February 25, 2011
A.J. tempted by $5 million Indy carrot
By DEAN MCNULTY, QMI Agency
AVONDALE, Ariz. — A.J. Allmendinger admitted on Friday he is definitely thinking about going for that $5 million IZOD IndyCar boss Randy Bernard is putting up for a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver if he can win the open wheel series season finale in Las Vegas.
Bernard made the offer earlier this week to any driver from another racing genre to try to win an IndyCar race.
“It’s definitely interesting,” Allmendinger said Friday before going out to practise in his No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford for Sunday’s Subway Fresh Fit 500. “Five-million dollars is nothing to shy away from.”
But a problem for Allmendinger, and any other Sprint Cup driver, is the fact there would be little time to prepare for the Oct. 16th race in Las Vegas, with NASCAR racing the night before at Charlotte Motor Speedway right in the middle of the Chase for the Sprint Cup Championship.
Even with his four seasons of experience in big-time open wheel racing, Allmendinger said winning would be a longshot in a one-off deal.
“I don’t think I’d try to show up Sunday in Vegas and go try to win the race without testing,” Allmendinger said. “More than anything, I would just have to be comfortable in the car and getting used to it again.”
As much work as that might be, Allmendinger thinks there will be takers for Bernard’s offer come October.
“You offer someone like (team owners) Chip (Ganassi) or Roger (Penske) a chance to win $5 million, they might jump at it.”