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NASCAR stars admit F1 allure

What's all this talk about Formula One?

AJ Allmendinger's name surfaced recently in connection with reports of a US-based F1 team, only to have the rumour shot down as almost quickly as it began.

With sponsorship in hand for only seven more NASCAR Sprint Cup races, Allmendinger would be foolish to rule out a possible return to open-wheel racing, but he insists that securing full-time status in Cup is his overriding concern.

"My first goal right now is staying full-time in Cup," Allmendinger said. "You know, I believe that this is the toughest racing series in the world. I haven't worked this hard for two years to go out there and give up on it.

"What we're do doing now at Richard Petty Motorsports is a great thing. And we're going to try to continue that. But I'm never going to shut the door on anything."

If Allmendinger runs out of options in NASCAR racing, a return to IndyCars would be far more likely than a jump to F1.

Still, there's something about the romance of Formula One that's enough to pique the interest of many of NASCAR's top stars, even though the world's elite road racing series bears little resemblance to running ovals in a stock car.

Beyond the radical differences in the machines themselves, Formula One is far less competitive from top to bottom than Sprint Cup racing.

"I think that F1 would be awesome to go and experience," said three-time defending Cup champion Jimmie Johnson. "The question really boils down to being competitive. It's hard to leave a championship-calibre team, a race-winning team, for sure, and go and start over.

"If you had a chance to go get in a red car (Ferrari) or a silver car (McLaren), it would be an easy decision. But a start-up team is really the tough part that whoever those drivers will be will have to face. I think that anyone who has ever driven a racecar looks at F1 and gets excited and would love to have an opportunity to drive one of those vehicles and to race at some of those tracks."

Kyle Busch had to turn down an invitation from Toyota to test-drive an F1 car last November because of a conflict with the Nationwide Series awards banquet. For Busch, the series has considerable allure, but he also has considerable business to attend to in Cup racing.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
USF1 is determined to be the next addition to the F1 grid, possibly as early as 2010
Sebastian Vettel, Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch, ROC [Credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Montoya celebrates after winning the 2017 Race of Champions title in Miami [Pic credit: ROC]
Juan Pablo Monotya. Race of Champions 2017, action [Pic credit: ROC]
30.10.2016 - Race, Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W07 Hybrid race winner
29.10.2016 - Connie Montoya, Juan Pablo Montoya and Marc Gene (ESP), Test Driver Scuderia Ferrari
29.10.2016 - Connie Montoya and Juan Pablo Montoya
29.10.2016 - Connie Montoya and Juan Pablo Montoya
29.10.2016 - Connie Montoya and Juan Pablo Montoya
29.10.2016 - Connie Montoya and Juan Pablo Montoya
29.10.2016 - Qualifying, Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
29.10.2016 - Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
29.10.2016 - Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
29.10.2016 - Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
28.10.2016 - Free Practice 2, The father of Sergio Perez (MEX) and Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)
Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari
Juan Pablo Montoya (COL) and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari 
27.10.2016 - Juan Pablo Montoya (COL)

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rob - Unregistered

February 28, 2009 2:27 PM

Don, your off your rocker. Montoya is by far the better driver. Montoya has won at every level he has ever been in. All of you are reaching way out to say Busch could jump in the USF1 seat and do well. Get real.

Don - Unregistered

February 28, 2009 4:46 PM

I've been a big CART and Champ Car fan for years, and have watched Montoya through out his career. He is obviously a world class driver, but hasn't exactly set the world on fire in NASCAR. Open wheel types (me included) down play the series, but it does have some very good drivers. I think that Busch is an exceptional talent and could drive anything, and do it very well. I'd love to see Graham Rahal in an F1 car, or AJ, but really believe Busch would do very well. Maybe we'll get a chance to see this happen after his current contract expires.

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