AJ Allmendinger is officially on the bench at Red Bull Racing, being replaced with Mike Skinner. I really don't have that much sympathy for the guy, leaving Forsythe Racing after the tear he went on with them. Maybe it's because, as a fan, to see an American do so well in open wheel racing is a chance to say, 'hey we do have talent here!'. I don't think Memo Gidley would have jumped ship like AJ did for Nascar, but what do I know?
I think the transition to a tin topper with all the weight they carry is quite the change for an open wheel guys. Do I like it? Hail no! We've now lost Dario(who was getting a little long in the tooth any way), Patreek(who I met when CART was to run at Texas Motor Speedway, he is truly a great guy), and Jacques(which doesn't mean a hill of beans to just about anyone even though he's an INDY 500 and F1 champion).
And what about Bourdais bad mouthing the series that gave him a life for the last several years? So he bolted for a backmarker F1 team, whoopee! How long before we see him with his tail between his legs and moving in to Nascar?
I hope that the IRL(please tweak the name, PLEASE) will be a step in the right direction to retaining talented open wheel drivers.
I know there are many more factors in play in all of this; and who can blame these guys for looking for the bigger buck out there. It's just a shame that it's taken 12 years of decimation to bring the powers that be to their senses.