• May 23rd 2008 at 5:58PM
  • 30
Formula One has lacked an American hero for a long time now, and with Scott Speed gone from the paddock, the land of the free and home of the brave lacks a standard-bearer to represent one the biggest motorsport cultures in the world at the pinnacle of racing. Several drivers, however, are lining up for the opportunity.

The first step for any aspiring F1 driver is always a test. The bigger the team, the better. We recently brought you news of Danica Patrick's potential test with Honda, while racing scion Marco Andretti was likewise linked with a Honda test. Next up to bat is Kyle Busch, who is finagling his way into a Toyota F1 car at the end of the year for a trial run in Japan. Busch, who currently leads the NASCAR Sprint Cup in points driving a "Toyota Camry", says he'll see how he manages on a road course and with the tremendous strain on the neck endured by trained F1 drivers before he speculates on a potential switch in racing series. However, Juan Pablo Montoya, who made the switch in the opposite direction, remains skeptical. Montoya did a similar swap at Indy with Jeff Gordon when Juan Pablo was at Williams-BMW.

Meanwhile Graham Rahal dismissed the prospect of moving to F1 like his father Bobby had, reasoning that "If you're not with McLaren or Ferrari, you're not going to win a race." The young Rahal elaborated that with open-wheel racing reunited in America, he'd be happy to stay put.

[Sources: Autosport and F1-Live, Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I'm going to skip the obvious Nascar jokes and go straight to the sorry state of Toyota and Honda F1. PR stunts is about all they have left.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Rossi is about 15 rungs above any IRL or Nascar driver. F1 as a whole is rotting from the inside of course, but there's nothing new there.
        • 7 Years Ago
        You mean PR stunts like Ferrari putting motorcycle racer Valentino Rossi into an F1 car at the height of his popularity.

        However, the real 'sorry state' of F1 isn't Honda or Toyota, its the Monsley's Nazi orgy and McLaren's $100million Stepneygate scandal of last year.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well Graham Rahal sure proved what a moron he is. Sure Ferrari and McLaren are the top teams at the moment, but Renaut was a 2-time world championship team(yes with the help of Alonso) only two years ago, but are on their way back to the top, now that Alonso is back, and with no more doors open to him.... and who excpet an idiot like Graham Rahal could ignore BMWs major leaps forward this year... I wouldn't be surprised if they become a possible championship contender for the 2009 season and win the driver or constructers titles.

      ...and all of this coming from nut-swinging Ferrari fan.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I don't think Rahal's an idiot, although I'm surprised to hear him say that considering he has driven a BMW F-1 car in a demonstration in Las Vegas and he's going to drive a BMW M-3 race car in some sports car races next year for his father. I would think the improvement BMW has shown this year would have Graham looking to drive for BMW-Sauber in the future. BMW sells a lot of cars in the U.S. and an American driver would draw a good number of American viewers to F-1 and BMW in my opinion.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is not the american we need representing us in that arena. He also doesn't stand a chance w/o traction control that was removed this year. He thinks the throttle is a switch.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Serious Face, ACTIVATE!
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't wish to inetnionall disrespect NASCAR drivers and fans, but I seriulsy doubt any NASCAR drver woudl not make a complete fool of himself in F1. Let's be serious and compar e the technologies (or lack thereof) between these two racing series. If Kyle Busch had enough skill for the pinnacle of racing, he woulf have gotten bored with NASCAR long ago and been on his road to F1. Let's face it, NASCAR, as entertaining as it obviously is to many, is a very simplistic form of motorsport, so much so that drivers that would be way too old to be competitive anywhere else can still get a few licks in. Ever see a 45 year old driver in F1?
      • 7 Years Ago
      AB, I love this site. But, you know, you should either be current with motorsports news or not do it at all. This is from Tuesday or Wednesday and those of us who are interested already have read it. You are just damaging your motorsports cred here.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I find it pretty funny how clueless people are when it comes to the "they turn right too" comments. In 2001 Dale Earnhardt drove for team Corvette in the second team car and ended up finishing second to the
      other Corvette. He managed to turn both right and left and turned some of the fastest laps of the night portion of the race in the pouring rain.

      Jeff Gordon tested Montoya's BMW a few years back and turned competitive laps in as little as 10 laps at Indy. By the end of the session he turned laps that would have put him in the top 8 cars in qualifying.

      So I guess turning right in advanced cars isn't too hard for a high school drop out or another guy who "just turns left". To say a NASCAR driver doesn't have any talent is asinine because there are plenty of talented drivers that may succeed in F1 or at least ALMS but would
      rather take the paycheck NASCAR teams are willing to hand out.

      There is not one person on here with an IQ above 80 that would drive for a crap F1 team for good money versus a mid-level NASCAR team for insane money. One contract in NASCAR you, your kids, and yourkids-kids would be set for a long time.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Again, that Jeff Gordon mith again...
        Jeff Gordon made his best lap at 1:16.5, and Jarno Trulli made 1:09.566 in Friday's qualifying.

        Jeff Gordon's time would put him at dead LAST, even on Saturday's qualifying... behind quite inferior cars to the Williams he was using.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I will post as many times as I want because who the hell are you?

        The car Earnhardt drove finish 4th OVERALL, and 2nd in class, kind of like you. I never said it was second overall.

        I also never compared Gordon's time to Montoya's in the car. The time were based on the previous years qualifying grid. You compare years of training by Montoya to according to your "theory" Gordons "months". So give him a few more months and who knows what would happen.

        As for your point about putting an F1 driver in a top NASCAR team I don't it would matter. The learing curve would be huge. Look at how many races Earnhardt Jr. has won driving for the top team in NASCAR, none! He has alot of experience in the cars and he has yet to win a race. Let me know when Villenuve can finish qualifying without boucing the car off the wall and I might listen.

        So check your arrogance and ignorance at the door along with your attempts at cutdowns as you learn how to read and comprehend. You sound like the stereotypical F1 "fan", everything is beneath you and nothing is on par with you.

        Also, nice try at humor with Milwaukee's comment because you said you enjoy the NASCAR races. So if anyone likes NASCAR they drink Milwaukee's Best and eat pork loins? You must like them too then because you said you have enjoyed the races since Petty!!

        Maybe I'll send you a bag and case!

        • 7 Years Ago
        Tagg, while Earnhardt is undoubtedly one of the greatest drivers in the history of nascar, I think you may have have injected some revisionist history. I remember his team finishing 4th or 5th overall in the Rolex. Regarding his lap times, he was the slowest driver on his team that day. Do you have any links to his lap times?

        Before the open wheeler invasion, Jeff Gordon was considered one of the best road course drivers that nascar had to offer. Just a little perspective for you from an F1 fan: In F1 the top 30 drivers are separated by no more than 1 second in sheer driving ability. Between the fastest car and the slowest car the general consensus is that the cars are separated by no more than 3.5 seconds. If Jeff Gordon was 1.3 seconds slower than JPM in the SAME car... he would never make it on the team.. let alone top 20 on the grid. In fact his speed might earn him a back-of-the-packer ride in GP2, if he was lucky. The truth is, that JPM was running lap times 5 seconds slower than his qualifying time at the same track earlier that racing season. JPM was hardly pushing that day. So to compare Gordon's laptimes to JPMs is asinine.

        But let's be fair...If we compensate for the lack of exposure that Gordon has to the F1 car, gave him two months in the sim and put him back out there... I seriously doubt he would be able to recover an additional 3 seconds... let alone 6.3 seconds. Jeff Gordon, king kong road course driver of nascar, did not impress this race fan.

        That is not to say there aren't talented drivers in NASCAR.. I love watching the races.. and have enjoyed them since the days of Richard Petty and his 43 STP... but let's get real here.. in terms of driving skill.. nascar drivers can't hold a candle to F1 drivers.

        Do you honestly believe that if Franchitti, Montoya, or Villeneuve were given the same car as Busch, Burton, or Jr, with the same pit crew and strategy they would do any worse?

        If you do, do us a favor, never post again, and please keep munching your pork loins, and take another long hard swig of that Milwaukees best in your hand.
      • 7 Years Ago
      klye busch? who's KLYE busch?!
        • 7 Years Ago
        It is NOT a test. It's just a demo run.

        Get real, the guy has ZERO chance of actually competing in F1. Trucks and lard-ass cars only for red-neck Nacsrap hicks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        kyle's personality is perfect for F1. beyond that, he does have a bit of skill so i would not bet against him being able to handle the F1 though he may balk at how much control there is of the car, he typcially prefers to hang it out a bit.

        let him go swiftly.

      • 7 Years Ago
      im with everybody else on this one.

      Epic FAIL

      Danica could kick his ass!
      • 7 Years Ago
      someone email him that F1 have right turns lol
      • 7 Years Ago
      You guys should post all of what JPM had to say about this...
      • 7 Years Ago
      Go for it Klye. I can't say I like the guy... but he has about 75% of Scott Speed's smartass and can drive. It might work.
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