A. J. Allmendinger
Born in 1981, A. J. Allmendinger has created waves early in his career even at the highest levels of racing. Like most others during his time, Allmendinger started his career at Karting and went on to be crowned as the International Karting Federation’s Grand National Champion twice.
Allmendinger was crowned champion at the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2002 where he won six races out of the ten that were held. He moved to the Toyota Atlantic Championships and in 2003, he won the championships as well as the Rookie of the Year award. He became the second youngest driver to win the Toyota Atlantic championships after Michael Andretti.
His graduation to the Champ Car series in 2004 was also a pleasant experience as he won another Rookie of the Year title in 2004 and got named as the AUTOSPORT International Rookie of the Year as well. He was the first American to win the award.
He stayed on with the series to gain more experience and finally, in 2006, started winning races. He won 5 incredible races and got to third place in the season-end standings of the 2006 Champ Car World Series.
In 2006, he also competed in three NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races and in Talladega, he finished at fifth place after a second place start. He got what he dreamed for, a NASCAR Sprint Cup run in 2007. His first season saw a best finish of 15th with an overall 43rd place finish, decent enough for a season where the concentration was mainly in taking in the sights and tactics of the highest racing level.
In 2008, he will be looking to put some of that experience into action and get more points on the board next to his name. A potential champion in the making, there is a huge burden on his shoulders as Allmendinger is set to become a mainstay in the Sprint Cup line-up.