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NASCAR to F1: Grooming required?

Several things are more pressing than the issue of who'll drive for the Charlotte-based American Formula One team formally announced Tuesday, but the question is the one most fans want the answer to.

Peter Windsor, who along with Ken Anderson is leading the USF1 effort, threw out the names of several drivers who aren't all that familiar to NASCAR fans but who are developing their careers in a somewhat natural path for a fledgling F1 team.

"If one had to take names now...the next generation looks really good," Windsor said.

"You've got Alex Rossi, who obviously won a lot of races in Formula BMW. You've got Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden...really talented young guys.

"Gabby Chavez is also very good. And if you take a level slightly higher than that, you have Jonathan Summerton, who has won at the international level already in A1GP driving for Team USA...very talented and he's already raced in Europe."

Windsor also mentioned Scott Speed and Danica Patrick, both of whom have said they don't plan to move to F1. And Mario Andretti, a former F1 champion, said he'd love to see his grandson, Marco, have a shot.

And then there was this.

"There are NASCAR drivers out there right now who I really think, if they wanted to switch to Formula One, we could groom them and help them make that change," Windsor said.

"...Kyle Busch, for example. What a great star he would be. Formula One would welcome anything like that."

For the record, Busch's contract with Joe Gibbs Racing runs through 2010. His agent, Jeff Dickerson, told that Busch 'would certainly leave the door open to try it out at some point."

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