Allmendinger and RuSPORT earn Rookie Championship When American A.J. Allmendinger took the checkered flag in the ...
Allmendinger and RuSPORT earn Rookie Championship
When American A.J. Allmendinger took the checkered flag in the #10 Western Union machine today at the Australian Lexmark Indy 300, the 22 year-old clinched the prestigious Jim Trueman Rookie of the Year title. A honored that an American driver has not achieved since Jeff Andretti earned the RoY title in 1991.
Allmendinger led the RuSPORT team to the feat and in doing so, made it into the history books as the second rookie Champ Car team to win the title. Bobby Rahal in with Jim Trueman's Truesports team accomplished that feat in 1982.
A.J.'s finish today also marks his eighth top-ten finish in thirteen races. Allmendinger and RuSPORT won the 2003 Toyota Atlantic Championship and Rookie of the Year also in their first year of competition.
"I'm very happy with Rookie of the Year, I mean with contenders like Justin Wilson it's a pretty great thing to achieve. It was one of our goals at the start of the season and we got it. I have to say I'm disappointed with the race a little though. We had a great car and, unfortunately, our strategy just didn't work the way we hoped it would. Overall I'm good with the weekend as a whole. Surfer's Paradise is a really tough street-course and I came here never seeing it and qualified in the top-five and finished with a strong result. More importantly, I hope Pat (Carpentier) is okay because that's what really matters right now."
Carl Russo, Team Owner
"A.J. had a good weekend from the start, qualifying fourth and running in the top five. Some of the events during the race prompted us to switch strategies. We're uncertain whether or not it was the right strategy, but we're very certain that by finishing sixth, A.J. is the 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year. As far as I can tell, it is the first time a rookie with a first year team has accomplished that. It is a job well done by the entire team."