(Red Bull Racing ran #84, then #82, then #4 (2011 with Kahne) before selling assets to BK Racing, who switched to #93 for 2012-2013, then to #23 in 2014)NOTE: many of the links in the past news will be old and may not work
BK Racing gets new pit crew coach: BK Racing has decided to move in another direction with their pit crew coach and over the off season they hired long time Cup coach Gary Smith to run their program. Last year Gary worked with the Front Row Motorsports group and has spent many years before that as a coach and Crewmen. Gary brings years of experience to the team and sees an opportunity to improve at BK. "I've had the opportunity to work with Mike Ford before and we work well together. Rick Carpenter and the owners are dedicated to winning and that excited me about the future and building a good pit crew to help with the performance of the teams." Pit crews are generating a lot more attention due to the inability to pass on the track. Everyone is looking to make their teams better and adding Gary Smith to the BK line up is a good start. Gary will inherited a team from last year with very few returning starters and expects to build a team they can build on.(Pit Talks)(12-27-2013)
Kvapil adds associate sponsor for Homestead: Travis Kvapi's #93 Dr Pepper Toyota Camry team will carry associate sponsorship from Sarasota, FL based MobileBits Corp., provider of Samy, a leading mobile marketing & engagement network, in Sunday's NASCAR Sprint Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Samy logo will be prominently displayed on the rear deck lid and the quarter panels of the BK Racing Toyota. Additionally, BK Racing will create its own branded mobile store within the Samy network, making it available to race fans everywhere. Consumers and fans can connect with the team and drivers as well as browse merchandise through Samy on their mobile devices. "We are very excited to be part of BK Racing in this multifaceted approach," said Walter Kostiuk, President and CEO of MobileBits. "We know a lot of our customers are NASCAR fans and this is a great opportunity to showcase the Samy brand." Download Samy for free and connect with the BK Racing Team today for exclusive alerts and merchandise offers.(BK Racing), see an image of the car on the #93 Team Schemes page.(11-13-2013)
Kvapil charged with assault UPDATE3: Police in Mooresville, NC say a NASCAR driver has been arrested and charged with assault after getting into a dispute with his wife. According to the Mooresville Police Department, officers were called to the home of Travis Wade Kvapil, 37, on Tuesday evening after getting a 911 call. Officers say Kvapil, who is currently the driver of the #93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series, and his wife had been involved in a domestic dispute. Kvapil was arrested and charged with assault on a female and false imprisonment. Kvapil was taken to Iredell County Jail and held under a domestic hold awaiting an appearance in District Court. Kvapil drives for BK Racing, with teammate #83-David Reutimann. BK Racing posted a photo of Kvapil and Reutimann's race cars on Twitter around 1:00pm/et on Wednesday showing both cars with ribbons supporting Breast Cancer Awareness and Domestic Violence Awareness. That photo was pulled from Twitter after news of Kvapil's arrest broke.(WBTV)(10-9-2013)
UPDATE: The team [BK Racing] told Sporting News it had no comment yet on the incident. Kvapil has been released from custody, according to a state offender database. NASCAR spokesman Kerry Tharp said the sanctioning body has no comment at this time with the matter in the hands of legal authorities.(Sporting News)(10-10-2013)
UPDATE2: NASCAR Sprint Cup driver Travis Kvapil allegedly pulled his wife into a bedroom by her hair and struck her in the head as she tried to pull away Tuesday night, causing minor injuries and resulting in his arrest, according to police and court records. Kvapil, who was not under the influence of alcohol and did not use any weapons, was charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and false imprisonment. His next court date will be Nov. 19, according to Iredell County (N.C.) District Court records obtained Thursday morning by the Sporting News. Kvapil, 37, and his wife, Jennifer, have three children.(Sporting News)(10-10-2013)
UPDATE3: BK Racing has opted to stand behind Travis Kvapil and allow the driver to remain behind the wheel of the #93 Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "After discussions with NASCAR and the Kvapil family, BK Racing has elected to support Travis and his family," co-owner Ron Devine told FOX Sports on Thursday. "It's the right thing for Travis and his family to let the system take its course. He has the ability to set aside the issues and focus, and he’s prepared to race this weekend."(FoxSports)(10-10-2013)
NASCAR Statement Regarding Travis Kvapil: "NASCAR does not condone the actions with which Travis Kvapil has been charged and we are disappointed to learn of this incident. We have been in close communication with the race team and are in the process of gathering as much information as possible. NASCAR takes this matter very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation as it moves forward."(NASCAR)(10-10-2013)
Statement from BK Racing: The following is a statement from BK Racing regarding the allegations against driver Travis Kvapil: "BK Racing understands the severity of the situation and we don't condone the actions that Travis has been accused of," commented Ron Devine, co-owner of BK Racing. "We feel it's important to let the system take its course. For that reason, we have elected to support Travis and his family and keep Travis in the car for this weekend's race. Further comment will be available as additional information becomes available."(BK Racing)(10-10-2013)
Patrick talks to Kvapil: #10-Danica Patrick, who has been criticized by #93-Travis Kvapil after two wrecks between the two in recent weeks, called the Wisconsin driver earlier this week to talk about the incidents. Kvapil was frustrated following their accident last week at Pocono, saying he was done racing Patrick clean. "I did call him and did talk to him," Patrick said Friday prior to Cup practice at Watkins Glen International "I felt like it was time to do that. It was a good conversation. Hopefully we don't have any more issues in the future. It's not good to crash cars. I don't want to be in that position. I don't want to be in the position to take anyone with me."(Sporting News)(8-10-2013)
Kvapil not happy with Patrick after accident: Just when it looked like #10-Danica Patrick had figured out NASCAR's big superspeedways, she was involved in another wreck at Pocono Raceway. Patrick was running 18th and racing #93-Travis Kvapil when she appeared to get loose and drift into Kvapil's car on Lap 110. Patrick said she simply got loose and lost control of her car. This wasn't the first time Patrick and Kvapil have gotten together on the track as she took the blame for a wreck at New Hampshire last month. Patrick grimaced and nodded her head in agreement when asked if she and Kvapil seemed to be having a lot of contact on the track. Kvapil was obviously frustrated. "I'm done just getting run over and wrecked and racing her clean," Kvapil said. "I don't know. It's pretty frustrating. She's one of the best cars out there. We're a middle-of-the-pack car running in the top 20 and get wrecked again. It is just really frustrating. … When you're in vulnerable situations, you have to guard yourself and take care of your stuff. She is a rookie and you've got to learn that, but that's a couple of weeks in a row for me." Kvapil said he felt he deserved an apology after New Hampshire and never got one. He expects one after Pocono.(Sporting News)(8-5-2013)
New crew chief for Kvapil: BK Racing has appointed Dale Ferguson as the interim crew chief for the #93 Burger King / Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry of Travis Kvapil. Ferguson joined BK Racing as the Head Engineer after spending several seasons at Rusty Wallace Incorporated. Mike Ford remains with the team and will resume his normal role as the Director of Competition.(BK Racing)(7-3-2013)
Mike Ford to assist #93 team at Darlington: Veteran crew chief Mike Ford returns to the pit box next week at Darlington Raceway. Although Ford holds the title of director of competition for BK Racing, he will join the #93 team in what has been termed a "training exercise" to improve the systems on that squad and assist current crew chief Todd Anderson get up to speed with driver Travis Kvapil. Ford, who started as a crew chief with Bill Elliott in 2000, had his most success run guiding #11-Denny Hamlin to six consecutive Chase for the Sprint Cup appearances including a career-high second-place in 2010.(FoxSports)(5-5-2013)
Patrick, Gilliland meet about differences: Before NASCAR Sprint Cup practice began at Richmond International Raceway on Friday, #10-Danica Patrick visited #93-David Gilliland at his transporter to discuss their differences. Patrick wanted to set the record straight with her fellow competitor regarding how she felt he was racing her last week. Over her radio at Kansas Speedway, Patrick said, "He tries to take me out every time." After the race, Gilliland delivered the message through his public relations representative, "shut up and drive."
"Where our cars seem to run on the racetrack is probably the hardest racing on the racetrack, realistically, you know," Gilliland said. "When you're in the top 10, you can let guys go and get back in. When the leaders are coming and you're fighting to risk going a lap down, back there where we've been racing, at the end of the day it could mean five or six spots. It's hard racing. But we talked this morning and feel like we're on track to race each other the way we feel like we want to be raced. That's just it – a mutual respect thing that hopefully we got figured out. I think we're on the same page. We have to figure out what we have to do to make our lives easier on each other. At the end of the day, you want to lose the least amount of time as you can. But we feel good about it going forward."(Fox Sports) (4-26-2013)
Dominion Raceway to sponsor Kvapil at Richmond: The proposed Dominion Raceway facility in Thornburg, VA, Spotsylvania County announced its sponsorship of #93 owned by BK Racing and driven by Travis Kvapil. Dominion Raceway is a newly planned Motorsports facility to be located on Interstate I-95 at Exit 118 in Thornburg, VA. The facility includes a 1/8-mile drag strip, 4/10-mile oval and 2 mile road course. It's believed that the facility may be the only kind in the world that incorporates three different racing formats served by a single multipurpose building. "Dominion Raceway is the culmination of everything we have learned at Old Dominion Speedway," says managing member, Steve Britt. He continues, "It's an extremely forward thinking project, expands the fan experience greatly with modern facilities, interactive video and numerous venues, not all of which are motorsports, all designed for family fun and enjoyment. It's fabulous that Ron Devine and BK Racing were willing to work with us so closely on a Dominion Raceway Car for the Richmond Toyota Owners 400 race."(Dominion Raceway), see an image of the car on the #93 team paint schemes page.(4-25-2013)
2013 silly season notes for #93-Travis Kvapil / BK Racing: Kvapil re-signs to run the #93 Toyota for DK Racing again in 2013. There were supposedly plans to switch to the #23 running Dr. Pepper colors and it looks like the #93 will stay. Todd Anderson returns as the crew chief. Mike Ford is now BK Racing's Director of Competition. Doug Richert has been promoted from his role as crew chief on the #83 team and will now serve as a supervisor to the crew chiefs overseeing their efforts at the shop and during race days. See more about other teams on my 2013 Team / Driver Silly Season Chart.(2-9-2013)
BK Racing announces driver, crew chief and managerial roles: BK Racing begins its second season of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing with some changes in different levels of their operation. Harry McMullen will remain in his role as the team's General Manager, which he's held since the team started January 2012. Just added to the team is Rick Carpenter, who will be the Assistant General Manager helping McMullen with the day-to-day operations. Carpenter comes from Tri Star Motorsports, most recently, and Rusty Wallace Racing, where he held the position of General Manager at both teams. He also worked at Penske Racing.
As previously announced, Mike Ford is now the team's Director of Competition. The veteran crew chief, with 21 wins and 17 poles in 453 NSCS starts, is overseeing shop and race-prep activities of BK Racing's two NSCS entries.
Doug Richert has been promoted from his role as crew chief on the #83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota Camry. The championship leader with 13 wins to his credit will now serve as a supervisor to the crew chiefs overseeing their efforts at the shop and during race days.
David Reutimann, a two-time race winner will drive the #83 Toyota this season full time. The native of Zephyrhills, Fla. drove in two races for the team last year. Pat Tryson, who has eight trips to Victory Lane, is now the team's crew chief. He came on board towards the end of 2012 to assist on both teams.
Travis Kvapil will remain in the #93 Burger King Toyota Camry with Todd Anderson returning as his crew chief. The 2012 season was Anderson's first in that capacity with Kvapil, the 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion, who has made 210 NCSC starts.
"I feel good about the additions we've made to this team in the off-season," said Ron Devine, owner of BK Racing. "We've brought winning and experienced management on board to guide us in the right direction. We've added David (Reutimann) to our driver line-up and Pay (Tryson) to our crew chiefs. Doug (Richert) will be even more valuable to us now helping out Pat and Todd with their teams. The hiring of Mike Ford as our Director of Competition to work with a veteran like Harry McMullen really strengthens what BK Racing needs to move forward in this sport. We still have a few other things to announce in the near future. But the good part is we are building a team to go racing and be successful in all aspects of our team."(BK Racing)(1-22-2013)
Cassill leaves BK Racing UPDATE: Landon Cassill issued the following statement Wednesday afternoon, "This is a tough decision but with one month before the Daytona 500 I have no other option but to leave the #83 BK Racing Toyota and pursue other opportunities. We simply could not close out our 2012 agreement and complete an agreement for 2013. I am motivated and driven to find a new opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. I have proven myself as a championship caliber test driver, an exceptional qualifier, and I'd like to continue working towards my goal of becoming a race winner and champion in NASCAR. I would like to thank my BK Racing team and especially Burger King and Dr. Pepper for the opportunity to represent such iconic brands. I'm looking forward to my next opportunity in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."(Spire Sports + Entertainment), look for David Reutimann to drive the #83 Toyota in 2013 and Travis Kvapil has tweeted that he will return to the #93 Toyota. There had been rumors that BK Racing would take over the number 23 for one of its two cars in 2013 as R3 Motorsports, who ran the #23 in 2012, doesn't plan to field a Sprint Cup team in 2013.(1-16-2013)
UPDATE: David Reutimann will drive the #83 Toyota for BK Racing full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in 2013. The ownership group at BK Racing has confirmed that Landon Cassill has left the organization. "We wish Landon all the best," said team owner Ron Devine. "We have no comment on his departure. Our plans are really no different than last year except Landon has decided to move on." Pat Tryson, who worked with Reutimann at Michael Waltrip Racing, is expected to oversee the #83 team [no word what is up with crew chief Doug Richert]. Travis Kvapil will continue in the organization's #93 Dr. Pepper Toyota. Crew chief Todd Anderson remains in the crew chief role with him.(FoxSports)(1-18-2013)
Cassill & Kvapil returning to BK Racing: According to a post to Twitter by Sporting News' Bob Pockrass, "Per BK Racing spokesman, the plan is for Cassill and Kvapil to drive for team in 2013. They will be at test at [Daytona]."(1-5-2013)
Some rides for 2013 still up in the air: A year ago at this time, dominoes seemed to be tumbling all over the NASCAR world. Kurt Busch's departure from Penske Racing led to AJ Allmendinger's move from Richard Petty Motorsports to Penske, followed by Aric Almirola's move to replace Allmendinger at RPM. It seemed like there was a move or two every day, and the news was endless. This year? Not so much. Aside from a couple lower-series moves there haven't been many post-Homestead driver changes. [But there are some] possible open seats at full-time teams
BK Racing: There's no reason Landon Cassill and Travis Kvapil wouldn't return to BK Racing in 2013, but the team hasn't finalized its drivers for the #83 and 93 cars yet.
Tommy Baldwin Racing: It seems likely #36-Dave Blaney will return next season, but it hasn't been announced.
Phil Parsons Racing: Will Michael McDowell return to the #98 car? It hasn't been made official yet if so.
FAS Lane Racing: Ken Schrader will be in the #32 car for select races, and the remaining schedule will be filled by yet-to-be-named drivers.
Joe Falk Motorsports: Stephen Leicht won rookie of the year honors for the #33 car. The team's 2013 lineup has not been announced.
Phoenix Racing: Will Phoenix Racing even come back in 2013? It's not certain team owner James Finch will return, and what driver will be behind the wheel if he does.(SBNation) See information on all Sprint Cup teams on the 2013 Team / Driver chart page.(12-18-2012)
Mike Ford hired by BK Racing: BK Racing has named Mike Ford director of competition and racing operations. Ford, 42, joins BKR after a successful career as a crew chief with some of NASCAR's most prominent organizations. Team owner Ron Devine believes Ford will be a valuable liaison between BKR and Toyota as the company continues to establish a foothold in the Sprint Cup series. "We are very excited to have Mike Ford join BK Racing," Devine said. "Mike's experience will help take BK's on-track performance to a new level." Ford most recently served as the crew chief for both Marcos Ambrose and Aric Almirola at Richard Petty Motorsports. BKR is still working on finalizing both its driver and crew chief lineup. Announcements are expected later this month.(Fox Sports)(12-4-2012)
BK Racing switching numbers? Riggs & SHR? hearing that one of the BK Racing cars (#83 & #93) will switch to using the #23 in 2013. Supposedly they asked for the car number as a sponsor request. They did not purchase the current #23 R3 Motorsports team owned by Robert Richardson Sr., but asked NASCAR for the car number and got it. No word which car number will switch, the #83 or the #93. Some rumors have David Reutimann possibly going to one of the BK Racing rides in 2013. No word if current drivers #83-Landon Cassill or #93-Travis Kvapil will return to BK Racing in 2013. Reutimann could also staying at Tommy Baldwin Racing if the team keeps tow cars running or run with the #44 Xxxtreme team that is debuting at Phoenix this weekend. end up Some rumors have BK Racing expanding to three cars in 2013, but been told it will likely be a two-car operation in 2013. Been told that R3 Motorsports is weighing its options for 2013 and if they will run the Sprint Cup Series. As for current #23 driver, Scott Riggs, hearing he has an oppurtunity at Stewart-Haas Racing as a driving coach for Danica Patrick and/or testing cars for Stewart Haas Racing (#10, #14, #39) with a chance of running a 4th SHR Chevy in some races, if a sponsor can be found.(11-9-2012)
Burton, Ambrose crew chief changes: Silly Season is in full swing for Sprint Cup crew chiefs. Drew Blickensderfer resigned as Jeff Burton's crew chief on Sunday. Blickensderfer, 36, will return to the Ford camp as the crew chief for Marcos Ambrose and the #9 team at Richard Petty Motorsports. Given Blickensderfer's nine-year tenure at Roush Fenway Racing, he will be a valuable conduit for RPM with its technical partner. "Blick" replaces Mike Ford, who joined RPM at Talladega Superspeedway in May as Aric Almirola's crew chief. Before the Chase for the Sprint Cup began, Ford, 42, swapped teams with veteran crew chief Todd Parrott and began leading the #9 crew with Ambrose. Ford said on Sunday at Martinsville Speedway that he worked this season sans contract with RPM but had "options" for 2013 including working with BK Racing. Sources confirmed that Ford has been offered a crew chief's post at BKR. Luke Lambert will revive his role with Burton and the #31 Caterpillar crew at Richard Childress Racing starting in 2013. Shane Wilson will be interim crew chief for the final three races of the season.(Fox Sports)(10-29-2012)
New associate sponsor for BK Racing: #83-Landon Cassill and #93-Travis Kvapil will have a new associate sponsor onboard their BK Racing Toyota's this week, Rick's Specialty Vehicles. Rick's Specialty Vehicles developed and sells the Cricket ESV, which was perfectly designed to answer the ever-growing need of "destination mobility." It's great for people who need convenient, dependable, economical transportation when they're at a temporary destination. Kvapil will be using the Cricket ESV to deliver Burger King Smoothies to infield guests at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Friday.(BK Racing)(10-11-2012)
Tryson to BK Racing: Veteran crew chief Pat Tryson has joined the BK Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team, effective immediately. BK Racing purchased the assets of the former Red Bull Racing during the offseason, and fields the # 93 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota for driver Travis Kvapil, as well as Landon Cassill's #83 Burger King/Dr. Pepper Toyota. Kvapil and Cassill rank 30th and 31st in Sprint Cup Series points, respectively, and have yet to record a Top-10 finish. Tryson brings a wealth of experience to the team. He served as crew chief for Kurt Busch at Penske Racing in 2009, before leaving the team for what were termed "personal reasons." He headed Martin Truex, Jr.'s Michael Waltrip Racing/NAPA Toyota team until stepping down in June, and has most recently served as a consultant with JTG Daugherty Racing and driver Bobby Labonte. BK Racing co-owner Ron Devine said he initially planned for Tryson to assume his new post next Monday, following this weekend's race at Talladega Superspeedway. When Tryson was able to secure his release from JTG-Daugherty late last week, he became available to assume his new post immediately. Exactly what that post will be, however, remains to be seen. "I'm not exactly sure what the plan is yet," said Tryson today. "We'll see as we go along. I've been asked to look around, assess the situation and see where I think they can use some help. Once I do that, I'll know more." Devine said he believes Tryson will ultimately serve in what he called "a team capacity. Right now, the 93 car can use some support, so we'll use him there," he said. "Pat is obviously crew chief capable, but he's also competition director capable. We'll see where he feels he can be of the most use.(Godfather Motorsports)(10-1-2012)
Race #200 for Kvapil: This weekend's Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway will mark #93-Travis Kvapil's 200th Sprint Cup Series start. The 2003 Truck Series champ got the call into the big leagues in October, 2004 when Roger Penske asked him to pilot the #06 car at Martinsville. Since then, he has gone on to capture six top-10 finishes and one pole. The #93 team has created a special decal to commemorate Kvapil's 200th start. It will ride above the windows on Kvapil's Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota. The team will also carry a decal in remembrance of 9/11 on its deck lid. It has an image of an American flag with the words "Never Forget."(BK Racing/Breaking Limits), see an image of the 200th decal and the decklid on the #93 Team Schemes page.(9-7-2012)
BK Racing to run special decal on missing girls: BK Racing is lending a hand in the search for Elizabeth Collins and her cousin Lyric Cook, who have been missing since Friday, July 13. The team will run a special decal on the deck lid of its #83 Toyota, driven by Landon Cassill, and #93 Toyota driven by Travis Kvapil. The decals will feature an image of the missing girls, along with a phone number to call for any information on their whereabouts. The decals will run this weekend during the Pennsylvania 400 at the Pocono Raceway. Collins and Cook were last seen in the city of Evansdale, Iowa. Their bicycles and Elizabeth's purse were found near a trail at the edge of Meyers Lake after leaving their grandmother's house.(Breaking Limits/BK Racing)(8-2-2012)
BK Racing to Field Third Car for David Reutimann: BK Racing announced Monday its plans to run a third car for David Reutimann in eight NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) events, including this week's Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Reutimann will pilot the #73 Burger King/Dr Pepper Toyota in each NSCS race that he doesn't drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing [#10 Chevy, Danica Patrick drives in 8 more races]. Landon Cassill will remain in the #83 car and Travis Kvapil will remain in the #93 car for the rest of the season. Reutimann has run two events with BK Racing this season driving the #93 car, the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway and the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway.
"Everyone at BK Racing is excited to solidify a third car on our team for David Reutimann," said Scott Gunderson, president of BK Racing. "I know that he will strengthen our organization with the talent and experience that he brings to the table. Reutimann has been a big part of BK Racing this year and we look forward to working with him for the rest of the season. I want to thank Burger King and Dr Pepper for helping make this happen."
BK Racing's #73 team has entered one event this season, the Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Kvapil was behind the wheel. Because the team runs a limited schedule, it was outside the top-35 in the owner point standings and had to qualify into the race on time. Kvapil made the show, qualifying 33rd and finishing 32nd, following a fuel pressure issue. Four cars failed to make the race.
"The 73 team has already proven to be a contender," Reutimann said. "BK Racing has great equipment and personnel. They've shown that they can get the job done and I'm really excited to continue racing with them. We're already off to a good start and the team is continuing to improve. Travis and Landon are terrific teammates and I think having a third car among us will give us better information and more resources to keep strengthening."(Breaking Limits/BK Racing)(5-21-2012)
Third BK Racing car at Darlington: UPDATE: BK Racing will field a third Toyota at Darlington Raceway for Travis Kvapil to run the Bojangles' Southern 500. The car will run Dr. Pepper colors and use the #73. Kvapil usually drives BK Racing #93 Burger King / Dr Pepper Toyota, but David Reutimann is in that car for Darlington and other races in 2012. Kvapil will have to race his way into the field as the car has no owners points and since it looks to be a late entry will not receive any drivers/owners points as a post entry.(Travis Kvapil Facebook)(5-10-2012)
UPDATE: BK Racing announced that Travis Kvapil will drive the #73 Dr Pepper Toyota in Saturday's Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway. Kvapil's car will be a third entry fielded by BK Racing and will run in addition to the organization's #83 Toyota, driven by Landon Cassill, and #93 Toyota, driven by David Reutimann. This will be BK Racing's first attempt to field three cars for an event. Ben Leslie will serve as Kvapil's crew chief. Kvapil will return to the #93 car for the Sprint All-Star Showdown next week at Charlotte Motor Speedway. "I'm really excited to be racing at Darlington," Kvapil said. "I want to thank Dr Pepper and BK Racing for putting this together. It's a big step for BK Racing to field a third car. We didn't open our doors until February and we've managed to make every race and stay inside the top-35 in points. Now we're fielding a third entry. That says a lot about our progress and this team's determination.(Breaking Limits/BK Racing)(5-10-2012)
Reutimann moves to the #93 at Darlington: David Reutimann will return behind the wheel of the #93 BK Racing Toyota this week at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles' Southern 500. Reutimann raced the season-opening Daytona 500 with BK Racing, but has driven the balance of 2012 events with Tommy Baldwin Racing. Travis Kvapil will return to drive the #93 Burger King/Dr Pepper car next week at Charlotte. Reutimann has five NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts at Darlington. He scored his best finish (11th) in 2010. In NASCAR Nationwide Series competition, Reutimann has three starts, with a best finish of third (2008).(Breaking Limits/BK Racing)(5-9-2012)
Kvapil Heads to Kansas with special paint scheme: Travis Kvapil, driver of the #93 BK Racing Toyota, is known for being smooth in a race car. His paint scheme in this weekend's STP 400 will affirm it. Kvapil will carry the colors of Burger King's new BK Tropical Mango Smoothie onboard his Camry. His car will be bright yellow, clad with mangos. Kvapil hopes the new digs, along with his past experience at Kansas, will be a recipe for success. Kvapil has six NASCAR Sprint Cup Series (NSCS) starts at Kansas Speedway. His best finish (19th) came in 2006, driving for Cal Wells [#32 car]. In three NSCS events at Kansas (2005, 2006, 2011) Kvapil led the race for a total of five laps. In NASCAR Camping World Truck Series competition, Kvapil has six starts under his belt. He's achieved four top-10s and one top-five finish (BK Racing/Breaking Limits), see images of the car on my #93 Team Schemes page.(4-17-2012)
Dr. Pepper scheme for Kvapil UPDATE: the #93 BK Racing Toyota of Travis Kvapil will carry the colors of Dr. Pepper at Texas Motor Speedway. See images of the scheme on the #93 Team Schemes page.(4-10-2012) UPDATE: Travis Kvapil will have a fresh coat of paint on his Toyota Camry when the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series rolls into Texas Motor Speedway for this weekend's Samsung Mobile 500. Dr. Pepper will adorn the #93 BK Racing machine, with its logos on the hood, quarter panels and TV panel. This will be BK Racing's first special paint scheme since the team opened its doors in February of this season.(BK Racing/Breaking Limits), see images of the scheme on the #93 Team Schemes page.(4-11-2012)
Burger King signs NASCAR licensing agreement with BK Racing: Burger King Corp. has entered into a licensing agreement with BK Racing LLC. As part of the agreement, BKC has licensed the primary paint scheme on the #83 and 93 Toyota Camry Sprint Cup cars, which debuted during Monday's delayed NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Daytona International Speedway. "I'm extremely happy to welcome Burger King Corp. to the team and really proud to be associated with such a great brand," said Scott Gunderson, president and co-owner of BK Racing LLC and a Burger King franchisee. "This demonstrates another important step in getting the BK Racing team ready for the season. As a longtime franchisee, I look forward to a successful racing season and know firsthand the benefits of a partnership with a winning team." BKC will leverage the sponsorship both on and off the track through select regional marketing programs and promotions. "This sponsorship with the BK Racing team provides the perfect scenario to get back into NASCAR. The team's passion, both on and off the track, resonates very well with an important segment of Burger King customers," said Alex Macedo, senior vice president, North America marketing, Burger King Corp.(Quick Service Restaurant News)(2-29-2012)
BK Racing plans to run full races all season: Tomato grower Wayne Press and his partners had originally planned to start their own team with the equipment from #71 TRG Motorsports, which was managed by Kevin Buckler. But they couldn't get access to that equipment, so Press, Scott Gunderson and others bought equipment and assumed the owner points from Red Bull Racing [#4, #83 Toyota's], which went out of business after last season. Their two-car BK Racing organization will make its debut Sunday in the Daytona 500.
The team has signed Landon Cassill to drive a full season in the #83 car while David Reutimann and Travis Kvapil will drive the #93. Reutimann is in the car at Daytona and Kvapil will drive at Phoenix. Kvapil likely will run more races, and the team hopes that Reutimann drives in the 10 races when he isn't in the #10 Tommy Baldwin Racing car he will share with Danica Patrick. Because they have the owner points from Red Bull, the team will start the season with guaranteed starting spots in the first five races. They plan to stay in the top 35 to keep those guaranteed spots, something that TRG Motorsports wasn't always able to accomplish.
Why BK Racing? There are Burger King logos on the hood of the cars and the uniforms of the drivers, but the fast-food restaurant's headquarters hasn't announced a sponsorship. Some of the investors are Burger King franchise owners. Press said he hopes some of the company's vendors will also get involved in sponsoring races. Burger King executives will be at the track for the Daytona 500, and Press said he hopes some of the company's vendors also will get involved in sponsoring the team.
Harry McMullen, the former TRG general manager, is the team's general manager. It has 17 cars from Red Bull but it has been a scramble since the purchase was completed less than a month ago. "We survived on a shoestring [budget] with the 71," Press said. "We're so much better funded it's unbelievable going into this venture with the 83 and the 93. BK Racing is here to race every weekend, every race, every lap. We're not start-and-parkers. We intend to do this correctly. We want some longevity out of this."(in part from SceneDaily)(2-23-2012)
BK Racing Officially Announces Team, Drivers for 2012: BK Racing officially announced plans to compete in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series full-time beginning this weekend at the Daytona International Speedway. The team will enter two Toyota Camrys, #83 and #93, out of its headquarters in Statesville, N.C. The team is led by an ownership group consisting of experienced and successful business people including Wayne Press, Scott Gunderson and others. General Manager Harry McMullen will lead the team at the race shop and at the track.
The team has already come to terms with experienced, winning drivers for the season. Two-time Sprint Cup Series winner David Reutimann will pilot the #93 Toyota in the Daytona 500 and former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie-of-The-Year winner Landon Cassill will race the #83 in the Daytona 500 and for the balance of the 2012 season. In addition, the team also announced that 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil will be behind the wheel of the #93 Toyota beginning at the second race of the season in Phoenix, Ariz. The team will debut the cars Saturday morning to prepare for Sunday's Daytona 500 qualifying session.
"We're proud to announce that BK Racing will be the newest multi-car team in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," said co-owner Gunderson. "Wayne, I and the rest of the ownership group, along with all of our employees, have worked very hard over the past months to prepare to be where we're at today. There is still a lot more work to do, but we're proud to have the groundwork of winning and championship drivers. David, Landon and Travis have proved themselves at this highest level of NASCAR. We're very proud to be running Toyota Camrys powered by Triad Racing Technologies engines. This allows us to be immediately competitive with realistic goals."
"All of us have been involved in the Sprint Cup Series over the past few years," continued Gunderson. "However, this is still a new team with a focused outlook of where we want to go. We're going to grow this team with commercial partners that we'll announce in the near future. We feel confident that we can immediately be competitive and only improve as we continue to build the team."
BK Racing has acquired certain assets from the former Red Bull Racing operation and has moved into a race shop that has all the essential equipment to prepare winning cars. This immediate success allowed the team drivers to feel confident about this season. "BK Racing is already miles ahead of most start-up teams that I've seen," commented Cassill. "The race shop, equipment, ownership group, leadership and crew members are in place for us to race at Daytona, but also continue to be prepared for success for the rest of the season. We have a lot more to do, but there is a strong base here."
Florida native David Reutimann also feels confident that the team can race up front at Daytona. "I think it's great that I have the opportunity to get this team off the ground," said Reutimann. "The preparation, the cars, our crew, I feel like BK Racing can come into Daytona and run well. It's cool to be a part of something new and have been impressed with how far the team has come in just a few short months." BK Racing will make official sponsorship announcements in the near future.(Breaking Limits), see image of the two cars in the shop on my #83 Team Schemes page.(2-18-2012)
Reutimann gets Daytona 500 ride: David Reutimann will drive the #93 Toyota for BK Racing in the Daytona 500. Todd Anderson, the former car chief at TRG Motorsports [the #71 team in 2011], will serve as crew chief for the team. Travis Kvapil will take over the driving duties in the #93 Toyota at Phoenix for the March 4 Sprint Cup race. BK Racing also announced last week that Landon Cassill will drive the #83 Toyota, starting in Daytona.(FoxSports)(2-14-2012)
Red Bull Owners Points changing hands? UPDATE 2: Been told that Thomas Ueberall [Red Bull's race director] is now listed as the owner of the #83 and now #93 [was #4] team owner points. Sinica Motorsports attempted to run Homestead running the #93, but their website now shows no car number and facebook and twitter pages no longer work. Ueberall may be listed as the owner when the new owners take place, due to the points. Supposedly part owners of TRG Motorsports are rumored to be buying the assets from Red Bull Racing.(2-3-2012)
UPDATE: Sinica Motorsports will be running a partial Sprint Cup schedule this year with a new car number to be released soon. The team will continue to run Chevys.(Sinica Motorsports)(2-6-2012)
UPDATE2: Landon Cassill is going racing at Daytona International Speedway with a new, yet-unnamed race team, at the wheel for a #83 Toyota purchased from the former Red Bull Racing team. In an exclusive interview with Sirius/XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius/XM Speedway with Dave Moody, Cassill said the team is preparing two cars for a full schedule of Sprint Cup Series racing, beginning with the Daytona 500. "We're going to announce a sponsor in the near future," said Cassill. "At this point, I can tell you that Doug Richert will be the crew chief, with (former Roush Fenway Racing executive) Harry McMullin serving as General Manager.
Multiple sources say Virginia resident and former TRG Motorsports minority partner Ron Devine is a leading player in the new ownership group. The team will reportedly be owned and sponsored by Devine and a group of his fellow Burger King franchisees. Cassill declined to speak specifically about the new owners, but confirmed they were involved with TRG Motorsports majority owner Kevin Buckler a year ago. "They broke away from TRG at the end of last year," said Cassill. "They want to go racing the right way and do it efficiently. They know what their goals are. They're going to be announcing the team name and our sponsorship information very soon. All I can say at this point is that they are investors. It'll be a company owned team from the sponsorship side of things." The team will operate out of the former Randy Moss Motorsports building in Statesville, NC, and will run with, with horsepower supplied by Triad Racing Technology.
"The guys are really hustling to get ready for Daytona," said Cassill, "and this will be my first time going into a season knowing there's a full-time ride with my name on door. I'm going to be locked into the Daytona 500 for the first time in my life, and that's an emotional deal for me." He confirmed that the team will field two cars in every race this season, beginning at Daytona. "They're working on signing the second driver right now, and there are some pretty good guys out there that still need a ride."
"This has been a tough deal to keep quiet," laughed Cassill. "They've had to make a lot of decisions before the story gets out and things begin to spin out of control. They've been working hard, 12-14 hours a day, seven days a week thrashing on things. Fortunately, Red Bull built really nice race cars that gave us a chance to pull things together quickly. A lot more is set in place than we can talk about yet, but the work is getting done. Cassill said he understands the team is behind the eight-ball at this point, and will need time to reach its full potential. "I think you'll see us shine 10-12 weeks into the season, once we get our feet underneath us," he said. "We need to establish a baseline on setups and find out what our cars and teams are capable of."(Sirius Speedway)
AND the AP's Jenna Fryer @JennaFryer is hearing Travis Kvapil could be second driver of the 2nd car [which was #4 with Kahne in 2011, but have heard it'll be #93](2-9-2012)
a couple UPDATES: Speculation is that former Red Bull driver Brian Vickers will be named Cassill's teammate in a second entry.(MRN)
AND II While Harry McMullen will act as general manager of the two-car operation, Cassill could not confirm nor deny that the team will be called BK Racing, a name that stems from Burger King franchisees that are expected to be associated with the deal. Sources said Ron Devine, of Virginia, and Wayne Press, of Florida, two former TRG partners, will be part of the new ownership group. Travis Kvapil has been mentioned as the driver for the team's #93 Toyota. Kvapil could not be reached for comment.(FoxSports)(2-10-2012)
Frye ends up at Hendrick UPDATE: Hearing that former Red Bull Racing General Manager and Vice President Jay Frye is now working at Hendrick Motorsports as a consultant in a variety of roles.(1-4-2012)
UPDATE: Jay Frye and Rick Hendrick have been friends since the 1980s, when Frye was a rep for first Budweiser and then Valvoline, and Hendrick was an ambitious car dealer trying to gain a toehold in NASCAR. So when Red Bull Racing closed its doors at the end of 2011, it made sense that Frye, the former team's vice president and general manager, would turn to Hendrick. On Wednesday, Hendrick Motorsports announced that Frye will work with the team as a consultant for 2012, focusing on business development. "Jay is one of the most well-connected people in the sport, and he's going to be a great resource to help develop strong partnerships," said Marshall Carlson, president of Hendrick Motorsports. "We've known him for a long time, so there's an immense level of trust and respect between us. The opportunity to work with Jay again and have the benefit of his experience is something we're excited about." In NASCAR parlance, "business development" means helping the team find sponsorship and build relationship with sponsors. Frye's long friendship with Hendrick, as well as his familiarity with former Red Bull driver Kasey Kahne should benefit the team hugely in that department.(SPEED)(1-5-2012)
MWR could buy Red Bull Racing assets: Sirius XM NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Michael Waltrip Racing is negotiating to purchase the assets of the former Red Bull Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. A spokesperson for the team declined to comment on the story, but multiple sources say Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull are close to an agreement on the sale, awaiting NASCAR approval for an owner point swap that would allow MWR to field a third Toyota Camry in the 2012 Daytona 500. MWR finished 18th and 28th in Sprint Cup owner points with drivers #56-Martin Truex, Jr. and #00[now #55]-David Reutimann last season, and holds two guaranteed starting spots for the upcoming Daytona 500. MWR is expected to field three cars in the Great American Race for Truex, #15-Clint Bowyer (no points) and #55-Mark Martin, using one of the guaranteed starting spots held by Red Bull Racing. Those points would transfer to MWR in the event of a sale. Michael Waltrip could also compete in the 2012 Daytona 500, but is believed unlikely to do so in an MWR Toyota. Sources say MWR is also interested in acquiring cars and equipment from Red Bull, including fabrication equipment and a shaker rig. If included in the sale, the former Red Bull Racing building would likely be used by MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman to house his RK Motors muscle car restoration and performance company, as well as his personal collection of classic and vintage automobiles. Red Bull Racing closed its doors last month, after failing to find a buyer to continue operations.(Sirius Speedway)(1-3-2012)
end of Rec Bull Racing and the start of BK Racing
Red Bull Racing closes Thursday: Red Bull Racing's five-year run as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team will come to an end [Thursday], when the last of approximately 150 employees will be laid off and the competition shop shut down, presumably for good. After 284 Sprint Cup starts, over 106,000 competitive laps and two victories, the team informed its remaining employees this week that Thursday will be the final day of operation. A memo was distributed by the team's Human Resources Manager outlining severance procedures and establishing a schedule for exit interviews. After a brief team meeting …. the team will raffle off sheet metal, mementos and photos that have hung at the Red Bull shop and distribute cases of Red Bull to departing employees. "We know it will be a difficult day for everyone," said the memo, "as a large number of employees will be exiting the facility."(Sirius Speedway)(12-8-2011)
Pattie named Bowyer's crew chief UPDATE 3 and Red Bull crew? Brian Pattie is expected to be named crew chief on Dec 1st for the #15 Toyota that Clint Bowyer will drive for MWR in 2012. As far as a pit crew is concerned, a deal is in the works that would bring one of the Red Bull Racing squads to MWR for Bowyer's team if investors can't be found to salvage that company.(FoxSports)(11-16-2011)
UPDATE: Sources report Brian Pattie will be named #15-Clint Bowyer's crew chief as early as Monday [Dec 5th]. The former Earnhardt Ganassi Racing crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya will assume the same role at Michael Waltrip Racing calling the shots for newcomer Bowyer. Speculation of the Pattie-Bowyer pairing has been ongoing in recent weeks since the Ford 400 season-ending weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway.(Motor Racing Network)(12-4-2011)
UPDATE Expect an announcement this week that Brian Pattie will serve as crew chief for Clint Bowyer's new #15 5-Hour Energy Toyota at Michael Waltrip Racing. Many of the crew members under his watch will come from Red Bull Racing [#4 & #83], which is not expected to return in 2012. Red Bull Racing's #83 Sprint Cup Series team pitted Johanna Long's Super Late Model entry at this weekend's Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida, and many went directly to work at Michael Waltrip Racing today [Monday Dec 5th]. Unofficially, seven over-the-wall crewmembers from Red Bull Racing are expected to work for MWR in 2012. Five of them will crew Bowyer's #15 Toyota, including the front tire changer, front tire carrier and gas man from Kasey Kahne's former #4 team, along with the jack man and rear tire changer from Brian Vickers' #83. Two other former Red Bull crewmen will work on MWR's #56 and #55 Toyotas. Other former Red Bull team members have found work at JTG Daugherty Racing and Hendrick Motorsports.
Sources with Red Bull Racing said crewmembers were originally forbidden to talk to other teams until the end of their current contract in early December. Red Bull reportedly issued an amendment to that ruling 3-4 weeks ago, allowing crewmen to seek immediate employment in exchange for forfeiting their severance pay if Red Bull closes its doors. It is expected that Red Bull will releasing the balance of its Competition Department at the end of business today.(Sirius Speedway)(12-5-2011)
OFFICIAL: Michael Waltrip Racing today announced that Brian Pattie will serve as crew chief for Clint Bowyer's #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series beginning in 2012. "Brian is someone whose been on our radar for a very long time," said Waltrip. "He brings a strong technical background, along with great leadership and Chase experience. We have high hopes for Brian, Clint and the 5-hour ENERGY team heading into 2012 and we think this is the perfect mix of talent, experience and leadership." Pattie joins the team after 18 victories in a long Nationwide Series career with a variety of drivers and a Sprint Cup stint at Earnhardt Ganassi Racing as crew chief for Juan Pablo Montoya. He guided the former open wheel driver to a spot in the Chase in 2009 and a victory at Watkins Glen in 2010. "Michael Waltrip Racing is an up-and-coming team making improvements every day," said Pattie, a Zephyrhills Fla. native who began his duties at MWR on Dec. 1. "I know how close it is to joining the upper echelon of the Sprint Cup Series. When I started talking with Michael about opportunities at MWR I really did my research and was impressed by their commitment to getting to the top of the sport. I feel like this is a great opportunity to join a new team with a new driver and start building something special. Clint's proven how good he is and I know that will get even better in 2012."
Bowyer said the key to any good driver-crew chief relationship is communication. He and Pattie already have a head start in that area. "I've known Brian Pattie for a long time and the thing that impresses me the most is how he calls a race and his knowledge of racecars," said Bowyer. "We both grew up working on dirt cars and have pretty similar backgrounds. We understand each other and I think we speak the same language. I know once we get together and start working we're going to see great results."(Michael Waltrip Racing)(12-5-2011)
Kangaroo Express Sponsors Cole Whitt: The Pantry, Inc., the leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern United States, announced it will sponsor NASCAR's #84 Cole Whitt in the final race of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season with Kangaroo Express. Whitt has been racing in NASCAR's Camping World Truck Series division and is now aiming to reach his dream of becoming a Sprint Cup driver by qualifying in the Ford 400 Sprint Cup race held at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Nov. 20th. Whitt made his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut in the Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway this past Sunday, where he started in the 19th position and finished in the 25th. By competing in Phoenix, Whitt qualified to race at Homestead-Miami Speedway. "We had a really good run in Phoenix for our first Sprint Cup race," said Whitt. "I'm looking forward to getting back out on the track this weekend and am thankful to have the support of my fellow NASCAR fans at Kangaroo Express." Kangaroo Express has strengthened its relationship with the NASCAR community over the past three years, raising funds for Victory Junction camp, founded by Kyle and Pattie Petty in honor of their son Adam. Last year the fundraiser raised $634,000, sending more than 250 children to the year-round camping environment for children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses.(Largemouth Communications / Kangaroo Express)(11-18-2011)
Red Bull Racing still looking for investor / buyer: Red Bull Racing announced in June that it would sell the team [#4-Kahne, #83-Vickers] by the end of the year or shut it down. While there have been inquiries, no deal has been announced. Red Bull Racing has notified the state of North Carolina of potential layoffs, but employees say they have been told there will be no layoffs before Dec. 9. A few members of Kahne's crew will go with him and crew chief Kenny Francis to [#5 Chevy] Hendrick Motorsports next year, but many in the Red Bull shop will be looking for work after the season while hoping that if the team does get bought, they could return. Jay Frye, who runs the team, has been answering calls from potential investors and would like to keep the team going. It doesn't appear that Vickers is in the future plans as he seeks a full-time ride for 2012.(SceneDaily)(11-15-2011)
First win for #4 since 1998: Kasey Kahne's win in the 2011 Kobalt Tools 500 at Phoenix International Raceway was the 45th ever win for a car #4 and the first since Bobby Hamilton won at Martinsville, VA running the #4 on April 20, 1998. See car wins by numbers on my Car Number Wins page (11-13-2011)
Kahne wins at Phoenix: #4-Kasey Kahne won the Kolbat Tooks 500k Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway for his 12th career win, 1st of the season and first in 81 races, since Atlanta in Sept. 2009. It is Kahne's first win in a Toyota after 11 wins in a Dodge. Kahne becomes the 18th different race winner in 2011, one behind the record of 19 [set in 1956, 1958, 1961 & 2001]. It is the first win for a car #4 since Bobby Hamliton won in the #4 Chevy at Martinsville on April 20, 1998.
#99-Edwards finished 2nd followed by #14-Stewart, #31-Burton, #39-Newman, #43-Allmendinger, #00-Reutimann, #9-AMbrose, #27-Menard and #33-Bowyer.
#99-Edwards still leads the Chase by 3 points over #14-Stewart with one race to go, all other drivers are out of Chase contention.
There were 14 lead changes among 7 drivers and 8 cautions for 30 yellow flag laps. The attendance is listed as 85,000, up from 75,000 last year.
Scheduled Race Re-Airs: Monday, November 14 at 1:00am/et on ESPN2; Wednesday, November 16 at 12:00pm/et on SPEED
Cole Whitt to attempt Cup race at Phoenix: Cole Whitt hopes to make his Sprint Cup debut at Phoenix International Raceway next weekend. Red Bull Racing will field a third Toyota for the 20-year-old Alpine, Cal.-native, who currently drives the #60 Silverado for Stacy Compton in the Camping World Truck Series. He will likely attempt to qualify the #84. In his first full season on the truck tour, Whitt has two top-fives, 11 top 10s and is ninth in the point standings after 23 races. His best finish this season was second at Dover in the spring. If Phoenix goes well, Red Bull hopes to run a third car for Whitt in the season finale at Homestead Miaimi Speedway as well.(Fox Sports)(11-3-2011)
Kahne gets in Hendrick #5 for first time: Kasey Kahne climbed from the non-descript gray car, dusted off his non-descript firesuit noticeably lacking in sponsorship decoration, and smiled. His first day in the #5 Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports had gone well. One of 11 drivers permitted to participate in an electronic fuel-injection (EFI) engine test for NASCAR on Monday at Charlotte Motor Speedway, Kahne said he thoroughly enjoyed his time behind the wheel of the car he will begin driving full-time in the Sprint Cup Series next season. "There were more differences than I expected. But then I thought back to Red Bull, and how much different that was from the prior year [at Richard Petty Motorsports], and how the cars are. It's all little things, but they keep adding up and it kind of takes time to kind of figure out that feel."(NASCAR.com)(10-18-2011)
Red Bull to sponsor a car in 2012?: Red Bull will no longer own a NASCAR team at the end of 2011, but X Games legend and Red Bull athlete Travis Pastrana expressed confidence Sunday that the energy drink company will sponsor a car in the Sprint Cup Series next season. Pastrana, who was going to make his Nationwide debut for Pastrana-Waltrip Racing in July before suffering a severe ankle injury after crashing in the X Games Moto-X best trick competition, said Red Bull is "working out the details" of divesting its interest of the team. "[Red Bull] wants to sponsor a team, as opposed to the Formula 1 setup where they do own the team," Pastrana said following a press conference in the Dover media center.(As the World Turns Left)(10-3-2011)
Kahne to test the #5 car at Charlotte: Kasey Kahne revealed following the Bank of America Motorsports Career Day at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Wednesday that he will test for the first time in the #5 Chevy he will drive next year for Hendrick Motorsports on that Monday following the Saturday night Bank of America 500 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne [current driver of the #4 Red Bull Toyota] said he will receive his first opportunity to drive his car of the future during a fuel-injection test at CMS. He also said he expects it to be his only opportunity to test in the car before moving from Red Bull to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this season. "I'm going to get into the 5 for the Charlotte test the Monday after the race. That'll be the first time I've been in one of those cars. That will be the first and maybe the only chance I'll get in those [fuel-injection] tests that are coming up," Kahne said. Kahne said the #4 car he currently drives will not be included in the limited group of cars testing on Oct. 17, so there was no conflict with his current team. He also said the test will be conducted under the watchful eyes of current and future crew chief Kenny Francis, who will be making the jump from Red Bull to Hendrick with him at the end of the season.(NASCAR.com)(9-29-2011)
Villeneuve interested in Red Bull: UPDATE: Brian Vickers says he isn't feeling pressure to prove himself on the track, but that doesn't mean his future is secure or he knows where he'll be racing in 2012. Red Bull announced in late June that it was selling the team and it's been nearly three months with no announcement of a buyer. Vickers has even worked to line up potential buyers but nothing has materialized. There could be some rides available with other teams, depending on sponsorship. Among those who have inquired about purchasing the Red Bull assets is former Formula One champion Jacques Villeneuve. His business manager confirmed that Villeneuve has inquired about buying the team, but gave no indication of whether talks have been productive. Villeneuve has never hidden his interest in Cup racing and if the Canadian driver can find investors to put him in a seat, he likely would do it. He also could have investors purchase the team with the idea of him running a partial Cup schedule along with another driver.(Scene Daily)(9-21-2011)
UPDATE: In June it was reported that Red Bull will put the brakes on its involvement with NASCAR at the end of this year but this seems to be premature. [Red Bull owner Dietrich] Mateschitz says "this is not yet a final decision but we had many reasons to re-analyse our involvement with the goal of either to confirm our participation in NASCAR or to question it." He adds that the key factors which will affect Red Bull's decision are target groups, marketing, media values, the engine, the fact that NASCAR is a purely American series and of course success and the cost to benefit ratio.(PitPass)(9-23-2011)
Kenny Francis to join Hendrick Motorsports for 2012: Veteran crew chief Kenny Francis will lead the #5 Sprint Cup Series team when driver Kasey Kahne moves to Hendrick Motorsports for the 2012 season. Francis will join the organization after the conclusion of the 2011 NASCAR schedule. The 41-year-old Francis has 11 Sprint Cup victories as a crew chief, with all but one coming with Kahne behind the wheel. Since being teamed for the first time in the final race of the 2005 campaign, the pair has posted 10 wins, 13 pole positions, 34 top-five finishes and 71 top-10s at NASCAR's elite level. "Our people have a lot of respect for Kenny and what he's accomplished," said Rick Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "We know the chemistry is already there with Kasey, and there's no doubt Kenny will communicate very well with our folks. He's a character guy who brings an awful lot to the table as a crew chief. When we look at 'fit factor,' it's a great situation." Francis, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Florida, debuted as a Sprint Cup crew chief in 2003. Throughout his career, the Jacksonville, Fla., native has worked in various capacities with multiple drivers, including NASCAR champions Bill Elliott and Dale Jarrett.
"Joining Hendrick Motorsports and continuing to work with Kasey next year is an opportunity I'm excited about," Francis said. "He's a championship-caliber driver and good friend, and I'm looking forward to building on our relationship. Mr. Hendrick has built an impressive team and culture, and it's going to be fun to be a part of that when the time comes. I'm very optimistic about the rest of this season and focused on getting to Victory Lane with the #4 team. I want to thank Jay Frye and everyone with the organization for the chance to be part of such a great group of people. We still have goals to achieve there, and those are foremost on my mind right now." Lance McGrew, 43, will complete the 2011 Sprint Cup campaign as crew chief of the #5 Chevy team. After the season, he will remain in a key role with Hendrick Motorsports focusing on research and development and special projects, including work on the new Chevrolet Sprint Cup car scheduled to debut in 2013.(Hendrick Motorsports)(7-27-2011)
Kahne uninjured after sprint car wreck: Kasey Kahne spent his off weekend racing a sprint car at Williams Grove Speedway in Pennsylvania and flipped out of the track during a heat race. He was uninjured. Kahne, who owns sprint car teams, was racing World of Outlaws driver Craig Dollansky when they made contact during the second heat in the opening night of the Summer Nationals. Kahne's car somersaulted twice before flying over the fence and going down an embankment. A story in the York (Pa.) Daily Record reported that Kahne's car came to rest about 30 feet outside the track. The paper reported that Kahne got out and jogged back to the track to the cheer of the crowd. Kahne later wrote on Twitter: "got wiped out in my heat race tonight. haven't flipped like that in a long time!''(Virginian-Pilot)(7-23-2011)
Red Bull Racing Team fires crew member for Twitter posting: Red Bull Racing Team fired crew member Jeremy Fuller on Tuesday for a comment he posted on Twitter this past weekend. Fuller posted a picture on his Twitter account of the back of a car that had a homemade, rainbow-colored sign that stated the car was headed to the San Francisco Pride parade, which celebrates the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender movement. Under the photo, was the caption: "This is way (sic) I don't live here !'' The photo has since been removed. When asked about Fuller's status with the team (his Twitter bio stated he was a pit crew member at Red Bull and Turner Motorsports), Red Bull Racing issued this statement: "Red Bull Racing Team was made aware of comments posted to a contractor's Twitter account following this weekend's race. After investigating the matter, Red Bull Racing Team terminated the contractor's employment effective immediately. The race team regularly conducts diversity training and strictly enforces our team policies against any form of discrimination. We have zero tolerance for such violations and in no way support any of the comments posted by this individual.'' Fuller's Twitter bio on Tuesday was blank, no longer listing his employment at Red Bull or Turner Motorsports.(Virginian Pilot)(6-29-2011)
Kahne would like to get in the #5...for testing: #4-Kasey Kahne won't deny that he'd like to be in a Hendrick Motorsports car before the end of the 2011 season. But, the Red Bull Racing driver says he'd like to do so for testing purposes only. Speaking at a media luncheon in San Francisco on Thursday, Kahne said he had not spoken to team owner Rick Hendrick, for whom he will drive in 2012, since news of Red Bull's departure as a team owner in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series broke earlier in the week. "I was racing all week, so I didn't talk to Mr. Hendrick about that," Kahne said. "I know I'd like to test their car before the season is over. As far as where I'm at, and being at Red Bull, I really enjoy it and want to finish it. I'd like to get in the 5 car and see what it's like before next season starts; that way I have an idea of how their engines feel and how their cars drive to what I have now. [It would be] something that we can look at through the off season."(Scene Daily)(6-26-2011)
Toyota wants to keep Red Bull: Red Bull Racing was one of Toyota's foundation teams when the Japanese manufacturer moved into Sprint Cup racing in the 2007 season. With this week's news that Red Bull is leaving behind its NASCAR connection, Toyota could lose one of its teams. But Toyota Racing Development chief Lee White said Wednesday that he is interested in working with team general manager Jay Frye as Frye seeks investors and sponsors to keep the team afloat. "I have a huge respect for Jay Frye," White said. "He's a great guy and has a lot of experience in the sport. He's well-connected. I'm very interested to see what he ends up with as far as investors and partners, and certainly we'll have time for him moving forward if he wants to continue the relationship, and we'll also have a lot of time for him even if that doesn't happen and it involves someone else."(SPEED)(6-23-2011)
Red Bull leaving NASCAR? UPDATES: Multiple people familiar with the decision say Red Bull [#4-Kahne & #83-Vickers] plans to leave NASCAR at the end of this season. Those familiar with the decision also say a team official traveled to Michigan Speedway last weekend to inform industry leaders of Red Bull's decision. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made to team employees. Red Bull is both the owner and sponsor of the two-car NASCAR team. The team has struggled since its 2007 entry into NASCAR. Red Bull also owns a pair of two-car Formula One teams. Current points leader Sebastian Vettel is the reigning world champion and has won five of seven Grand Prix races this season.(Associated Press)(6-20-2011)
UPDATE: Sources say employees at Red Bull Racing have been told that the NASCAR Sprint Cup operation will close at the end of the year. A surprise visit by race director Thomas Ueberall had crew members scrambling for job openings at Michigan this weekend. Two scenarios mentioned for the existing equipment could be general manager Jay Frye bringing in investors and starting a new operation with Mark Martin and engines from Hendrick Motorsports, a plan that Frye had tried to expedite over the last two years with pushback from Austria. The hot rumor of late has been the return of Ray Evernham in an ownership role similar to Tony Stewart's at SHR, with Red Bull as the sponsor. On Monday Evernham told FOXSports.com he "had zero desire to be an owner again." Evernham said he had no knowledge on a Red Bull deal. Apparently, Red Bull was fairly far down the line in negotiations with Clint Bowyer for the #4 ride next season. It was one of the few companies that could afford Bowyer. Another dilemma with the Red Bull situation is what happens to Cole Whitt, who currently drives for the organization in the Camping World Truck Series. Certainly, if Frye acquires the assets, Whitt must be part of that plan.(Fox Sports)(6-20-2011)
UPDATE 2: Statement from Red Bull Racing: "Red Bull Racing Team is currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations are under way. Red Bull fully supports NASCAR for the remainder of the 2011 season as we fight for victories and a position in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup."(Red Bull Racing)(6-20-2011)
UPDATE: Jay Frye, vice president and general manager for Red Bull Team Racing, said Tuesday he is optimistic that he can line up investors to keep the organization intact for the 2012 season. "We have talked to some people who have great enthusiasm about what we're doing," Frye said on a conference call. "We believe we can put something together rather quickly in 30 to 45 days. But the process has just started. We had a lot of inquires yesterday. The goal is to keep the Red Bull team continuing on the path it's on." Frye said he couldn't get specific about ongoing negotiations. He said he learned a few weeks ago that Red Bull might pull out of the sport. Frye said it's possible Red Bull could stay involved in the team in some capacity in the future.(ESPN.com)(6-21-2011)
Danica's sponsor expects her to move to NASCAR; sponsor Kahne? Bob Parsons, CEO and founder of Danica Patrick sponsor GoDaddy.com, said Sunday he expects her to make the move full-time to NASCAR next season. "She hasn't told me she will, but I believe she will and we'll be ready," Parsons said. "Here's the fact: She loves [NASCAR], it's much more exciting than IndyCar, with all due respect, and the TV audience for NASCAR is off the hook." Parsons was at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Sunday to watch Patrick compete in the event. Patrick is working on a plan to race full-time in the Nationwide Series is 2012 and move to Sprint Cup in 2013, sources confirmed earlier this week. "She came up to me right after she did her first NASCAR race [the 2010 Nationwide race at Daytona]," Parson said. "She said to me, 'I absolutely loved it. This is what I was born to do.' " Parsons emphasized he is behind her whatever decision she makes. "As long as I can stroke the check," he said. "I tell you what, she doesn't exactly work for minimum wage. I usually don't get into that too much until the decision's been made. But I've told her I would sponsor her if she started ice skating." Along with Patrick's IndyCar ride at Andretti Autosport and her Nationwide car at JR Motorsports, GoDaddy also sponsors Mark Martin's Cup car at Hendrick Motorsports. Martin is leaving after this season and Kasey Kahne is taking over in that car. Will GoDaddy sponsor Kahne in 2012? "We're working on that," Parsons said. "I can tell you Mr. [Rick] Hendrick runs an awfully good team and he's been a great business partner for us."(ESPN.com)(5-29-2011)
Red Bull Racing Team's annual Fan Day: Red Bull Racing Team's annual Fan Day, set for May 27, has switched locations, moving from downtown Charlotte to the team's facility in Mooresville. NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers, as well as NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Cole Whitt, will answer our questions and yours during a Q&A session at 2:30 p.m., followed immediately by an autograph signing. On a first-come, first-serve basis, 200 autograph tickets will be handed out for the driver autograph session beginning at 10 a.m. at the race shop (136 Knob Hill Road, Mooresville). Fans will also be able to enjoy music, drinks, raffle drawings for prizes and memorabilia, pit stop demos, and autographs and photos with Miss Sprint Cup. In addition, Red Bull Racing Team's on-site store will be open for fans to purchase official team and driver gear. The No. 4 and 83 Red Bull Shutter Speed cars will be on display to allow fans to find their photos on the cars. Still haven't submitted your photo yet? There's still time. Visit www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed and submit your photo by the May 22 deadline. Photos will appear on the Red Bull Toyotas for the May 29 race at Charlotte Motor Speedway.(5-3/23-2011)
Kahne wins Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge [burnouts]: #4-Kasey Kahne won the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge, which took place Saturday evening just before the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race pre-event festivities. The Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge is NASCAR's version of a "slam dunk contest," with the sport's top talent showing off their post-win celebration abilities in classic NASCAR tire-smoking burnouts. In addition to being a fan favorite of the weekend's activities, the Pennzoil Ultra Victory Challenge has become a star-studded event with celebrity judges and some of the biggest names in NASCAR competing for a $10,000 donation to their favorite charity. A panel of judges scored the drivers' creativity during a 30-second freestyle burnout in order to select the top three – Kahne, #20-Joey Logano, and #18-Kyle Busch, who were then judged by the fans watching from the stands and on SPEED to pick the winner.(5-21-2011)
Red Bull Shutter Speed: With nearly two weeks left until its final day of submissions, Red Bull Shutter Speed has already received thousands of photos from fans across the country – photos that will cover both the #83 and #4 Red Bull Toyotas as they race around the speedway for the May 29th NASCAR race in Charlotte. With limited space remaining on the cars, we're calling all fans to email in their favorite pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org to secure your spot on the track. After all, this is for you! Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne will be in attendance to reveal the cars and all their glory at Red Bull Racing Fan Day in Charlotte at the EpiCentre on May 27th. Race fans and passerby alike will be able to find their snapshot amongst the plethora of photos on the decorated vehicles of fellow fans, their pets, kids, and all things that make them unique. There is no limit to the number of photos you submit, so send 'em all! START YOUR ENGINES Ready to get your race on? Just log on to redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed and upload your photo to the site or email directly to email@example.com. After your photo is entered, you'll receive a bounce back message with a personalized code. Photos will be updated daily leading up to the May 22nd deadline.(TRB)(5-11-2011)
Red Bull Racing: no drivers set for 2012, no Chevy? Red Bull Racing team manager, Jay Frye, says he's comfortable letting things play out elsewhere in the NASCAR garage over the next month or so before he needs to start pushing on the 2012 lineup. #4-Kasey Kahne is on only a one-year contract and moving to Rick Hendrick at the end of the year. That's one seat Frye needs to fill. #83-Brian Vickers is the final year of his contract, is just eight races into his comeback, after sitting out most of 2010 recovering from blood clots. Mark Martin could be the wild card. He's quite happy with Hendrick, though Martin says he has no specific plans for 2012, when he's to turn his Cup team over to Kahne. But Martin and Frye have worked together before and have a good comfort level; Frye, who is bringing along 20-year-old newcomer Cole Whitt (a part-time Nationwide schedule this season), might like Martin as mentor and part-time driver (as Martin did for Frye when they ran Bobby Ginn's team in 2007)…though Red Bull itself might prefer a different marketing demographic than Martin, at 52, might provide.
"Everybody knows who the players are," Frye says of the landscape. "And over the next month we'll just be watching and listening…before we have to start making moves and hard pitches. What we have to do right now is run well. When Kasey runs well, he helps us in 'selling' that seat, because that shows everyone what we've got to offer, shows everyone 'Hey, these guys are for real.'"
Is a Chevrolet deal in the works for Team Red Bull for 2012? That's not new; it keeps cropping up, in part because Frye has worked with General Motors in the past, and in part because Red Bull is a good co-promotional sponsor. Again Frye is shooting it down: "That's been going on for about three years now. There is no truth to that." [Supposedly Red Bull is signed with Toyota thru 2012](in part from Mikemulhern.net)(5-6-2011)
Update on Kasey Kahne's knee: a transcript in part from Toyota Motorsports from a press conference at Richmond, with #4-Kasey Kahne answering questions on his recent knee surgery:
Q) How did your knee surgery go and how are you feeling now?
Kahne: "It went really good. I thought just doing it Monday right after the Talladega race would be good. I'd have plenty of time to recover. They just had to fix my meniscus again. It actually feels pretty good."
Q) Will your knee injury affect you in the race car?
Kahne: "I hope it doesn't, but it's still a little bit sore. I think it may be sore throughout the race, but really as far as affecting the speed or the way that the race plays out, I don't think it will affect that at all."
Q) How long have your knees been an issue?
Kahne: "I always had really good knees and then just last year they started really bothering me. It had been building up for a while. I got them fixed in November. And then my right one, I reinjured it in probably about January or February -- probably February and I've just been waiting until I had time to get it fixed. It's been kind of a pain, but at the same time it's part of things happen. It's part of bones and cartilage and all of that stuff I guess. I've had some struggles with it for a little while, but I think hopefully it's fixed now and be good to go from here on out."
Q) How did you reinjure your knee?
Kahne: "I finished a workout and I slipped off the bench and just my feet kind of gave out -- I don't know how I did it. I mean, I know exactly how it happened, I don't know exactly why. It just happened and I laid there for about five minutes, and then the last two months I've hoped that it would get better and it didn't so I got it checked again and I had blown basically the stitches that held it together that they fixed the first time. I had blown those stitches out, so it was just hanging in there again."
Q) Did your slip cause you to blow your knee out or did you blow your knee out and then slip?
Kahne: "It was definitely because I slipped and then put the pressure on them and it couldn't handle it. They were fine until that."
Q) Do you have to wear a brace on your knee?
Kahne: "No, by bracing it doesn't really make it feel any better. It's just inside. It's not really a twist. It just has to heal."
Q) Did you have to make any adjustments to the seat in your race car after this surgery?
Kahne: "I sat in the car a couple of days ago and it felt fine. I think the pressure of going through a corner -- your leg like leaning on the side -- that might affect it some and just going up and down with your throttle the whole night. You know, it might gain a little swelling and be tight or something. But, that would be about it. It should be good."
Q) Do you have any more surgery scheduled?
Kahne: "No. I hope not. I don't want any more surgeries. I'm over it. It's not that much fun."(Toyota Motorsports)(4-30-2011)
Kahne has surgery on knee again: Kasey Kahne tweeted that he had knee surgery again on Monday [April 18th] as he retore his meniscus. Kahne says the knee just about feels better now then it has the last month and that he will be driving at Richmond [in The Sprint Cup race]. Kahne has surgery on both knee's in November 2010 to clean up the area surrounding the knees.(4-22-2011)
Fans can get photos on Red Bull cars at Charlotte: There aren't many people in this world who can race a car at speeds more than 200 miles per hour, but there sure are a lot of people who'd like to. That dream can now become a reality for Red Bull Racing buffs everywhere. Brian Vickers and Kasey Kahne are encouraging their fans to e-mail in photos they'd like to see speed around the track with them for the May 29th race in Charlotte, North Carolina. Submitted photos will be incorporated into the paint scheme on the body of both the #83 and #4 Red Bull Racing Toyotas. Fans can get an up close and personal look at the photos on the cars when they're revealed at Red Bull Racing Fan Day at The EpiCentre in Charlotte on May 27th. Check out www.redbullracingusa.com/shutterspeed for more info.(Red Bull Racing)(4-14-2011)
NC Judge denies Red Bull request to toss Speed's lawsuit: A North Carolina judge has allowed Scott Speed to proceed with his $6.5 million lawsuit against Red Bull Racing as she denied the race team's request to make a judgment based solely on what each side has presented in court without any investigation into Speed's claims. Judge Sharon Barrett's ruling came after a 35-minute hearing Monday in North Carolina Superior Court. She denied Red Bull's argument that it could release Speed for not meeting the performance clause in his contract that states if he didn't finish 15th in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series standings he could be fired. Speed filed the lawsuit Dec. 10 after he was fired by the team following his second season in Cup. In the lawsuit, Speed claimed that Red Bull did not fund the team as necessary to compete at the Cup level nor did it put forth the required technological resources for him to have a competitive car.(SceneDaily)(3-22-2011)
Driver agent creates own agency, takes some big names: Longtime NASCAR driver agent Rod Moskowitz is spinning off from Motorsports Management International to create his own agency by acquiring the contracts of top drivers #11-Denny Hamlin, #4-Kasey Kahne and #1-Jamie McMurray. The new agency, which will be known as Fuel Sports Management Group, will be run by Moskowitz, who worked for MMI for 11 years, and former Ray Evernham Motorsports executives Rick Russell and David Jessey. Evernham, who at one time considered buying MMI, will be an adviser and member of the board along with Jack Giarraputo, Adam Sandler's partner at Happy Madison Productions. MMI founder Cary Agajanian will continue to represent Tony Stewart and work in NASCAR, as well as drifting and other motorsports. He expects to maintain a close relationship with Fuel Sports Management.(Sporting News/SportsBusiness Journal)(3-18-2011)
Kahne wins Darlington Truck race: Kasey Kahne, driving the #18-Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra, dominated throughout most of the race and easily held that lead following a late caution with less than four laps remaining to win the Too Tough To Tame 200 at Darlington Raceway. This is the third win for Kahne in just four series starts, and is his second win at Darlington. #33-Ron Hornaday Jr. managed to take over the second position from #30 Todd Bodine when Bodine got a little loose and Hornaday was able to get by in those final laps. Bodine finished third. Rounding out the top ten were; #88-Matt Crafton, #31-James Buescher, #17-Timothy Peters, #2-Elliott Sadler, #60-Cole White, #13-Johnny Sauter, #81-David Starr. There were 10 caution flags for 44 laps with 8 lead changes among 4 drivers. Complete race results are posted on the Darlington Race Results Page.(Unofficial)(3-12-2011)
Forbes names most valuable NASCAR teams & highest paid drivers: The weak economy has pummeled NASCAR over the past three years, with sponsorships, merchandise sales, race winnings and subsidies from automakers falling. Fans have tuned out, sending TV ratings down 24% since 2006 and leaving more than 40,000 empty seats at some races last year. One of its longest-tenured teams, Richard Petty Motorsports, was scrambling for cash on a week-to-week basis so it could race on weekends last fall. Is NASCAR headed for a full-blown meltdown? Hardly. Yes, the value of the top 10 teams slid 5% in 2010, on average, to $136 million by [Forbes] count, as prize money dropped and sponsors dialed back their commitment, but a rebound in 2011 for the sport is a strong possibility. NASCAR's strongest and most valuable team remains Hendrick Motorsports. With a valuation of $350 million on revenues of $177 million in 2010, Hendrick is worth 56% more than the next-highest-grossing team, Roush Fenway Racing, which [Forbes] value at $224 million on revenues of $140 million last year. Hendrick earned a NASCAR-high $18 million in operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) in 2010. Richard Childress Racing was third on the list, followed by Joe Gibbs Racing and Penske Racing. Rounding out the top 10: Stewart-Haas, Michael Waltrip Racing, Earnhardt-Ganassi Racing, Richard Petty Motorsports, and Red Bull Racing.
AND: Despite his lack of success in recent years on the track, Dale Earnhardt Jr. remains NASCAR's highest-paid driver, earning $29 million in 2010 thanks to merchandise sales that are the best in the sport and reportedly account for one-third of all NASCAR licensed merchandise sales. Other income streams include a 10-figure annual salary from Hendrick and a 50% share of his $4.9 million in winnings and bonuses in 2010 from Sprint Cup races. Earnhardt also has a bevy of personal endorsements, including Chevrolet, Nationwide and Wrangler. Hendrick teammate Jeff Gordon follows Earnhardt in the NASCAR money standings with earnings of $25 million last year. It is a clean sweep for Hendrick at the top with five-time Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, the third-highest-paid driver at $24 million. The rest of the top 10: Tony Stewart, Kevin Harvick, Carl Edwards, Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Denny Hamlin, and Matt Kenseth.(Forbes)(2-24-2011)
Johnson not doing Indy 500/Coke 600 double: Although the proposal has drifted out of the public domain for several months, IndyCar CEO Randy Bernard has not stopped working on million-dollar bonuses to entice drivers to compete in both of the Memorial Day weekend races: the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR's Coca-Cola 600. The concept would include a $20 million bonus to the driver who wins both events in the same day, and perhaps smaller bonuses for any driver winning one race and finishing in the top five of the other. One of Bernard's dream drivers won't participate, this year or probably any year. Jimmie Johnson, the five-time reigning NASCAR champion who has never driven an Indy car, said he would decline for family reasons. Bernard is still hoping for a commitment from Kasey Kahne or Juan Pablo Montoya, but no one has suggested a deal will materialize for the 100th-anniversary 500 in May. Sam Hornish Jr. is without a Sprint Cup ride this season but has not expressed interest in returning to Indy cars.(Indianapolis Star)(1-29-2011)
Kasey Kahne Foundation funds new grant: The Kasey Kahne Foundation announced a donation to the NC STEM Community Collaborative that establishes a grant program to fund educational field trips to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The donation is a result of proceeds from the inaugural Kasey Kahne Foundation "Five Kahne Presented by Bank of America," a 5K charity run held on Oct. 17 in Uptown Charlotte. "STEM is an important part of the education system," said Kasey Kahne, driver of Red Bull Racing's #4 car for the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. "This program will teach young students how important engineering and technology are to the racing industry." The program's goal is to provide middle school students an opportunity to augment the existing course of study in sciences and to foster interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) through experiential learning field trips. The NC STEM initiative will fund field trips to the NASCAR Hall of Fame, including transportation, personnel, admission, lunch and material costs associated with each participating student.(KKF)(1-14-2011)
Kahne to run the #4 Images added: from Red Bull Racing Twitter page, two images of the #4 Red Bull Racing Toyota with Kahne's name above the window.(12-14-2010)
IMAGES added: See images of the Red Bull Racing cars on my #4 Team Schemes page and #83 Team Schemes page.(12-15-2010)
Speed suing Red Bull: UPDATES: According to a tweet by Scott Speed, "today should be the day my lawyer files this lawsuit against Red Bull...Had to tell my loyal twitter followers before they saw it online". In a later post he made clear that he is looking for a ride for next season, "Sure not easy to find something when u start looking in December but we workin on it! Ill keep ya posted. sure we will find something".(12-8-2010)
UPDATE: The former Formula One driver finished 30th in the standings in his second year in Sprint Cup and said he was notified by fax Nov. 24 that he would not be retained for 2011 by the team operated by the Austrian-based energy drink company. "I'm obviously stupid disappointed that I didn't even get a phone call, not a conversation, not anything from anyone from Austria," Speed said Wednesday in a phone interview. "They all showed up at Miami. None of them spoke a word to me. I got a fax." Speed has said he had a contract for 2011 declined to discuss details, saying he has spoken to a lawyer about his options. "I can't describe how upset I am just over the morality of it," Speed said. "I don't understand how you can treat people like this. Whatever. I know that's not how I treat people." Speed would not comment on the terms of his Red Bull contract because of advice from his attorney. "They thought it was OK to kick me to the curb and not try to do absolutely anything for me," Speed said. "They didn't want to pay me anything. They didn't want to help me get into any other kind of ride. Nothing. They were, 'OK, we're done with you. Thank you for seven-and-a-half years.' Speed wants to continue racing stock cars and would consider a competitive Nationwide or truck team.(Scene Daily)(12-8-2010)
UPDATE 2: NASCAR driver Scott Speed filed a $6.5 million breach-of-contract lawsuit Friday afternoon against Red Bull Racing, the team that released Speed following the 2010 season. In the lawsuit, filed in North Carolina Superior Court in Statesville, N.C., Speed claims that Red Bull did not fund the team as necessary to compete at the Cup level. According to the lawsuit, Speed signed a three-year deal in September 2007 for a salary of $300,000 in 2008, $500,000 in 2009 and $1 million in 2010. He would receive 50 percent of prize money for each top-10 finish, 45 percent for finishes 11th-20th and 40 percent of prize money for finishes of 21st or worse. In June 2008, the deal was amended to include 2011 at a salary of $1.5 million and options for 2012-2013 at raises of $500,000 annually. In January 2010, the deal was revised to cut Speed's pay from $1 million to $500,000 for 2010, according to the complaint. In May 2010, Red Bull picked up Speed's option through 2013, according to the complaint, but then fired him Nov. 23. The $6.5 million figure represents the salary Speed would have received from 2011-2013, in addition to the $500,000 reduction for 2010. Speed said Wednesday that the filing of the lawsuit was in hopes of being able to pay bills due next year, given that the chances of now getting a ride for 2011 are slim. Red Bull Racing officials indicated Wednesday that they would not comment on Speed's release or any pending litigation.(Scene Daily)(12-11-2010)
Scott Speed is officially out at Red Bull Racing: According to Speed's Twitter account, he got the official termination letter last Tuesday. "Not [a] huge surprise," Speed wrote. Speed became expendable when Red Bull Racing signed Kasey Kahne to drive its second Sprint Cup car for the 2011 season before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. His only hope to remain with the company was if Brian Vickers, who missed most of last season after being diagnosed with blood clots, was unable to return. General manager Jay Frye said before the finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway that no complications were expected when Vickers went off blood thinners.(ESPN.com)
AND Red Bull Racing officials confirmed Wednesday the team's contract with Scott Speed has been terminated, effectively ending a seven-year association with the brand. Earlier in the afternoon, Speed revealed on his Twitter account that he had received a termination letter as of Nov. 24. "We have exercised our rights to end the relationship at the end of 2010," according to a statement from the team. "We wish Scott the best of luck in his career." But with Brian Vickers scheduled to return to the team following successful heart surgery -- and Kasey Kahne signed to a one-year deal before heading to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012 -- Speed found himself as the odd man out. It "will for sure be weird being a free agent," Speed wrote.(NASCAR.com)(12-1-2010)
Scott Speed still has no idea of 2011 plans: #82-Scott Speed's future remains a mystery at Red Bull after Sunday's race. Kasey Kahne joins the team and provided Brian Vickers has no issues after going off blood thinners, that puts him in the other Red Bull car and Red Bull has said that it will have only two cars next year. So what about Speed? "I haven't honestly been told very much,'' Speed said. "I'm under contract with Red Bull, so we'll see what happens with that. I'm not planning anything. There's nothing to plan. I plan to run in a Red Bull car in Daytona and if it's not that, then I have absolutely no idea what it even could be.'' Asked if he'd mind running in the Nationwide Series, Speed said: "There's no question that I think I'm ready for what we're doing in Cup. I proved that at the beginning of this year. When good cars have been underneath us, we've been fast. It's certainlny took the first full year. The first full year I think we went in a little bit too early but as of this year I felt where I've developed as a driver and where I'm at at the moment is a really good level.''(Virginian Pilot)(11-20-2010)
Red Bull layoffs? UPDATE: Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Red Bull Racing laid off a number of crewmembers from its #82 Toyota team Wednesday, in part to clear the way for new personnel expected to join Kasey Kahne when he drives the car full-time in 2011. There is no immediate word on how many crewmen were let go, but sources say crewchief Ryan Pemberton remains with the team. Kenny Francis will serve as crewchief for the team next season.(Sirius Speedway)(11-18-2010)
UPDATE: Crew chief Jimmy Elledge is out at Red Bull Racing, along with most of the men on the #83 NASCAR Sprint Cup team. Elledge, 40, joined Red Bull a little more than two seasons ago. Elledge said he's "not sure yet" what his plans are for next season. With the understanding that Kasey Kahne was joining the organization and bringing his entourage to the team for 2011, Elledge expected he would be on the way out. He did not have a contract beyond this year.(FoxSports)(11-20-2010)
Kahne to have surgery UPDATE: Kasey Kahne will be having surgery on both knees in the days following this weekend's NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway and is expecting to be sidelined about six weeks, the driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota told FanHouse Wednesday. Kahne characterized the operation as "no big deal" and said doctors were just going to clean up the area surrounding the knees. He said he opted to have both knees worked on at once because it was "either six weeks this way, or 12 weeks doing it one after the other.'' While this means Kahne won't be participating in offseason testing -- including the Jan. 20-22 tire test at the newly paved Daytona International Speedway -- he fully expects to be behind the wheel of his Red Bull Racing Toyota in time for the Feb. 20 season-opening Daytona 500.(Motorsports FanHouse)(11-18-2010)
UPDATE: from Toyota NSCS Homestead Post-Qualifying Notes & Quotes, Kasey Kahne:
Q) How are your knees and what is the nature of your off-season surgery?
Kahne: "The knees are fine. What happened is I was born with what I have, both knees, and the older I get, the more I stay active and run and play basketball and work out and things like that, it's inflamed it and it's just rubbing, I guess, a hole in my kneecaps. So, it's just rubbing against each other and getting to where it's no fun. When I get out of the car, a lot of times I limp around. When I walk around a lot -- if I go to Vegas and walk for a day, I can't walk the next day. It's just a pain, is all it is. It's not bad by no means. It's very simple surgery that we'll get out of the way and be ready to go by January 1. Hopefully, I'll go to the Chili Bowl and be good to go."
Q) When are you going to have the surgery on your knees and do you know how long is the recovery period?
Kahne: "Tuesday morning at 5:30 AM and they say, I think, 35 minutes per knee. Get them done, go home, lay on the couch most of the day. By Thursday I think I will be pretty good so I will be able to eat full on at Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it. I think it will take maybe six weeks and then they will be like 100 percent or close to it."(Toyota)(11-20-2010)
Speed's option not picked up; #82 to #4? to Chevy? UPDATE: It was reported on SPEED's NASCAR Race Hub that driver of Red Bull Racing's #82 Toyota, Scott Speed, was told that his 2011 option was not picked up, making him a free agent in 2011 (NASCAR Race Hub).
AND Two people familiar with Kasey Kahne joining Red Bull said he'll replace Scott Speed next year in the two-driver lineup. Kahne will take over Speed's #82 team, but the car number will be changed to #4 to mimic what Kahne uses in sprint car competition. The two people spoke on condition of anonymity because Red Bull has not announced its full 2011 plans (Associated Press).
As reported before, Kahne's crew chief at Richard Petty Motorsports, Kenny Francis, will move over to Red Bull Racing in 2011 to be Kahne's crew chief in 2011. Current #83 crew chief, Jimmy Elledge is likely the odd crew chief out at Red Bull Racing. Ryan Pemberton, the crew chief for the current #82 team, would move back to the #83 team with Vickers. Also some rumors have been floated out there that Red Bull Racing could switch from Toyota to Chevy, with engines and chassis coming from Hendrick Motorsports. Kahne will move to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, to the #5 Chevy.(10-21-2010)
UPDATE: Red Bull Racing will field only two teams next season with Kasey Kahne in the #82 car and Brian Vickers in the #83, general manager Jay Frye said on Friday. Vickers' spot is contingent on his health. He has missed the last two-thirds of this season after being diagnosed with blood clots. If Vickers is healthy, #82 driver Scott Speed will become a free agent. Speed has a performance clause in his contract that relieves Red Bull Racing from financial responsibility past this season if he doesn't finish in the top 16 in points. Speed is 28th in points with five races remaining. "We're still monitoring Brian's health,'' Frye said. "So far everything looks really good.'' Frye said speculation that the #82 car would be changed to the #4 for Kahne next season is premature, noting there is an issue with Morgan-McClure, which retains the rights to the number.(ESPN), no mention on if the team stays with Toyota or switches to Chevy.(10-22-2010)
RPM owes millions UPDATE none to Kahne: More details are being revealed concerning the current financial situation at Richard Petty Motorsports, including approximately $12 million owed to the team's chassis and engine suppliers and former driver Kasey Kahne. Speaking on the condition on anonymity, a source with knowledge of the situation told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that RPM had fallen $9-10 million behind in its payments to Roush Fenway Racing and Roush Yates Racing Engines for race cars, engines and rear gear assemblies. That debt prompted Roush to repossess the team's Talladega cars, engines and gears earlier this week, but the cars were returned to RPM late Thursday morning after a partial payment was made. The engines reportedly remain in the possession of Roush Yates Racing Engines, awaiting an additional payment.
The same source revealed that Kahne is owed between $1 million and $1.25 million by RPM, and that those past-due paychecks played a major role in his criticism of the team following last Saturday night's race at Charlotte Motor Speedway. As of mid-afternoon Thursday, Kahne had not received a signed copy of his release from RPM, potentially compromising his ability to compete for Red Bull Racing this weekend at Martinsville. However, legal experts tell Sirius Speedway that Wednesday's press release from RPM announcing Kahne's release was legally binding, and will allow Kahne to drive for Red Bull this weekend without violating his contract with RPM. A second source within Richard Petty Motorsports confirmed that a series of high-level meetings were held throughout the day Thursday in an attempt to ensure that the team will be able to compete past next weekend's race at Talldega Superspeedway.(Sirius Speedway)(10-22-2010)
UPDATE - Kahne is paid: Kahne said RPM has met all its financial responsibilities to him, dismissing rumors that the decision to split early made sense for both sides. Red Bull Racing will pay Kahne's salary the rest of the season. Kahne said talks about a split began on Monday, two days after the brakes failed on his car for the second time in three races (and third time this season), leaving the driver frustrated. Kahne defended his decision not to return to the race after repairs were made, saying he was sick and unable to continue. He was offended that an RPM official questioned his commitment, saying he needed to do his part to help the team. "Anybody that questions my commitment doesn't know me very well,'' Kahne said. "I don't know if there is anybody out there that puts as much into it as I do throughout the week. I was sick to my stomach and it was time for me to call it a day. I'm happy I did it and ready to get on with this weekend.'' Kahne said the decision to split was not based on speculation that financial difficulties concerning RPM. He said he wished the team well the rest of the season. Kahne said he has agreed to maintain his commitments to sponsor Budweiser for the remainder of the season, including all meet and greets. He added this was not the way he wanted to end his relationship with Budweiser or RPM, but reiterated it was best for all parties.(ESPN)(10-22-2010)
Kahne released from RPM ride UPDATE 2 to #83 for rest of year: Kasey Kahne was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday night, clearing the way for him to join Red Bull Racing for the final five races of the season. RPM announced Kahne was out of the #9 Ford effective immediately, and Aric Almirola would drive the car this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Almirola had been on NASCAR's entry list to drive the #83 Toyota for Red Bull. But the plans apparently were scrapped after Kahne's blowup Saturday night when his brakes failed at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Kahne exploded in anger on the radio when his brakes failed for the third time this season, second time in two races. It led to a wreck with Sam Hornish Jr., and Kahne refused to get back in the car after it was repaired. He cited illness for not going back on the track, and the team used J.J. Yeley to finish the race.(Associated Press)(10-20-2010)
UPDATE: Kasey Kahne will drive the #83 at Red Bull Racing for the final five races after being released by Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday night, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com. Aric Almirola will replace Kahne in the #9 Budweiser Ford at RPM at Martinsville. No plans were announced for the remaining four races, but a source said Kahne's release could pave the way for #47 JTG Daugherty's Marcos Ambrose to move into the car that he will drive full-time next season. That would open the door for #09/71-Bobby Labonte to replace Ambrose in the #47 Toyota he will drive next season. Sources said there were talks before Kahne's release about moving Ambrose into the #9 and Labonte into the #47, but Kahne's sponsorship obligation with Budweiser was a holdup. Kahne announced earlier in the year he will drive for Red Bull Racing in 2011 before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Crew chief Kenny Francis, who will move with Kahne to Red Bull next season, told ESPN.com he will be with Almirola this weekend and he expects to remain with the team through the end of the season. "If they want me I will be there,"Francis said. Francis would not elaborate on why Kahne was released, saying it had been in the works all day (ESPN.com)(10-21-2010)
UPDATE 2: Kasey Kahne's year-plus stay in a Red Bull Toyota starts early and he'll begin driving the #83 this weekend at Martinsville Speedway. Kahne was released from Richard Petty Motorsports on Wednesday night, paving the way for the 30-year-old to drive the #83 in the final five races beginning with Sunday's Tums Fast Relief 500 at Martinsville Speedway. Kahne will drive a Red Bull Toyota full-time in 2011 before moving to Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. "With our agreement only being for one year, there is a great sense of urgency to get started on 2011," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team's vice president and general manager. "With Kasey coming earlier than planned, we are excited to have a five-race head start."(Red Bull)(10-21-2010)
Drivers visiting Walter Reed: NASCAR's annual visit to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center is set for Thursday, with a total of 10 drivers scheduled to attend along with NASCAR President Mike Helton. Drivers expected to visit include #43-AJ Allmendinger, #16-Greg Biffle, #2-Kurt Busch, #38-David Gilliland,#17-Matt Kenseth, #12-Brad Keselowski, #98-Paul Menard, #87-Joe Nemechek, #39-Ryan Newman and #82-Scott Speed. Show cars on display are expected to be #39 U.S. ARMY Chevy, #88 National Guard Chevy, #99 Scotts Ford, #2 Miller Lite Dodge, #11 FedEx Toyota, #24 National Guard Chevy, #10 Sprint show car and a NASCAR/Walter Reed Army Medical Center car.(NASCAR)(9-22-2010)
Almirola to stay by for Speed: Aric Almirola subbed for ailing Scott Speed, who spent part of Saturday's second [Happy Hour practice] session getting IV fluids in the New Hampshire Motor Speedway infield care center. Speed, who was suffering from a stomach bug, felt well enough by the end of practice to walk over to the Red Bull Racing garage stall as Almirola completed practice in the #82 Toyota. Speed is expected to be behind the wheel for Sunday's Sylvania 300, though the team has asked Almirola to stand by in case he's needed (Sporting News)(9-19-2010)
Speed discusses his future: from a Scott Speed diary - "There has been a lot going on at Red Bull Racing lately, led by our latest driver signing of Kasey Kahne. I think anyone in Red Bull's position would have done the same thing, so it is a good thing for them. I feel confident that I'll still be around so it doesn't change my program and in fact, it will give me another resource to work with" (Frontstretch), Speed runs the #82 Red Bull Toyota for Red Bull Racing and with Brian Vickers planning on returning from blood clot issues and Kasey Kahne signing for a year to run a car for TRB, speculation has Speed possibly being out of a ride in 2011.(9-17-2010)
Changes at Red Bull; Francis may join team: Red Bull Racing is restructuring its management team, though general manager Jay Frye will not be impacted by the changes to the NASCAR Sprint Cup organization. Frye will retain his current role, but technical director John Probst will have a larger role in the day-to-day operation of the teams. Probst will take on greater responsibility and oversee the manufacturing of the race cars and the fabrication and body shops. His move is an effort to streamline the organization that has struggled with its two-car Cup effort this season. Frye will continue to be active in the daily operation and administration of the team, with Probst concentrating on the competition side. In related news, #9-Kasey Kahne's Richard Petty Motorsports' crew chief Kenny Francis is close to signing a deal to join Kahne with the team for the 2011 season. Kahne has already announced plans to drive for the team next season, though his car number and whether the team will field two or three entries has not been confirmed (FoxSports)(9-15-2010)
Ekstrom & Sorenson to share #83 ride: Red Bull Racing plans to have Mattias Ekstrom and Reed Sorenson share the #83 Toyota the rest of the year but decisions about 2011 as far as crew chief for Kasey Kahne and what happens with #82-Scott Speed remain looming for the organization. Red Bull Vice President Jay Frye said Friday that there has been no determination on Scott Speed for next season or whether the organization could expand to three teams. Red Bull already has Kahne scheduled to drive one of its cars. Brian Vickers has been sidelined because of blood clots since May He must remain clear of blood clots, which he said the doctors have told him have been eliminated because of the heart surgery, to return. That would seem to leave Speed, who drives the #82 Toyota, out of a ride. He has a contract with the team that currently does not allow him to seek another ride. "[Having three teams] is still possible," Frye said Friday at Richmond International Raceway. "A lot of this dictates [on] Brian. Right now, everything looks great, which is great, but he is only halfway through the process so we're keeping our different options open. The doctors have said everything looks good, but we don't know until the process is done. We're optimistic about it." As far as Kahne's team for next year, Frye said he has not finalized who will crew chief the car for Kahne.
This week, Frye will be looking forward to seeing Ekstrom compete for the first time on an oval after he made his debut at Infineon Raceway in June with a 21st. He could see more races later this year. Reed Sorenson, who has been driving the #83 for most of the summer, will drive the races that Ekstrom does not. "We're going to see how he does this weekend first," Frye said. "There is a possibility that some things can happen with him between now and the end of the year to do another race. … Reed has been doing a great job. Mattias, we've been working on this before Sonoma [in June]." Ekstrom said he has three more races left this year driving for Audi in the DTM touring series in Germany. The Swede has a contract to drive the Audi again next year.(in part from SceneDaily)(9-11-2010)
Vickers had heart surgery for blood clots: Red Bull Racing driver Brian Vickers announced on Saturday he has been medically cleared to return to the Sprint Cup series next season. Vickers said in late May that he would take the rest of this season off after blood clots were discovered in his left leg and lungs. Since then a clot was discovered in a finger in his left hand. That led to extensive tests that determined he had a hole between the right and left atrium in his heart, as well as May-Thurner Syndrone, a rare condition that puts a patient at risk of more blood clots and possible stroke. Vickers said he had heart surgery to repair the hole on July 12. A stent was placed in a vein in his left leg a day later. The driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota said he will be off blood thinners prescribed for the clots by early- to mid-January and ready to return to NASCAR's premier series in time for the February Daytona 500. "[Doctors] gave me full clearance for next year," Vickers said from the media center at Bristol Motor Speedway. "I will be back in January. I'm real excited about that. They feel I'm probably in the best shape of my life." Red Bull recently announced that Kasey Kahne would drive one of its cars in 2011 as a stopgap before his contract with Hendrick Motorsports begins. General manager Jay Frye said at the time Kahne would drive either the 83, replace Scott Speed in the No. 82 or a third car would be added. Speed has one year left on his contract, but sources said there is an out if the driver ranks 16th or higher in points after this season. Speed currently is 27th. Speed told ESPN.com that there is more to the contract beyond the clause that could keep him in the #82.(ESPN)(8-21-2010)
Hendrick says Red Bull made most sense for Kahne: The owner of Hendrick Motorsports says he had four legitimate options for Kasey Kahne in 2011, but Red Bull Racing made the most sense because sponsorship wasn't an issue. "Three of them wanted to start a new team and two of them had plans beyond to keep going,'' Rick Hendrick said before Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Michigan International Speedway. "A couple wanted me to make sure I could help them with the sponsors because the sponsor was going to have to stay. Well, I couldn't control that. The more I thought about it, [Red Bull is] a top-flight team with a sponsor that is OK with a one-year deal. The sponsorship saying they are going to be with the guy for a year is a plus.''(ESPN.com)(8-16-2010)
Red Bull committed to NASCAR; open to 3 teams in 2011: UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody that there is no truth to rumors that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz may pull the plug on the team. "There is a huge commitment from Austria to this program," said Frye. "Red Bull came here in 2006 as an owner and a sponsor, and they have done everything right. It's become a joke in our team meetings every month. I usually have to say, `Everything's fine, don't believe the rumors.' I guess it's a compliment that they're talking about us, but it's also bothersome. There is a long term commitment by Red Bull to doing this program," Frye said. "They want to win and compete at a high level. That's their expectation, and we feel the same way. We still young with a ways to go, but getting a guy like Kasey Kahne -- even for one year -- makes us better. This team isn't going anywhere." Frye also said that options exist for the team to field three Toyotas for Kasey Kahne, Brian Vickers and Scott Speed, if necessary. Vickers is still months away from knowing whether he will be able to return to the cockpit in 2011, and Frye confirmed that the team is still evaluating Speed's performance, before making a final decision on his status for next season.(Sirius Speedway)(8-13-2010)
UPDATE: Although Red Bull Racing might not have a Sprint Cup seat for him next year, Scott Speed said Friday he has a contract with the team for 2011. The team announced Tuesday that Kasey Kahne would drive one of its cars in 2011 but did not say whether either of its drivers, Brian Vickers or Speed, is out of a ride. Vickers has been sidelined since May because of blood clots. He is undergoing treatment for the clots and likely won't know until November if the treatment is successful, whether he can remain off blood-thinners and race again. Speed indicated Friday that he cannot negotiate with other teams about 2011. "I have a contract with Red Bull," Speed said prior to practice at Michigan International Speedway. "It's not like I'm out. I can't even go out and look for other rides at the moment." Red Bull Racing Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye said Tuesday that the organization could possibly go to three teams but didn't confirm that Speed would be in a car in 2011.(Scene Daily)(8-14-2010)
Toyota ok with having Kahne for only one year: [Some people] claim it's impossible for a future Hendrick/GM driver to run under a different manufacturer. But consider Hendrick isn't exactly a full-time Chevy guy, either. He has a handful of Toyota dealerships, just like he sells Dodges and BMWs, too. "Rick Hendrick is a friend to our company," said Toyota President Lee White, who immediately pointed out those connections and reconfirmed his company's commitment to Red Bull through 2012. So there was no need for Hendrick to even jump over the Toyota hurdle, as White didn't know of any potential signing until the weekend of Watkins Glen. Some might wonder how Toyota ends up a winner despite only having Kahne for one year. But in talking to White, he emphasized how growing organizations like Red Bull need to have drivers with the veteran experience to win races. "With this economy, you don't own people," he said, stressing the fact one year could lead to long-term benefits for Red Bull. "All we care about is a driver's potential to win races." That's why White gave Red Bull his blessing, stressing the ability for a team to make its own decisions. And with a Red Bull/Toyota commitment that lasts through 2012, he hopes for long-term improvement while looking forward to milking the Kahne connection for all its worth. "I can't wait to see the sponsifier commercial for Kahne," he joked about the popular award-winning campaign for the manufacturer.(Sports Illustrated), and Kahne is driving for two different manufacturers this season: Fords is Cup for Richard Petty Motorsports and Toyotas in Nationwide for Braun Racing.(8-11-2010)
Ekström testing: Hearing that Mattias Ekström is testing a Red Bull Car today and Wednesday at Greasham Motorsports Park.(8-10-2010)
Kahne to Red Bull in 2011? UPDATES: Red Bull Racing has emerged as the likely place for Kasey Kahne in the 2011 Sprint Cup season, the Observer and ThatsRacin.com have learned. Under a proposed arrangement, Kahne would drive one of Red Bull Racing's Toyota's next season as he waits to take over Hendrick's #5 Chevy in 2012, sources close to the situation confirmed Sunday. Mark Martin, as he has maintained since news of Kahne's signing by Hendrick became public in April, would drive the #5 next season, his last with Hendrick. Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing's general manager, would neither confirm nor deny his organization has been in discussions with Hendrick Motorsports to have Kahne drive a Red Bull car next season. Sources maintained that the deal to put Kahne at Red Bill has not been completed, but insisted that it is the most viable option for the 30-year-old driver from Enumclaw, Wash. An HMS spokesman declined to comment on the Kahne-to-Red Bill scenario after Sunday's race. Kahne's agent did not respond to a request for comment.(Charlotte Observer)(8-9-2010)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports owner Rick Hendrick has completed a deal to put Kasey Kahne in a Red Bull Racing Toyota in 2011, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation. An announcement could come as early as Tuesday. Which Red Bull car Kahne will drive is still to be determined. Neither of Red Bull's current drivers are guaranteed to drive for the team in 2011. Team general manager Jay Frye has said a decision should be announced on Scott Speed's status by the end of August. Brian Vickers, who has been sidelined since May for the treatment for blood clots, won't know until November if the treatments worked well enough for him to return next season, although the team is optimistic. Hendrick had originally said that he expected to be able to place Kahne in a Chevy for 2011, but it appears it will be a Toyota, which signed a contract extension with Red Bull last year.(Scene Daily)(8-9-2010)
UDPATE 2 Kasey Kahne will drive a Red Bull Racing Team Toyota in 2011, the team announced. "We were fortunate to have the opportunity to hire a very talented driver for the 2011 season and we took it," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team Vice President and General Manager. "This is a unique situation that doesn't happen every day. Kasey is a perfect fit for our company, team and Red Bull." "This opportunity places me with an established, competitive team that has proven they can win races and make the Chase," Kahne said. "I have great respect for Red Bull, so to have the opportunity to drive for Red Bull Racing Team in 2011 is a great fit for me, both personally and professionally. It feels good to be able to finally put this to rest and focus my energy on finishing the season strong for the 9 team and our sponsors." "This obviously all happened very quickly," Frye added. "Over the next month, we will finalize the specific team details."(Red Bull Racing PR)(8-10-2010)
UPDATE 3: Statement from Rick Hendrick: "Kasey is going to a competitive organization that made the Chase last season and has great leadership and resources," said Hendrick, owner of Hendrick Motorsports. "Of everything we looked at, he and I agree it's the best opportunity for him to be successful in 2011, which was always our number-one priority. The process went on longer than any of us anticipated, but I'm glad that we took our time to make sure it was right. And although I'm not looking forward to racing against him next year, I'm comfortable knowing this is the best situation for Kasey." As announced in April, veteran Mark Martin will continue to drive Hendrick Motorsports' #5 Chevys in 2011. "We're looking forward to another year with Mark Martin, one of the true class acts in racing, driving for Hendrick Motorsports," Hendrick said. "There aren't many things in this world I'd rather do than win a championship with him, and that will be our goal with the #5 team for the rest of this year and in 2011."(Hendrick PR)(8-10-2010)
Red Bull will decide on Speed's future soon: Red Bull Racing plans to announce in the next month whether driver #82-Scott Speed will return to the team next year, Red Bull general manager Jay Frye confirmed Sunday at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In his second full season of Cup racing, Speed is 26th in the standings. He was 35th last year, and while he's nine spots better in the standings and has been running at the finish of every race this year, Speed only has two top-10 finishes and has finished on the lead lap in 10 of the 20 races. "We should have some sort of announcement with him in the next month," Frye said Sunday. "We need to perform. We need to do better. We started the year off pretty strong. We kind of regressed a little bit here the last little bit. The 27-year-old Speed, who competed in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, was asked Saturday about rumors that he had signed a contract extension with the organization. "I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about it," Speed said. "We'll see."(Scene Daily)(7-26-2010)
Martin to Red Bull in 2011? UPDATE2 denied: on the Sirius NASCAR Radio Facebook page, it is reported: "Randy Pemberton says that Mark Martin will move over to Red Bull Racing next year and Kasey will come to Hendrick and race the #5 car next season." Doesn't say which Red Bull car the #82 Scott Speed drivers, the #83 that Brian Vickers is supposed to return to in 2011 or a third Red Bull Racing team.(7-7-2010)
UPDATE: Martin's Business Manager, Benny Ertel, called the reports "aggravating," saying his driver has grown tired of answering the same questions, week after week. "It's the same thing, over and over again," he said. "We walk into the media center and someone immediately raises their hand and asks about where Mark will be racing next season. Mark has answered the question a thousand times and it's always the same answer. `I will be driving the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season.' That's as simple as it is, but some reporters just don't listen."
"Randy Pemberton went on Sirius NASCAR Radio the other day and said Mark will be driving for Red Bull next season," said Ertel. "There's not a shred of truth to that statement, and he never bothered to ask Mark, Rick Hendrick or anyone else about it. If he had asked, he would have been told -- in no uncertain terms -- that it was a load of hooey. I don't know what's so difficult to understand, Mark Martin will drive the #5 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports next season. Period."(Sirius Speedway)(7-8-2010)
UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing VP/GM Jay Frye told Sirius NASCAR Radio's Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody Friday that there is no truth to reports that Mark Martin will drive for the team next season. "It's flattering to be associated with a guy like Mark Martin," said Frye. "He's a great racer, and any team would love to have him. But he has a contract with Hendrick Motorsports for 2011, and that means he cannot drive for us, or anyone else. I've heard the reports, and there is absolutely nothing to them."(7-9-2010)
Tire test at Bristol: NASCAR drivers #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, #11-Denny Hamlin, #82-Scott Speed and #6-David Ragan participated in a Goodyear tire test Tuesday at Bristol Motor Speedway in preparation for the August NASCAR Sprint Cup Series IRWIN Tools Night Race.(BMS)(6-30-2010)
Sawyer parts ways with Red Bull Racing: Elton Sawyer will part ways with Red Bull Racing, effective Monday. Sawyer, 50, who was hired as the competition director for the start-up company more than four years ago, was told of his fate last Thursday. Sawyer says that on Monday both parties agreed that this would be his last week. Sawyer is uncertain of his next career move. He was testing with Red Bull development driver Cole Whitt on Tuesday at Rockingham and will accompany Mattias Ekstrom to Sonoma this weekend as the Swede acquaints himself on the 1.99-mile road course in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West race prior to making his Sprint Cup debut in the 83 Red Bull Toyota on Sunday. Sawyer competed in the Busch Series (now the Nationwide Series) from 1983 until 2002. The Chesapeake, Va., native won races at Myrtle Beach and New Hampshire while driving Fords for Akin-Sutton and finished a career-best fifth in the points standings in three different seasons. Sawyer also ran 29 Cup races between 1995 and 1996. His best finish came at Talladega, where he finished 14th driving a Junior Johnson Ford.(FoxSports)(6-15-2010)
Red Bull makes crew changes: Red Bull Racing Team officials announced the swap of crew chiefs and supporting personnel between the #82 and #83 Toyotas, effective immediately. "Due to the circumstances of our current situation, we have an opportunity to experiment with different personnel combinations," said Jay Frye, Red Bull Racing Team General Manager and Vice President. #82 driver Scott Speed is paired with crew chief Ryan Pemberton, and #83 driver Casey Mears with crew chief Jimmy Elledge, who previously worked with Mears at Chip Ganassi Racing from 2003-2005, earning two poles, four top-fives and 18 top-10 finishes.(Red Bull Racing Team)(6-1-2010)
Mattias Ekstrom tests at VIR for Red Bull: Red Bull Racing Team tested Tuesday at Virginia International Raceway, with both the #82 and #83 Red Bull Toyotas turning laps around the southern Virginia road course. Filling in for Brian Vickers, Sweden’s Mattias Ekstrom piloted the #83 car to provide the team testing support for the upcoming road-course race in Sonoma, CA. “I was really surprised how the car drove today. Everyone had told me that it would be very special and it was quite nice,” said Ekstrom, a Red Bull-backed driver for the past nine years and two-time DTM champion with Audi. “The first hour of the test I was fighting the car a lot just getting used to the power, the weight and the fact that the car has little aero — all things that are very different for me. A few hours into the test I felt a lot more comfortable in the car and overall I think we had a really good test. I came into this test not having any experience in these types of cars, and also having never worked with the #83 team before, so it was really nice to see how well we all worked together. I really enjoyed my first Sprint Cup test and am glad to have had this opportunity.”(Red Bull Racing Team)(5-29-2010)
Red Bull Racing forms partnership: Red Bull Racing Team has formed a new technical partnership with MobileDemand, a leading Rugged Tablet PC provider. RBRT will use the MobileDemand xTablet T7000 Rugged Mini Tablet PC to monitor tires, compute fuel consumption, and track timing and scoring. The tablets will give the team a competitive edge by allowing information to be communicated faster and more efficiently throughout each race weekend. The ultra mobile computers will be predominately used by tire specialists, spotters, and gasmen to record and compute data. Integrated bar code scanners will assist tire specialists in organizing race tires. Timing and scoring will provide spotters with real-time information to assist the driver and crew during on-track activities. The Tablet PC will also allow gasmen to provide fuel data to the race engineer in a timelier manner. The MobileDemand xTablet T7000 rugged Ultra Mobile PC is ideal for harsh environments. It is small and light enough to carry all day yet military-rugged to withstand rain, dust, shocks and multiple drops to concrete. It has a full XSVGA 7- inch all-light readable touch display for easy viewing even in sunlight. It also has a bar code and RFID reader, a built-in numeric keypad and optional QWERTY keyboard, a color camera and wireless radio. The xTablet T7000 also runs on and Intel Atom processor and full Windows 7 OS so it can run specialized applications as well as standard Microsoft applications.(Red Bull Racing Team)(5-29-2010)
Third best race for Red Bull Racing: both Red Bull Toyotas finished in the top 10 for the second time in three-plus years of Sprint Cup racing. #83-Brian Vickers survived two overtime restarts and 16 extra laps to finish seventh in Sunday’s Kobalt Tools 500 — 525, really — at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Not far behind was and #82-Scott Speed, whose 10th-place finish was his best at a track not named Talladega. Vickers posted his first top 10 of the season, third in a row at Atlanta and fifth in the past six races there. He’s finished in the top 10 in half of his 14 starts at the 1.54-mile track. Vickers climbed to 16th in the standings and is only 14 points from the top 12. Speed's #82 Red Bull Toyota crossed the stripe in 10th, his best finish since running fifth at Talladega in April 2009. And Sunday continued Speed’s strong start to his sophomore season. He owns finishes of 19th, 11th, 22nd and 10th, and is tied with Jeff Gordon for 11th in points. This is the third best finish in three plus years for Red Bull Racing following Talladega last April when Vickers finished 8th and Speed 5th and at Pocono in June 2008 when Vickers finished 2nd and A.J. Allmendinger 12th.(Red Bull Racing)(3-9-2010)
Schrader to run in Bud Shootout? UPDATE: hearing that NASCAR Sprint Cup veteran driver, Ken Schrader, who won the Bud Shootout in 1989 and 1990 [and is now eligible to run the race] will drive the #82 Red Bull Racing Toyota in the 2010 Budweiser Shootout at Daytona International Speedway on February 6th. Schrader became eligible for the race when the eligibility requirements were changed recently.(1-6-2010)
UPDATE: When NASCAR announced a revised format for this season's Shootout race, two-time Shootout winner Ken Schrader came knocking on Red Bull Racing Team's door. With Schrader's past winners spot, and a #82 team eager to start the season, the pairing just made sense. Schrader will pilot the #82 Red Bull Toyota for the February 6 feature race at Daytona International Speedway. Scott Speed, the full- time driver of the #82, is not one of the drivers eligible to compete in the Shootout. Speed will take back the reins of the Red Bull Toyota for the Daytona 500 on February 14. "Kenny's desire and dedication to NASCAR has always made him a favorite among fans and throughout the garage area," said VP and General Manager Jay Frye. "We’re excited he approached us with the idea and are looking forward to giving him the opportunity he deserves and has earned.” The NASCAR veteran earned a starting spot in this season's race by winning the event in both 1989 and 1990 (TRB). For more info on the race, the new format and rules, see my 2010 Budweiser Shootout page.(1-7-2010)
Mobil 1 and Toyota UPDATE: not quite sure what this is all about, have heard nor seen anything but......Mobil 1 Racing and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) U.S.A to make announcement about 2010 NASCAR season Friday at Phoenix International Raceway, scheduled to be attending the announcement are Brian Vickers, driver of the #83 Red Bull Toyota; Michael Waltrip, owner of Michael Waltrip Racing and driver of the #55 NAPA Toyota; Lee White, President and General Manager, TRD; Harold Shablom, Global Motorsport Manager, ExxonMobil Lubricants & Specialties.(PR)(11-13-2009)
UPDATE: ExxonMobil and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) unveiled a new technological partnership in which ExxonMobil will provide its Mobil 1 racing oil technology and products to TRD- supported NASCAR teams. Kicking off at the start of the 2010 NASCAR season, TRD-supplied NASCAR engines will be filled with specially modified motor oil based on the same technology available to consumers in Mobil 1 Racing oils, which were unveiled in April. The TRD-specific motor oils will deliver outstanding power via unique low-friction synthetic lubricant technology combined with boosted levels of anti-wear additives to protect and extend the life of engine hardware. Formally announced before the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Checker O'Reilly Auto Parts 500 at Phoenix International Raceway, the collaboration will pair Mobil 1, the “Official Motor Oil of NASCAR,” with one of NASCAR’s top engine manufacturers. With this new partnership, ExxonMobil’s racing oil technology will now provide performance and protection for the TRD-supported Red Bull Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing NASCAR teams.(Toyota PR)(11-14-2009)
Red Bull Racing re-ups with Toyota: Red Bull Racing Team has extended its partnership with Toyota in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. The agreement continues a three-year relationship where Toyota has supported Red Bull Racing Team’s progression from a start-up organization to a berth in the championship- deciding Chase. “Our partnership with Toyota has been a critical element to the success of Red Bull Racing Team,” said Jay Frye, RBRT vice president and general manager. “Both Red Bull Racing Team and Toyota share a common goal of being a championship-contending team. Toyota has supplied the engine and technical support we need to get our teams into victory lane and now the Chase for the Championship. We look forward to the future with Toyota.” Toyota has been an integral part of the team’s success as both an engine supplier and manufacturer. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Red Bull Racing Team – a member of our ‘freshman class’ in 2007 when Toyota joined the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as a manufacturer,” said Lee White, president and general manager for Toyota Racing Development, U.S.A. We are extremely proud of the team's and Brian's accomplishments, including their first victory and qualifying for the Chase.”(RBRT)(9-16-2009)
No plans for Red Bull Racing to expand: Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye says there are no plans as of now for the organization to expand to three NASCAR Sprint Cup teams next season. Red Bull, in its third season in NASCAR’s top series, currently fields entries for driver #83-Brian Vickers and rookie #82-Scott Speed. “There’s really no goal to have a third team at this point, in my opinion,” Frye said on Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. “We have to get our two teams both competing in the high levels every week before you would think about expanding. We’ve got one team [Vickers’ #83 team] that’s competing at a high level every week. Scott, obviously part of his development now, we’re getting into phase two of that where we’re going to race tracks for a second time, and obviously we need to see an improvement from the first races.” Speed has just one top-10 finish – a fifth at Talladega – in 22 starts this season and has failed to qualify three times. Frye hopes Speed’s results will improve as he gains more seat time and revisits tracks, such as last weekend at Michigan, where he had only competed once before. As for Red Bull’s widely rumored switch from Toyotas to Chevrolets next season, Frye said negotiations are ongoing and didn’t rule anything out. “Manufacturer-wise we’re working really hard to get that done,” he said. “That is the next step in our progression to lock that down for a few years. Again, Toyota has been a great partner, and we are working through a lot of different scenarios with them. I would anticipate everything being shored up at some point in the near future with them.”(SceneDaily)(8-22-2009)
Red Bull to stay with Toyota: It looks like Team Red Bull will be sticking with Toyotas and TRD engines in 2010, rather than jump to Chevys and Rick Hendrick horsepower. Team manager Jay Frye said he expected to make some announcements on everything in the next week or so. Brian Vickers' contract renewal with Red Bull has been up in the air, but Vickers is expected to get a new deal with the team, and Vickers is also expected to drive some for Toyota Nationwide owner Todd Braun in 2010.(MikeMulhern.net)(8-10-2009)
Red Bull getting closer on manufacturer, Vickers: Red Bull Racing's vice president and general manager, Jay Frye, spent nearly 24 hours traveling to Austria for a three-hour meeting last Tuesday at his company's headquarters, and Friday at Pocono Raceway confirmed the team is evaluating manufacturers for 2010 and getting closer to re-signing lead driver #83-Brian Vickers. "And that was a long [meeting] -- usually they're only an hour or two," Frye said, laughing. "The meeting was great and there's lots of enthusiasm for what we're doing with the program. I would think in the next short while we'd have some sort of announcement of what the future is and what we have going on. I think what happened at the meeting was, all the scenarios were laid out, and they're all great scenarios, but it was about what're we going to do 10 years from now, or five years from now? "A lot of stuff was exchanged and there are a lot of things they have to review. I had a couple things I had to come back and do that have been done, so in a very short while we should have some things resolved." Vickers has said he has an oral agreement to continue with Red Bull Racing Team, for which he's driven the #83 Toyota since 2007, the inaugural year for both Red Bull and the manufacturer in the Cup Series. Frye, who joined Red Bull's third-year Cup program last season, said that's part of the reasoning that has put Red Bull in position to evaluate whether it will stay with the Toyota Camrys it's run since it joined the series, or switch to another carmaker, speculated to be Chevrolet. David Wilson, senior vice president of Toyota Racing Development, came from a meeting with Frye to Pocono's infield media center and said, despite knowing about Red Bull's evaluation process, the manufacturer hadn't changed its focus. "The bottom line is we continue to work with Red Bull and we continue to desire a longer-term partnership," Wilson said. A Chevrolet spokesperson said the manufacturer would have no comment regarding its team lineup. Frye said Red Bull had no designs currently on expanding beyond two cars or diversifying into the Nationwide Series, where Vickers' teammate, #82-Scott Speed, has about a half-dozen more races to run this season with Michael Waltrip Racing. "My opinion right now is we have to make sure these two teams are shored up and competing at a high level every week, and once you can do that, that's when you start looking at expanding," Frye said. "The whole team has come a long way, we made great gains in 2008 and statistically we're ahead of where we were last year. Just like everybody else, we've had some bad luck and we've had some things happen."(in part from NASCAR.com)(8-2-2009)
Speed to visit Victory Junction: #82 Red Bull Racing driver Scott Speed makes his first trip to Victory Junction Tuesday night in Randleman, NC for "Irritable Bowel Disorder Week." Speed will take a tour of the facility, and have dinner and play games with campers who suffer from irritable bowel disorders including both Chron's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Speed was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis when he was twenty years old. UC is a chronic inflammatory disease that causes open sores or ulcers to form in the large intestine, or colon. Speed is a National Spokesperson for the Chron's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).(TRB)(7-28-2009)