Dario Franchitti could well be the next open-wheel racer to switch to NASCAR, after Nextel Cup team owner Richard Childress said at Michigan that they would probably talk this year about working together in the future.
RCR currently field three teams in the Nextel Cup for Jeff Burton, Clint Bowyer and Kevin Harvick, and are considering expanding to four teams next year. Childress has admitted interest in JJ Yeley, but he also spoke highly about Franchitti after announcing his renewal with Chevrolet on Saturday.
"Dario is a friend," Childress said at Michigan on Saturday. "We just talk a whole lot. He calls me sometimes after my races, and I call him sometimes after his races.
"He's thought of this (NASCAR), but right now he's concentrating on the championship and concentrating on what he's doing there. But maybe at the end of the year, we'll sit down and talk."
Autosport.com understands that Franchitti has been considering a move to NASCAR for some time. He held conversations with Chip Ganassi last year, but a possible deal fell through when Juan Pablo Montoya started talks with his former Champ Car boss in June 2006.
Franchitti, who won the Indy 500 this year, is enjoying his best season in the US since he came close to clinching the Champ Car title in 1999, when he tied on points with Montoya but lost out on countback.
The Scotsman currently leads the IRL Indycar Series standings by eight points over Scott Dixon, despite flipping his car twice in the last two races.