These picks are based on personality, appearance, driving ability, and their overall marketing viability.
1. Kyle Busch
This one is a no-brainer: Mr. Kyle Busch. He is full of what has been missing from F1—plenty of attitude, controversial, and fun to watch.
He has the ability to get many of those pompous stuff shirt F1 media types all riled up. He would certainly be a good marketable player in the USA.
Last but not least, he is just full of talent and should adapt well to an open wheel car.
2. AJ Almendinger
This driver would be another great choice. The reasons might be a little different, but he will fit a good All-American type persona. If I could paint some freckles on his face, then we're talking "the Beaver" from the Leave It to Beaver television show of the 1950s.
Can you think of anything more marketable to middle American than "the Beaver?" We are talking baseball, hot dogs, and apple pie. You can't get more American than that.
The other upside is experience with open wheel. He's hungry, young, and he does have a racer's mentality. He just wants to be in a race car and I don't think he cares what kind. Agree?
3. Jimmie Johnson
Johnson is a multiple NASCAR championship winner and that alone should get him a good chance to drive an F1 car and win.
He does have a laid back personality. The USF1 team may be looking for more of a wild persona.
There is no denying that Mr. Johnson is probably the most talented driver in NASCAR and should be in the team A-1 list.
4. Sam Hornish, Jr.
Hornish is a good candidate because of all the experience he has in open wheel—he's won three IRL championships and is only 28 years old.
He would have great appeal with the young hip crowd. According to his bio, he loves hip hop and rock and roll. How can you not like that guy? Agree?
I can see him doing commercials for other products besides oil, air cleaners, and car wax. I'm thinking Gap, Banana Republic, and Old Navy.
Seriously, Hornish Jr. is a great open wheel driver and would be a top candidate for a seat.
5. Joey Logano
First of all, he has a great name for an F1 driver—Logano. He's 18 years old, has a great personality, and is a good looking kid. Can you say marketing and good sponsor bait?
He would be perfect to put in GP2 to get him trained for the F1 series, and of course the kid can drive a race car. Unfortunately, I think Gibbs Racing put this kid over his head way too early.
Look, I'm not an expert, I'm just a fan with an opinion, but I think Logano would have been better served by waiting a few years. Agree?
Now back to the business at hand, Logano would be a great trainee for the USAF1 racing team. With a few years in GP2, you may get a young marketable American kid who looks like he should be from Jersey rather than Middletown, Conn.
Well, there you are. My top five American NASCAR drivers who would have a good chance to succeed in F1.