Allmendinger to Red Bull?

September 17th, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Allmendinger to Red Bull?

Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger wears a Red Bull helmet as one of the drivers endorsed by the energy-drink maker, so maybe that's why Team Red Bull Competition Director Elton Sawyer was one of the first people to talk to Allmendinger on pit road after his Truck Series debut Saturday at New Hampshire. Sawyer and Team Red Bull General Manager Marty Gaunt were both in attendance as Allmendinger finished 13th in his debut after wrecking his Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra in qualifying. Could the 24-year-old Allmendinger, who has four wins in Champ Car this year in a season driving for two different teams, be Brian Vickers' teammate when Team Red Bull takes to the track next season as part of the initial Toyota Camry Nextel Cup effort? "That's a tough question," Gaunt said on whether Allmendinger could be Nextel Cup ready. "He did a hell of a job for his first time out. He finished 13th in a backup truck. He did real, real good. He wanted to try this, and when he was switching rides, he got hold of [Bill Davis] and you've got to give him a lot of credit for going out and doing what he did here today." Gaunt said TRB is still a month away from naming a driver and a possible sponsor for that car. "We still have a lot of pieces to put together," Gaunt said. "We're still looking at all the [driver] candidates that are options, It is a crucial decision, so we have to make sure to make the right one." Allmendinger, who still might return to Forsythe Championship Racing on the Champ Car circuit next year and used the NHIS event to test the NASCAR waters, plans on competing in the Oct. 8 truck race at Talladega. "Red Bull has been a great driver-sponsor/athlete sponsor of mine for the last three years," Allmendinger said Saturday. "Over this year with my success and switching to the Forsythe team, we've been able to really have a strong relationship and they [Red Bull] enjoy the atmosphere in Champ Car as well. Right now, I was just trying to see what it was like and my focus is still on the rest of the year in Champ Car and more than anything just trying to please Red Bull and win races in that."(

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