 500?
Lets have your opinions on these. Remember; if we like your comments, whether we agree or disagree, we could use them on this week’s broadcast of ON PIT ROW. ON PIT ROW can be heard live via streaming audio every week, Tuesdays at 5pm ET. Just click on LISTEN LIVE on the home page.
Photo credit: Todd Warshaw/Getty Images for NASCAR