Allmendinger not interested in USF1
|By Diego Mejia||Saturday, February 21st 2009, 09:29 GMT|
Former Champ Car race-winner AJ Allmendinger says he is focused on his NASCAR career and dismissed the possibility of him being a candidate to drive for the new USF1 team set to be unveiled next week.
Allmendinger, who finished third in the Daytona 500 last week, enjoyed a successful career in open-wheel racing before making the switch to NASCAR at the end of 2006, since when he has struggled to establish himself in stock cars.
Despite that, the Californian says he is currently enjoying his time in the Sprint Cup Series and when asked about the possibility of a future in Formula One, he denied having that as a career goal.
"I'm not focused on that," said Allmendinger. "I loved being a part of NASCAR. Going to all these races and being around the fans, I enjoy being here. I enjoy the racing... I enjoy all that.
"I'm a true American at heart; I like to in-between races...watch my NFL on Sunday and all that. I've learned in this sport, after everything that has happened to me the last couple of years, don't deny anything. Just nod your head and smile and say there's a chance."
The former Red Bull racer admits to being intrigued by what driving an F1 car would be like, and didn't close the door completely on a chance to test it. However he insists that's not where his focus is set right now.
Allmendinger is currently driving for Richard Petty Motorsports in his third season in the Sprint Cup series, but his team still need to find sponsors in order to run for the whole season.
"It has intrigue for sure," he said about the possibility of sampling F1 machinery. "Driving a racecar, no matter what it is, has intrigue to me. That (F1 car) is something that I haven't driven before, so it's intriguing, but it's not my focus either.
"I really do love being here (in NASCAR). I've had a lot of fun during the stressful times. Especially this year with the group of guys that we've put together for the 44 (car) because it was a last minute deal, they are guys that want to be here.
"We're having fun. Through all the stressful times that we had in Daytona, in-between that, I was having a lot of fun. Probably the most fun that I've had at a race track in long time. You don't say 'no' to anything, but that's not my focus."
Allmendinger last competed in single-seaters in 2006, when he switched from RuSPORT to Forsythe Racing halfway through the Champ Car season and proceeded to win five races and leap to third in the championship.
In 2007 he switched to the Sprint Cup series to compete for the new Red Bull Racing Team, where former Formula One racer Scott Speed replaced him last year.