Sunday, June 25, 2006

From Hollywood Script To Fairy Tale - AJ 2-4-2

Allmendinger on the podium with trophy and flag. Photo Credit: Michael L. Levitt, USA LAT Photographic

You just can't make this stuff up. AJ Almendinger wins second race in a row after starting for Forsythe Racing.

As it was previously noted here at MAXINE, the last 20 or so days in the life of AJ have been pretty "Above Average".

--- He was fired, let go, 86ed by RUSPORT (replaced by past champion, Cristiano Da Matta).

--- He decided to grab his girlfriend and go to Niagra Falls, where he asked her to marry him, and she accepted.

--- He got a call from Forsythe Racing, one of the top three teams in ChampCar (the one that has past champion Paul Tracy on it, and it had just let go Mario Dominguez), they asked him if he would race for them on a three race deal, AJ accepted.

--- He qualified at Portland Raceway at P2 along side of series points leader, and double past champion Sebastian Bourdais.

--- AJ got the jump on Sebastian into the first corner, led most all of the race, and won!

--- This week at the Cleveland Grand Prix, he qualified for the pole position (P1) and he did it by setting a new track record, one that was set by past champion Jimmy Vasser back in 1998.

--- Right away, in the first straightaway in the race, his car was clipped and he had to come in for service. This set up a counter fuel filling strategy that paid off in the end. AJ avoided trouble on the track, raced away from the competition, and won the race climbing into third place in the points race for the season.

That would be 2 (wins) - 4 (for) - 2 (starts) for AJ Almendinger at Forsythe Racing.

Everywhere he turns, he is matching the history of past champions, MAXINE believes it's time he eventually becomes one.

Excerpts from Champ Car World Series -

A.J. ALLMENDINGER BECOMES FIRST U.S.-BORN CHAMP CAR DRIVER IN 10 YEARS TO WIN BACK-TO-BACK CHAMP CAR EVENTS
By CCWS - CLEVELAND - June 25, 2006

A.J. Allmendinger (#7 Indeck Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) was only two turns into today's Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford race before he was spinning in circles, having gone off course in a madcap start to today's event.

95 laps later he was spinning in circles again, only this time in jubilation, turning celebratory donuts after winning the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank.

Allmendinger survived a rough-and-tumble event that saw an event-record nine cautions, to come back and claim his second consecutive Champ Car victory - just one week after taking his first win with a romp in Portland.

Allmendinger became the first U.S.-born driver since Michael Andretti to win back-to-back Champ Car races with his victory today, and more importantly, got back in the title hunt as the top-two drivers in the standings suffered their worst results of the season. He beat Bruno Junqueira (#2 Hole In The Wall Camps Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) to the line by 3.279 seconds to take the win with PKV Racing's Oriol Servia (#6 Gulfstream/Bell Micro Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone) coming home less than a quarter-second behind Junqueira to round out the podium.
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The last U.S.-born driver to have back-to-back wins ... Michael Andretti, a past champion of this series.

Yep! This is fairy tale stuff.

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