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Could A.J. Allmendinger Leave NASCAR for USF1?

Jen PrestonSenior Analyst IFebruary 21, 2009

Despite his third-place finish in NASCAR's Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, A.J. Allmendinger only has sponsorship for a handful more races, including this weekend's at the Auto Club Speedway.

"I think we showed as an organization that we'd be a great team to have a sponsor come on board and help us out," Allmendinger said Friday. "As of right now, we still only have the eight races, plus the Daytona race—basically we have the nine races.

"The deals are out there, and I think that there's pressure every week. You've got to go out there and show that it's not a one-week fluke and go out and perform. I told them I'd do anything. I'd even cook them dinner. Well, maybe my wife would—I can't cook."

Allmendinger hopes to continue his momentum this weekend in the Auto Club 500, where he'll start eighth.

And while Allmendinger may be California dreamin', rumors have the 27-year-old leaving the Cup for more familiar territory: open-wheel racing.

The new U.S. Formula One team will be announced by principals Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor this Tuesday. Allmendinger is among those rumored to be taking part.

"I've learned in this sport over the past couple of years that you don't deny anything," Allmendinger said. "You just nod your head and say, 'There’s a chance.'

"It has intrigue for sure," he said about the possibility of sampling F1 machinery. "Driving a racecar, no matter what it is, has intrigue to me."

Allmendinger, however, seems to want to make his time in NASCAR work.

"I'm not focused on (Formula One)," the former Champ Car winner expressed. "I loved being a part of NASCAR. Going to all these races and being around the fans, I enjoy being here. I enjoy the racing... I enjoy all that.

"I'm a true American at heart; I like to in-between races...watch my NFL on Sunday and all that. I've learned in this sport, after everything that has happened to me the last couple of years, don't deny anything. Just nod your head and smile and say there's a chance."

Kevin Harvick also gave Allmendinger's performance a nod in his Daytona 500 press conference, saying "he has been pretty successful in a short amount of time."

Also rumored to be joining USF1 was IndyCar driver Danica Patrick.

"It's funny how these things get going," Patrick said. "But I'm happy driving in the IndyCar Series, I'm happy in North America."

Thanks to The Kansas City Star, Sporting News, Autosport.com, and Thatsracin.com for the quotes and information used in this piece.

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