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NASCAR Daily News Headlines * September 23, 2008
Allmendinger Out In 2009Red Bull Racing Team and driver AJ Allmendinger have agreed to part ways for the 2009 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. Allmendinger is in his second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season driving the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, which currently sits 34th in owners’ points.
“AJ is a talented driver and we really enjoyed working with him,” said RBRT Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye. “He’s come a long way in just two years and we wish him nothing but the best.”
In an effort to continue the development of the No. 84 team, Red Bull athlete Mike Skinner will drive the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota during this week’s Lowe’s Motor Speedway open test. Skinner has been called upon by RBRT on multiple occasions since the team’s 2006 NSCS entrance, including a five-race stint in the No. 84 earlier in the 2008 season, as well as mentor duties for both Allmendinger and Red Bull development driver Scott Speed. Skinner will round off a three-car test for Red Bull Racing Team alongside Red Bull development driver Scott Speed in the No. 82, and Brian Vickers in the No. 83. Red Bull Racing Team will make an announcement regarding the 2009 driver lineup at a later date.
Sorenson Expects To Be In 41 CarReed Sorenson said he expects to drive the No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge for the rest of the season despite being replaced by Jeremy Mayfield for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series test Tuesday and Wednesday at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Sorenson wasn’t happy about being pulled for the test but understood the team’s decision since he is leaving for Gillett Evernham Motorsports next season.
“I was told I was running [the races] the rest of the year,” said Sorenson, who added that he talked to team owner Chip Ganassi last week. “What I was told was, I guess they’re trying to figure out what they’re going to do for next year and evaluate him versus some other people. They’re trying to figure out what they’re trying to do.”
The organization has three cars at the track for the test: Juan Pablo Montoya in his No. 42 car and development driver Bryan Clauson in the No. 40. Sorenson said if Clauson struggled, he was willing to jump in the car and take some laps to evaluate it.
“I’d like to be able to test, but at the same time, I understand what they’re doing,” said Sorenson, who is 30th in the Cup standings. “I already know what I’m doing next year.(scenedaily.com)
Mayfield Tests No. 41 CarJeremy Mayfield will test the No. 41 Chip Ganassi Racing Dodge today and tomorrow at Lowe’s Motor Speedway, but Reed Sorenson is still slated to race this weekend at Kansas Speedway, a Ganassi spokesman confirmed. Sorenson is leaving the team at the end of the season to go to Gillett Evernham Motorsports. There will be three Ganassi cars at the test, with Juan Pablo Montoya, Bryan Clauson and Mayfield.(scenedaily.com)
Charlotte City Council Approves HOF IncreasesThe Charlotte City Council agreed Monday to increase the NASCAR Hall of Fame budget by $32 million to boost exhibits and pay for unexpected building costs.
The 9-2 decision came after council members chastised city staff and other hall planners for not telling them sooner about the price hike. Council members complained of early, “lowball” estimates of the exhibit costs. They asked how the extra money would help attendance. And they said they felt trapped.
“It would be helpful if we had a heads-up earlier than we did this time,” said Mayor Pro Tem Susan Burgess.
But in the end Burgess voted for the increase, saying the hall should be “whiz-bang on day one.” She also pointed out that paying for it will not affect property taxes. She was joined by council members Warren Cooksey, Andy Dulin, Nancy Carter, Warren Turner, John Lassiter, Edwin Peacock and Anthony Foxx.
Council members Patsy Kinsey and Michael Barnes opposed the increase. Kinsey said she could not support it while residents are worrying so much about the economy. “I just in good conscience can't vote for $32 million,” she said.
The vote brings the project's total cost to $195 million – all of it paid for by a mix of hospitality taxes and money from land sales. Most of the project's funding comes from a hotel room tax that can not be used for anything else.(charlotteobserver.com)
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