AJ Allmendinger Lands Full-Time Ride for 2009

Kelly CrandallSenior Writer IDecember 28, 2008

AJ Allmendinger will get to race full-time in 2009, and it comes at the expense of Elliott Sadler.

Gillett Evernham Motorsports is getting set to announce that Allmendinger will replace Sadler in the No. 19 Dodge car next season—even though Sadler had signed a contract extension with the team in May.

Allmendinger's agent, Tara Ragan, confirmed the news.

"Yes, 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."

Allmendinger was the driver at Red Bull Racing in 2007 and was replaced at Kansas in 2008 by Scott Speed. He drove the No. 10 Dodge for GEM the final five races of the season. His average finish withe the team during those five races was a 16.4 and he gained much attention from the media and broadcasters each weekend for the wonderful job he was doing.

Now he has a ride and in decent equipment. It's also reported that he gets along very well with new teammate Kasey Kahne.

This means that Sadler is now on the table. Sadler is rumored to be in talks with many different teams, including Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing and the No. 41 Chevrolet.

Sidenote: Ragan Smith, the 2008 Rookie of the Year for the Sprint Cup Series, will be driving for Furniture Row Racing in 2009.

Sources: Foxsports.com, NASCAR.com

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