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Professional racing is a difficult sport to get into. Just having talent can only take you so far; getting the right eyeballs on you at the right time is what will get you a ride in a real series.
A.J. Allmendinger knows just how hard it can be to get your foot in the door. The NASCAR Sprint Cup racer won the Champ Car Grand Prix of Denver back in 2006, but remembers that none of it would have been possible without the help of Paul Tracy, 2003 Champ Car champion. So now that Allmendinger has established himself as a formidable racer in various forms of motorsports, he has decided to give back in helping find the next young driver for the future of the sport.
“I think racing is the hardest sport to get into because it’s not just about talent — it’s about off the racetrack, on the racetrack, it’s about luck, and it’s about being in the right place at the right time. I was very fortunate. It seemed like I was always in the right place at the right time,” said Allmendinger.
This season his Walldinger Racing Karting Scholarship has come to fruition and the first youngster to receive it is Kyle Kirkwood from Florida. Kirkwood began racing karts at the young age of five and already has several titles under his belt.
Now 13 years of age, Kirkwood will be racing a full season in the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup Series with Allmendinger backing his campaign. Kirkwood will also get the opportunity to compete at the Rotax Grand Nationals and SuperKartsUSA SuperNationals.
In his first week racing under the Walldinger scholarship, Kirkwood participated in four different categories in the WKA Zoom Zoom Nationals at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina. He finished first in one category, claimed second in another, and sixth, and 10th in the remaining two.
Currently KartSport and Sparco are also involved with the Walldinger Racing Karting Scholarship, but Allmendinger is hoping to announce more sponsorships in the coming weeks.
[Source: The Globe and Mail]
As part of Ford’s latest Fiesta promotion, Ford is enlisting the help of NASCAR stars Richard Petty and A.J. Allmendinger as well as newly minted rally legend Ken Block.
The contest, called “43 Fiestas“, has Ford giving away 43 flat screen TVs, 43 ticket-and-hotel packages to the Ford NASCAR 400 Sprint Cup race and one specially prepared Ford Fiesta to a lucky winner. However, if Allmendinger wins the race, 43 Fiestas will be given away to all of the grand-prize contestants.
Ford has filmed two videos to promote the contest, and the “competition” video contains a predictable ending, and some poorly delivered lines by Petty. Remember to keep your prejudices in check when watching the video; Allmendinger, despite driving a NASCAR Fusion, has substantial open wheel experience in everything from a Formula Ford to a Champ Car. Block, on the other hand, is a glorified pay driver/marketing figurehead.
Hit the jump to see the official videos