GEM Makes Carpentier a Free Agent; Allmendinger Decision Coming Soon?

Patrick Carpentier A.J. Allmendinger

On the Carpentier side of things, word came out Wednesday that Gillette-Evernham Motorsports has officially made NASCAR's favorite driving Canuck a free agent after his first season in a race car with fenders.

Carpentier is being let go effective at the end of 2008 in favor of the younger, more marketable but seemingly-similarly (say that five times) talented Reed Sorenson. Sorenson is departing Chip Ganassi Racing's No. 41 ride after having a disappointing foray into the Sprint Cup Series racing with that team.

Carpentier's story is one that just makes you want to frown and say "that just ain't fair" because of his noted improvement from when he started driving a NASCAR (hasn't even been a year yet) to now, on top of his interesting and always honest personality. Given the right opportunity with a patient car owner and sponsor, Carpentier could easily succeed as a solid driver in NASCAR.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like that's going to happen, and that's a shame.

Speaking of potential shames (Can you really make that plural? Probably not. Works for me, though.) the future relationship betwee Red Bull Racing and A.J. Allmendinger appears headed toward a crossroads in the very near future with a decision on 2009 coming soon.

Red Bull retained team general manager Jay Frye earlier this week after he traveled to Austria last week to discuss his own personal contract, as well as what the Red Bull driver lineup would look like in 2009. Frye had been linked to a possible move to Stewart-Haas Racing, but a multi-year contract with Red Bull ended that speculation.

Frye's move, though, doesn't indicate much in the way of Allemendinger's future, though here at FanHouse, we took A.J.'s side after his stellar sophomore season in the like-new Toyota operation.

For some reason -- I can't find the exact quote or source -- I'm under the impression that Frye is a fan of Allmendinger and that Frye signing on for more years at Red Bull is only good news for the talented A.J.

I'll claim my bias in this situation because I really feel like A.J. has done more than enough in 2008 to land himself a new contract with Red Bull. What say you, though? Should A.J. stick around at Red Bull? And should Carpentier stick with this stock car thing?

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