Past 2010 News
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)
Past 2009 News
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)
- Keselowski to Penske next year? UPDATE 4 Red Bull denied: For the second straight season, Brad Keselowski is the top candidate for the #12 Penske Racing Dodge. David Stremme has experienced a couple of miserable weeks at the racetrack and is currently 32nd in the point standings. Keselowski said on Friday he does not have a deal signed for next year. Certainly for a self-proclaimed "Eastsider," partnering with fellow Detroit-based Roger Penske would be an honor. Keselowski was offered the #12 ride last year after Ryan Newman announced he was leaving the ride to join Stewart-Haas Racing.(Fox Sports)(7-11-2009)
UPDATE: Brad Keselowski's racing team for 2010 is still undecided. The 25-year-old Keselowski hoped a recent meeting with team owner Rick Hendrick would answer some questions about where he'd be racing next season. Keselowski wants a full-time ride next year, and he's optimistic he can stay affiliated with Hendrick Motorsports. He discussed several possibilities with Hendrick, though no final decision was reached. "I have some preferences, but I haven't gotten very far with them," Keselowski said. "I'm not really close on anything." No matter where he ends up, Keselowski felt he would have a full-time ride next season. "I feel pretty confident that's the way it's heading," he said. "It would have to be a big problem to come up for that not to happen."(Associated Press)(7-12-2009)
UPDATE 2: #88-Dale Earnhardt, Jr. said there's "only a 10 percent chance" he'll move his JR Motorsports team from the Nationwide to the Cup series next year. "I basically just wanted to put feelers out there and see what kind of interest there was from sponsors," he said. "I would have to drive the car myself (to get a sponsor) and I'm going to be working for Rick for the next couple of years, at least."(Indianapolis Star)
UPDATE 3: Brad Keselowski wasn't kidding when he said he had "options" for next season. In addition to being close to re-signing a deal with JR Motorsports to run in the Nationwide Series, the latest buzz has Keselowski paired with Red Bull Racing. If Keselowski indeed stays with JRM, the only scenario that would work on the Cup side would be with a Chevy team. Maybe Red Bull is closer to inking a Chevy deal. Rick Hendrick said on Saturday that HMS has the resources to include Red Bull in its engine program.(FoxSports)(7-13-2009)
UPDATE 4: been told by sources that no one at Red Bull Racing has talked to Keselowski about driving for the team in 2010.(7-15-2009)
- Speed getting married this weekend: #82 Red Bull Racing Team driver Scott Andrew Speed will wed Amanda Smith Mathis on Saturday, July 18th in a black and white-themed ceremony and reception. The couple, who wrote their own vows, will say "I do"at the 55-acre Graylyn Estate in Winston Salem, NC in front of 120 of their closest friends and family. The couple became engaged in November 2008. "I'm really excited for our wedding this weekend, for sure!" Speed said. "Amanda has put a lot of planning into this wedding so I know it will be a really fun evening. We have a lot of family and friends coming in town to see us tie the knot, so it will be nice to hang out and have some fun with everyone. What can I say - head first, here we go!" The 26-year old Speed helped pick the wedding location and the design for the invitations, but when it came down to details, he let his bride-to-be take the reins. "Honestly, Scott's just been too busy this year to find time for wedding planning," Mathis said. "I'm definitely the organized one of the the two of us, so I really enjoyed the wedding planning experience. Scott claims he's going to have one final input - and that's the song for our first dance - but we'll see about that!"(Red Bull Racing Team)(7-14-2009)
- Latest on Red Bull to Chevy: Red Bull Racing [#82 & #83] will decide in a month whether to switch from Toyota to General Motors in 2010, sources close to the situation said. There has been speculation for a month that Red Bull would move to Chevys with the chassis and engines supplied by Hendrick Motorsports. HMS owner Rick Hendrick has said he needs to pick up some additional business to make up for the financial support GM cut after it filed for bankruptcy last month. Red Bull general manager Jay Frye, who has worked with HMS in the past, said Thursday at Daytona International Speedway, that no decision has been made. Richard Petty Motorsports could leave Dodge and fill Red Bull's vacancy if there is one. Robbie Loomis, the vice president for race operations at RPM, said the organization continues talking to all manufacturers about next season.(ESPN Insider)(7-3-2009)
- More on Red Bull Manufacturer: Red Bull Racing driver #83-Brian Vickers has won back-to-back poles in a Toyota Camry, but to hear his boss talk, it doesn’t sound like that will make a difference on whether Red Bull remains a Toyota team. Red Bull is in its final year of its Toyota contract, and there has been speculation that Red Bull, could move to Chevrolet (without manufacturer support). But wouldn’t two consecutive poles make the team brass think twice about going to a new manufacturer, especially after being one of Toyota’s initial teams when it entered Cup in 2007? “Ask them,” Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye said at Infineon Raceway Saturday. “Obviously Toyota has been great to us. We’ve been one of their freshman teams and all that. We appreciate everything they’re doing and continue to do. We’re going through lots of different scenarios right now. There’s a lot going on in the world and it’s been reported that our deal is up with them at the end of the year and it’s possible they don’t want us to come back, right? It’s possible. Or it’s possible they want us to come back but they can’t for some reason do that. Anything is possible.” Toyota Racing Development senior vice president Dave Wilson said the manufacturer wants to continue the relationship with Red Bull and there have been discussions to extend the relationship. There have been reductions in Toyota’s total racing budget, but Wilson said the manufacturer wants to have 10-12 cars on the track. “We have a great deal of loyalty to those guys,” Wilson said. “They slogged it out in the tough entry period in ’07 and obviously we should have notched a couple of victories with Red Bull. We’re certainly not looking to change that.” Frye said there is no time frame to make a decision. The other contract Red Bull needs to get finalized is the one for Vickers. Frye indicated that everything just needs a look in the corporate offices in Austria. “Everything is agreed, done, just the legalese stuff and things like that are going on right now. There’s no [issues],” Frye said.(SceneDaily)(6-22-2009)
- Red Bull to Chevy? UPDATE: It is very possible that Brian Vickers, winner of the pole at Michigan International Speedway on Friday, could be behind the wheel of the #83 Red Bull Chevy next season. Yes, Chevy. Over the last three years, the Red Bull program has worked to gain speed but has experienced some reliability issues with the Toyota Racing Development engines. Red Bull's contract with Toyota is up at the end of this season. And although General Motors likely cannot afford to support additional teams at this time, Austrian billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz, who owns race teams in both NASCAR and Formula One, could certainly afford to take on the role as Chevy parts customer. If Red Bull Racing was to make the switch to Chevy engines, Hendrick Motorsports would be the logical choice of vendor. Given Jay Frye's relationship with HMS, most recently during the management of Ginn Racing and MB2 Motorsports prior to that, there's a familiarity as a technical customer.(FoxSports)(6-13-2009)
UPDATE: Red Bull is in its last year of a three-year contract with Toyota and that's led to a report that the team could switch manufacturers to Chevrolet and receive equipment from Hendrick Motorsports, as Stewart-Haas Racing does. The team fields cars for Brian Vickers, who is starting on the pole for today's race, and rookie Scott Speed. "We're going through lots of different scenarios right now,'' said Jay Frye, the team's general manager. "It's possible they won't want us to come back. It's possible. Or it's possible that they want us to come back but they can't for some reason do that. Anything is possible at this point. They've been a great partner. We'll see here shortly what's the next step.''(Roanoke Times)(6-21-2009)
- Speed to race the #87 car at Infineon: Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye worked a deal with #87-Joe Nemechek, who qualified 31st, to put Scott Speed in his car for Sunday's race. Nemechek races in old Red Bull cars, and qualified in one of their Toyotas from last season. Red Bull, which also borrowed his car for Speed at Darlington last month, will cut Nemechek a later deal as payment for the Sonoma favor. "I came here to race, but I told them 'Hey, whatever you need me to do,' " Nemechek said of turning over his ride. Speed, a former Formula One driver with a tremendous amount of road course experience, was having a strong run that would have solidly put him in the field when he overdrove his car and went off course. Although he saved it from a wreck, it sunk his qualifying chances.(ESPN/AP)(6-20-2009)
- Kyle Busch & Scott Speed to drive for Ganassi in Rolex event at Daytona: Chip Ganassi Racing will field a second entry for Sprint Cup Series drivers Kyle Busch and Scott Speed in the Brumos Porsche 250 at Daytona International Speedway on July 4. The race will take the green flag at 2 p.m. ET, and will be televised live on SPEED in advance of that evening's Sprint Cup race. The duo will make their Grand-Am Rolex Series debut piloting the #02 Lexus Riley alongside defending Grand-Am series champions Scott Pruett and Memo Rojas in the #01 Lexus Riley.(Chip Ganassi Racing PR)(6-15-2009)
- Red Bull Racing Team will host their annual Fan Day on Friday, May 22 at the shop located at 136 Knob Hill Road in Mooresville, N.C. Fan Day runs from 10am to 3pm/et with appearances by drivers Brian Vickers and Scott Speed from 12noon to 1pm. Tickets for driver autographs will be given out starting at 10am to the first 200 fans. Red Bull Racing Team's Fan Day will feature music from DJ Van Dam, Red Bull sorbet, a performance by BMX flatland rider Terry Adams, a Red Bull Albatross flyover, as well as pit crew members teaching the art of changing tires. Fans will have a chance to win big in a raffle that includes a driver uniform, gloves and shoes signed by Vickers, a #82 hood and 1:24-scale diecast signed by Speed, framed photos and team merchandise.(TRB)(5-20-2009)
- Speed to run #87 for Nemechek: Scott Speed will drive Nemco Motorsports' #87 Toyota tonight in the Southern 500, a Red Bull Racing spokeswoman confirmed Saturday afternoon. Speed failed to qualify his #82 Toyota for the Sprint Cup race on Friday at Darlington after crashing in practice and going to a backup car. Red Bull worked out an arrangement with Nemco to have Speed replace driver Joe Nemechek. Speed already seemed to rebound well from not qualifying for the Sprint Cup race, as he finished 13th in the Diamond Hill Plywood 200 Nationwide Series race Friday night at Darlington. Speed is driving a part-time schedule for Michael Waltrip Racing in that series. By putting Speed in the car, which will keep its regular logos, Red Bull will get the rookie valuable experience and Speed will earn the driver points. Team owner Joe Nemechek will get to keep the owners points. Depending on the financial arrangement, Nemechek also likely got some money for his unsponsored team to continue to go to races.(SceneDaily)(5-9-2009)
- Allmendinger and Speed on USF1's short list UPDATE Speed says NO: Sources tell AutoRacingSport.com that NASCAR Sprint Cup drivers AJ Allmendinger and Scott Speed are 'definitely' on the short list of the newly formed USF1 Formula 1 team that's set to begin competition in 2010 while IndyCar star Danica Patrick and NASCAR Sprint Cup sensation 'Kyle Busch are not. Ken and Peter (Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor-USF1 team Principals) are really looking for open wheel experience, and Scott and AJ (Speed and Allmendinger) fit that bill quite well, with AJ being a winner in Champ Car and Scott having F1 experience.' our source informs us.(AutoRacingSport.com)(3-28-2009)
UPDATE: Oh yeah, there’s one other thing I [Scott Speed] wanted to mention. Even though I might talk fondly about my F1 days, I’m not going back. So don’t believe anything that anyone is saying about me joining the new U.S. F1 team next year. Those rumors were generated by journalists who were just being journalists, that’s all. So get used to me, I’m not going anywhere!(Frontstretch.com/Scott Speed Diary)(4-4-2009)
- Scott Speed...the DJ? With his ear on the Winter Music Conference later this month in Miami, Scott Speed is taking DJ lessons on Thursday in midtown Atlanta. He’ll hook up with DJ TD — short for music mixer Tim DeGroot — for the first of several scratch sessions that Speed has planned before the March 23-25 Winter Music Conference. “He’s going to spend some time working with me to teach me the basics of DJ’ing,” said Speed, whose favorite artists include DJ Tiesto, Timbaland, Lupe Fiasco, Kanye West and Placebo. “I’ve already been working on some stuff on my own with DJ equipment in my basement, so I’m hoping DJ TD will have some good stuff to add to what I’m learning. “I just like doing as much as I can. Life’s short — I want to do all of it.” The WMC is a weeklong electronic music event held every March since the mid- 1980s in south Florida. The event moved to Miami Beach in 1991 and was considered a major catalyst in the establishment of the South Beach club scene. WMC draws more than 3,500 music industry participants and 62,000 event participants from 70 countries.(Red Bull Racing)(3-5-2009)
- Arnett, Speed win Rookie Cooking Challenge: Michael Annett and Scott Speed teamed to win the Fourth Annual Raybestos Rookie Cooking Challenge Thursday afternoon at ESPN Zone Las Vegas. Annett and Speed prepared a tasty dish of elbow macaroni with meat sauce, garlic onion and mozzarella cheese. Other drivers competing in the event were Max Papis, Scott Lagasse Jr., John Wes Townley and Justin Allgaier. The event was judged by members of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Las Vegas. All drivers who participated in the cooking competition were assisted by members of the ESPN Zone Culinary Team, led by chef Chris Gagen. Once the meals were prepared, each child from the Boys and Girls Clubs sampled the dishes and their applause determined the overall winner. Following the contest, drivers and kids played games in ESPN Zone’s interactive Sports Arena.(Raybestos PR)(3-1-2009)
- Some NASCAR drivers linked with new US F1 team UPDATE: With the new prospective American team USF1 set to be announced officially on Tuesday [Live press conference on SPEED 12noon/et], attention is already turning to the possible occupants of the Charlotte-built race cockpits in 2010. Indycar star Danica Patrick has already played down her reported link with the outfit, but other notable American names have also been mentioned in various quarters of the racing world. #44-AJ Allmendinger's has been another name associated with USF1, but he said he is concentrating on his NASCAR foray even though he views a formula one opportunity as "intriguing". The motor sport writer for the Toronto Star claims #18-Kyle Busch should be "a shoo-in" for a USF1 seat, while the 26-year-old veteran of 28 grands prix #82-Scott Speed has also been linked with Ken Anderson and Peter Windsor's project, as have Conor Daly and Marco Andretti. Windsor is quoted by Britain's The Independent newspaper as clarifying that no decisions about details including engines and drivers have been made. "We have yet to speak to any drivers, but we are looking at every American with the right credentials, and Danica is definitely on the list," he said.(
UPDATE: Kyle Busch's agent said the young NASCAR star would "certainly leave the door open" to try Formula One "at some point" after Busch's name was mentioned during a press conference announcing a new American-based F1 team. Officials with the USF1 team, which will be based out of Charlotte, said it would be interested in having Busch drive its car. Busch is under contract at Joe Gibbs Racing through the end of next season . "Obviously, it's very flattering for him to be mentioned for a Formula One ride, especially an American-based team," said Jeff Dickerson, Busch's agent. "Thanks to Toyota, he was excited at the prospect of getting to test a Formula One car this past offseason. While it didn't work out then, he would certainly leave the door open to try it out at some point. At the same time, he's currently focused on winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series championships for Joe Gibbs Racing." IndyCar Series drivers Danica Patrick and Marco Andretti were also among the drivers mentioned as possibilities by the USF1 team.(SceneDaily)(2-25-2009)
- Montoya, Speed not interested in F1: A new Formula One team based in the United States will announce its plans Tuesday, but no Sprint Cup drivers with connections to the series expect to be involved. #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, who has seven career Formula One victories, seemed surprised when asked about the pending announcement Friday at Auto Club Speedway in California. "I didn't even know there was supposed to be a team here," Montoya said. #82-Scott Speed, who competed in Formula One in 2006 and 2007, laughed when asked if he was going back to that circuit. "No, I don't think so," the Red Bull Racing driver said. "I've been there, done that."(Scene Daily)(2-22-2009)
Past 2008 News
- Speed changes to #82 UPDATE will run for MWR in Nationwide: been told the team will switch from the #84 to #82 for Speed in 2009, see images of the diecast car on my #82 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2008)
UPDATE: After ruffling fenders in ARCA and the Craftsman Truck Series, Speed graduates to a full-time Sprint Cup ride in 2009. He drove the ##84 in four races and the #83 in one to close last season. Speed, switching to a silver #82, will contend for rookie of the year and start the season locked inside the top 35 in car owner points under the watch of returning crew chief Jimmy Elledge. He’s guaranteed a starting spot in the first five races, including the season-opening Daytona 500. He’ll also run a partial Nationwide Series schedule in the #99 Michael Waltrip Racing Toyota. After a two-year stint in the NASCAR garage, the #84 retires to the RBRT museum/race shop in Mooresville, NC.(RBRT PR)(12-1-2008)
- Martin in the #84 at Homestead UPDATE 3 NO, but Vickers/Speed swap: Monday [11-10-2008] on “SIRIUS Speedway” on SIRIUS NASCAR Radio, host Dave Moody is reporting that Mark Martin will drive the #84 Red Bull Toyota this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway, replacing Scott Speed. Host, Dave Moody: “Since taking over for the released AJ Allmendinger four races ago, Speed has recorded an average finish of 34.2, including a 40th yesterday in Phoenix. The team has fallen out of the Top-35 in owners’ points now. They now trail the Michael Waltrip Motorsports #47 team by 16 points with one race to go in the battle for that all important 35th position in the owner standings. An official announcement is expected from the team later this afternoon. Mark Martin, of course, enjoys a long relationship with Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye, for whom he drove at the former MB3 and Ginn Racing teams. He ran his final scheduled event for Dale Earnhardt, Inc. yesterday in Phoenix. He, of course, will move to Hendrick Motorsports full time in 2009. His arrangement with Red Bull Racing is, we are told, for one race only and will have no impact on the team's long term plans for Scott Speed.(SIRIUS XM Radio PR)(11-10-2008)
UPDATE: been told that Martin will NOT run the #84 and Scott Speed will drive the #84 [#82 in 2009] at Homestead this weekend. The entry list from NASCAR has Team Red Bull having a third car entered, the #82, but it was withdrawn.(11-11-2008)
UPDATE 2: Martin's deal to drive the #84 Red Bull Toyota this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway has apparently fallen through. Sources close to the team say the deal was signed, sealed and all but delivered, only to have high level executives at General Motors nix it at the last minute. Martin is set to drive a Hendrick Motorsports Chevy full-time next season, and when GM brass got wind of Red Bull's plans, a series of phone calls was made to scuttle the deal just minutes before a press release was to be issued announcing it. The end result is reportedly an angry Martin, a disappointed Red Bull Racing Team, and a "Plan B" that could result in Scott Speed and Brian Vickers trading cars this weekend in Miami.(SIRIUS Speedway)
AND In an effort to secure a spot among the top 35 in the owner's standings, Team Red Bull is playing musical chairs this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. #83-Brian Vickers will swap rides with teammate #84-Scott Speed for the season finale. As a result, Vickers will have to qualify on time for Sunday's Ford 400 while Speed will be locked into the field no matter where he qualifies. Currently, the #84 is 17 points behind 35th place in the standings. Being inside that threshold at the end of the season is valuable, as it guarantees a starting spot for the first five races of 2009, including the prestigious Daytona 500.(FoxSports)(11-11-2008)
UPDATE 3: Red Bull Racing Team’s #83 and #84 drivers will swap cars for this weekend’s NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season finale at Homestead- Miami Speedway. Brian Vickers, who’s normally behind the wheel of the #83 Red Bull Toyota, will pilot Scott Speed’s #84, and Speed will pilot the #83.“We already have two talented drivers under our roof, so we chose to switch drivers for one race and change the momentum for this team,” said Jay Frye, RBRT Vice President and General Manager. “Brian’s a team player and wants to help the #84 see the same success the #83 has had this year. Scott’s a rookie and we wanted to take some pressure off of him and let focus on just driving the car. This organization is a team effort and we're treating it that way by finding a solution that works for everyone."(Red Bull Racing PR)(11-12-2008)
- Speed/Red Bull to announced 2009 plans: Red Bull is expected to make if official next weekend at Homestead that Scott Speed will drive the #84 car next season. That's been all but set, but Red Bull hasn't made an announcement while Speed gained NASCAR approval at various sized tracks based on his performance.(Roanoke Times)
AND been told the team will switch from the #84 to #82 for Speed in 2009, see images of the diecast car on my #82 Team Schemes page.(11-8-2008)
- Scott Speed helping raise cash for CCFA: Red Bull Racing Team driver Scott Speed is raising cash for the Chron’s &
Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) through a partnership with Muze Clothing, a Scottsdale-based company that helped Speed produce “Muffin Man” t-shirts, a design of his own creation. The charity t-shirts will go on sale November 3rd preceding the Sprint Cup Series race at Phoenix International Raceway.
“This is a really cool opportunity for me to work on a project that ties one of my biggest passions – fashion – into motorsports, while also raising money for a great cause,” said Speed. “We’re hoping that through this project we can help create awareness and raise money for conditions such as ulcerative colitis, a disease that affects me personally.”
Speed was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2003, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and sores in the large intestine or colon. Ulcerative colitis has similarities to Crohn’s disease, another form of IBD. Muze Clothing (www.muzeclothing.com) began in 2006, with the Muze brand applying a classic movie line to a real world scenario, a practice appropriately dubbed “Muzing.” Speed’s “Muffin Man” t-shirt will feature a saying from the movie Top Gun, “I feel the need…The need for speed!” Each year Muze designs a t-shirt to promote a worthy cause and donates 100 percent of sales proceeds to that charity.
Purchase the Scott Speed-designed “Muffin Man” t-shirt at www.muzeclothing.com. T-shirts are on sale for $40 with $20 of the proceeds going to charity.(11-5-2008)
- Speed to make Cup debut at Martinsville: Debut No. 2 for Scott Speed comes this weekend at Martinsville Speedway, where he’ll drive the #84 Red Bull Toyota in the first of five races to close the Sprint Cup season. The 25-year-old Speed missed out on his first attempt at a Cup race [in the #82 Toyota] when rain cancelled qualifying last Thursday at Charlotte. “Martinsville isn’t the nicest track to make my introduction to Cup, but it’s got to happen sometime,” Speed said. “It’s going to be a tough race, and I expect to get beaten up quite badly, like everyone else. The drivers are going to be really rough, and I’m not going to make a lot of friends out there being a rookie.” Speed has experienced Martinsville’s long straightaways and tight corners once before. In his second start in the Craftsman Truck Series, he finished 10th there last March. He’ll also drive Bill Davis Racing’s #22 Toyota truck in Saturday’s truck race. In the span of a short Sunday afternoon, Scott Speed went from points leader to finishing fifth in the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship. He got wrecked by his closest pursuer [Ricky Stenhouse Jr] on lap 27 and returned the favor seven laps later — an incident that classified his car’s damage as “terminal” after it hit the inside and outside walls. Still, Speed said he earned valuable “street cred.” “Straight out of ‘Days of Thunder,’ I just said, ‘Change my tires. Just put the tires on it and let me go out and try it,’” said Speed (a.k.a. Cole Trickle). “I went out for a lap and a half until the 99 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr., a.k.a. Russ Wheeler) was in our presence. And I did to him what he did to me. From my perspective, I was the championship leader and he disrespected me on the track so there was no way I was going to let him win a championship like that.” Speed finished 34th in ARCA’s season finale. His 2008 stat line reads like this: four wins, three poles, 10 top fives and 17 top 10s in 21 races.(Red Bull Racing PR)(10-16-2008)
- Allmendinger still working on ride for 2009: AJ Allmendinger says that while he knows what he’ll be doing for the remainder of 2008, he still doesn’t have anything finalized for next year. Allmendinger is driving the #00 Michael Waltrip Racing car this weekend at Lowe’s Motor Speedway and then will drive the #10 Gillett Evernham Motorsports car for the final five races of the 2008 Sprint Cup season. He has talked with Chip Ganassi Racing about its #41 car opening but he said he hasn’t heard too much the last couple of weeks. "That’s kind of been a little bit quiet, but until the seat is taken, I hope I’m always a candidate," he said. "I’ve got no contracts, no obligations to anybody except for these six races, and that’s kind of the way I’m taking it."(Scene Daily)(10-11-2008)
- A.J. back at Charlotte? A.J. Allmendinger was interviewed on ESPN2's NASCAR Now and he said he has been in meetings with teams at Talladega Superspeedway and hopes to have his 2009 plans set soon and hopes to be in a ride as soon as the Bank of American at Lowe's Motor Speedway next weekend.(10-5-2008)
- Allmendigner expects to be out of #84 ride next week: UPDATE AJ out, driver lineup announced: AJ Allmendinger expects this weekend's race at Kansas Speedway to be his last with Red Bull Racing. Allmendinger and Red Bull announced earlier this week they will part ways at the end of this season, and Allmendinger did not drive the #84 during the two-day test at Lowe's Motor Speedway. "I'm racing this weekend at Kansas, but I'm almost 100 percent sure I won't be with Red Bull after this race," Allmendinger said in his biweekly diary for Yahoo. "Hopefully I'll have something and I'll be in a car next week. Whether it's the team I'm going to be with for next year, and we can start working on that, or what ... that's kind of where we stand." Red Bull general manager Jay Frye said Thursday he expects to know at the start of next week what the # 84 team will do for the remaining seven races this season. Allmendinger said he expected to be released from Red Bull the past month, and even though he wanted to stay with the team, he passed on an opportunity to sign a one-year contract extension to stay with the team because it would have put him in the same position this time next year.(Associated Press)(9-26-2008)
UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger will split from the Red Bull Racing Team possibly as early as next week, opening up a seat in the organization's # 84 car that will presumably go to current Craftsman Truck Series driver Scott Speed in 2009. The former rookie of the year in the defunct Champ Car series said Friday at Kansas Speedway that a return to open-wheel racing is a possibility, but he clearly doesn't want to give up on a NASCAR odyssey that he began in late 2006. Although the announcement [of the driver/team split] said Allmendinger and Red Bull would part for the 2009 season, the separation will likely happen much sooner than that. Allmendinger is in the #84 at Kansas, but said nothing has been decided beyond this weekend. In addition to the 10 starts Speed has made this season in the trucks, he's also the points leader in the ARCA series, which will compete as a companion event to the Sprint Cup tour next weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. But Speed has never driven in a restrictor-plate event, and is only approved by NASCAR to attempt Sprint Cup events on 1.5-mile tracks or smaller. That makes Skinner, who replaced Allmendinger for four races earlier this season, a more viable option for the Alabama track. Red Bull executives will meet Monday to formulate a plan for Talladega. Could we see Speed in a Sprint Cup car before the year is out? "It's possible," said team vice president Jay Frye.(NASCAR.com), NOTE: Speed did run the Daytona ARCA race earlier this year. He was in an accident and completed 29 laps. For more information on the #84 ride see my #84 team page.(9-27-2008)
UPDATE 2: Red Bull Racing Team announced Mike Skinner and Red Bull development driver Scott Speed to replace AJ Allmendinger in the #84 for the rest of the 2008 Sprint Cup Series season. The #84 currently sits 33rd in owners’ points. "The schedule we put together is in the best interest of both Red Bull Racing Team and AJ's plans for the future,” said RBRT Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye. Allowing Mike Skinner and Scott Speed to share the #84 for the balance of the season helps our team continue developing our program for the future.” Mike Skinner, who drove the #84 Red Bull Toyota for five races earlier in the 2008 season, will take the reins of the #84 at the NSCS races in both Talladega and Charlotte. Red Bull development driver Scott Speed will drive the #82 Red Bull Toyota at Charlotte on October 11 – the same weekend he attempts to clinch the ARCA RE/MAX Series championship in Toledo. Speed will then take over driving duties of the #84 at Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.(RBRT PR)(9-30-2008)
- Allmendinger out of #84...to the #41? UPDATE 6: Could AJ Allmendinger be just days away from completing a deal to drive the #41 Target-sponsored car for Chip Ganassi? And did Allmendinger drive his final race in the #84 Toyota? (Yahoo Sports), hearing Allmendinger could well be out of the #84 ride after Dover with Mike Skinner running the car at Kansas and Scott Speed running some races in the car the rest of the season.(9-22-2008)
UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger got the word Wednesday that he will not be back at Red Bull Racing's NASCAR [#84] team next year. He'll be replaced, no doubt, by Scott Speed.(Toronto Star)(9-22-2008)
UPDATE 2: Mike Skinner reportedly will test A.J. Allmendinger's #84 Toyota Camry in this week's two-day open test at Lowe's Motor Speedway near Charlotte, N.C. Officially, Allmendinger is still in the car for this weekend's Kansas City race, but that's very tenuous and likely to change. Skinner drove Allmendinger's car five times last spring as Team Red Bull called on his years of stock car experience to evaluate the #84. If Skinner replaces Allmendinger this weekend--or at Talladega or Charlotte next month--it will open the door for former Formula One driver Scott Speed to run in Sprint Cup. (He can run up to six races this fall and remain eligible for a 2009 Rookie of the Year effort with Team Red Bull). The shuffling is contingent on Team Red Bull working with Ganassi-Sabates Racing to get Allmendinger into the #41 Dodge currently driven by Reed Sorenson. Team Red Bull expects to confirm this weekend's driver lineup later on Monday or Tuesday.(Autoweek)(9-22-2008)
UPDATE 3: Red Bull Racing Team and driver AJ Allmendinger have agreed to part ways for the 2009 Sprint Cup Series season. Allmendinger is in his second Sprint Cup Series season driving the #84 Red Bull Toyota, which currently sits 34th in owners' points. "AJ is a talented driver and we really enjoyed working with him," said RBRT Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye. "He's come a long way in just two years and we wish him nothing but the best." In an effort to continue the development of the #84 team, Red Bull athlete Mike Skinner will drive the #84 Red Bull Toyota during this week's Lowe's Motor Speedway open test. Skinner has been called upon by RBRT on multiple occasions since the team's 2006 NSCS entrance, including a five-race stint in the #84 earlier in the 2008 season, as well as mentor duties for both Allmendinger and Red Bull development driver Scott Speed. Skinner will round off a three-car test for Red Bull Racing Team alongside Red Bull development driver Scott Speed in the #82, and Brian Vickers in the #83. Red Bull Racing Team will make an announcement regarding the 2009 driver lineup at a later date.(Red Bull Racing PR)(9-23-2008)
UPDATE 4: been told that Allmendinger will be in the #84 at Kansas.(9-23-2008)
UPDATE 5: Red Bull officials had hoped to keep Allmendinger at least through next season, but were unwilling to commit beyond that. Sources said Allmendinger has at least one offer of a three-year deal.(ESPN.com)(9-24-2008)
UPDATE 6: On Tuesday, Red Bull Racing vice president and general manager Jay Frye said the team would soon be parting ways with driver A.J. Allmendinger -- no later than at the end of the 2008 season. Sources confirmed Wednesday, however, that as long as testing continued to go well for Speed in the #82 Red Bull car at Lowe's, he likely will replace Allmendinger in the #84 Red Bull entry for at least several races down the home stretch of this Cup season. Allmendinger will drive the #84 at Kansas this Sunday, but nothing has yet been finalized for who will drive the car beyond that.(NASCAR.com)(9-24-2008)
- Allmendinger / Menard may be in different 2009 rides: Seats for 2009 are filling fast in the Sprint Cup Series, and two new names have emerged as possible job candidates. #15-Paul Menard indicated Friday he could leave Dale Earnhardt Inc. at the end of the season, and AJ Allmendinger is still without a new contract at Red Bull Racing. Neither driver wanted to discuss their future after qualifying at Dover International Raceway, but when asked if he was considering rides with both DEI and Yates Racing next season, Menard said "Yes. We'll let you know when we get to it," Menard added. Menard drives the #15 for DEI and the car is sponsored by his father's midwest-based hardware chain. The family could move the sponsorship and Menard elsewhere, and Yates is considered a candidate because it has both the room to grow its two-car operation and is in need of financial support.
Allmendinger, meanwhile, has been in limbo as Red Bull decides the future of its race team now that former F1 driver Scott Speed is waiting in the wings. Speed is favored by executives for the Austrian-based energy drink maker, which invested heavily in developing Speed for Formula One. When he lost his ride in that series, Red Bull sent him back to the U.S. to learn stock cars and he's been very good in both the Truck Series and lower-level ARCA Series. It could mean that Allmendinger, despite marked improvement in the second half of this season, could lose his ride in the #84. Allmendinger declined to comment Friday on his future. Should the team not re-sign him, or offer him just a temporary one-year deal while Speed continues to develop, Allmendinger could look elsewhere and one seat still open is the #41 at Chip Ganassi Racing. Reed Sorenson is leaving that team at the end of the season, and Ganassi has yet to name a replacement.(Associated Press)(9-20-2008)
- Allmendinger's future to be decided by end of week?: Red Bull Racing's driver, former open-wheel racer A. J. Allmendinger, has made great strides since his stock-car debut last season, although his future with the team is still up in the air. In addition, Team Manager Jay Frye has former F1 driver Scott Speed waiting in the wings. Speed has been nothing short of remarkable this season, winning both Craftsman Truck series and ARCA stock car races. He leads the drivers’ standings in the ARCA series. Speed will make his Sprint Cup debut this fall [at Lowe's Motor Speedway], and all signs point to him running a full Cup season next year. A decision on Allmendinger’s future is expected by week’s end.(Yahoo Sports)(9-17-2008)
- Frye to stay at Red Bull: Jay Frye announced in a team meeting Tuesday that he has agreed to remain as the general manager of NASCAR’s Team Red Bull [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger]. In an exclusive interview with Yahoo! Sports, Frye expressed his desire to continue the course he’s laid out for the fledgling stock-car organization. “I’ve been given a unique opportunity to build this team into something great,” said Frye, who has been at the helm of the two-car Sprint Cup team owned by the Austrian energy-drink giant since January. Frye’s decision puts to rest any speculation that the Rick Hendrick protégé would leave Red Bull to take a similar position at Stewart Haas Racing. When asked about the Stewart Haas offer, Frye replied, “I’ve always wanted to stay here. I love where I’m at. This is the perfect job.” After meeting with Red Bull executives in Austria two weeks ago, Frye left convinced of Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz’s strong commitment to building the NASCAR organization into a championship contender.(Yahoo Sports)(9-16-2008)
- Allmendinger talks about his future: from #84-A.J. Allmendinger's column at Yahoo: "As far as my contract situation for next year, there’s no new news. Hopefully I’ll know something next week. But not knowing anything is hard. It’s stressful. You know, I just want an answer. Am I going to be back with Red Bull next year, yes or no? Of course I’d like it to be yes and they’d like me to stay and we have a great rest of the season and prepare for 2009. I love everybody at the shop and it’s hard because they’re asking me questions. They want to know what’s up, and I don’t have an answer for them. I mean, I really don’t have an answer. I’ve had conversations with other teams since August – and there were some good rides available – but I truly believe we have something here with Red Bull, so I don’t want to leave.
We’ve been through a lot together as a team and I’ve been through a lot just to learn. I’ve had people tell me, ‘You suck. You shouldn’t be here,’ and I’ve had other people say, ‘Keep working. We know you got the talent.’ And I’ve fought through all that and in my opinion I think I deserve to be in the car. But right now, realistically, I think it’s about 50-50 at best that I’ll be back at Red Bull next year.(Yahoo Sports), hearing that Allmendinger is a candidate for the #41 Ganassi Racing ride.(9-11-2008)
- Speed to test at LMS in 3rd Red Bull car: Red Bull development driver Scott Speed will turn laps in the Sprint Cup Series open test at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on September 23 – 24. Speed will drive the #82 Red Bull Toyota under the watch of NASCAR officials who will assess his ability to participate in future Cup races. “I’ve really enjoyed testing and working with Red Bull’s Cup team,” said Speed. “They’re a very professional group and they operate at level that’s much closer to what I’m used to, so it’s nice to be a part of that. I like driving the Sprint Cup car too because I can feel the car better and its much more sensitive to my input. I haven’t driven it in traffic yet though, so that will probably be a very different experience!” Speed will test alongside teammates #83-Brian Vickers and #84-AJ Allmendinger. Rumors surfaced that Speed had already been privately testing a Sprint Cup car. We [Red Bull Racing] can confirm - those rumors were true. Speed tested at both Nashville Superspeedway and Kentucky Motor Speedway. During the 2008 season, Speed has been running a full-time ARCA RE/MAX Series schedule under the wing of Eddie Sharp Racing, earning four wins to date. Speed has also been logging seat time in the Craftsman Truck Series with Bill Davis Racing, earning his first Truck win at Dover. Scott Speed on Lowe’s Motor Speedway: “I raced at Lowe’s earlier this year in the Truck Series, so I’m in a good position to test the Sprint Cup car since I’m familiar with the track. The track itself is nice to drive on because the two corners are very different. Lowe’s is a track that has character too. It’s not a cookie cutter track so I enjoy racing on it a bit more than some of the others. It will be good to see where we stack up against everyone else, since there are so many good teams that will also be testing.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(9-8-2008)
- Red Bull to 3 teams? UPDATE: Jay Frye, who has engineered a solid turnaround at Team Red Bull is back from a post-California trip to the company's Austrian headquarters, and is reported to be seriously considering moving to the Stewart-Ryan Newman Chevy team next season. According to those close to the situation, Red Bull boss Dietrich Mateschitz wants Frye to put former Formula One driver Scott Speed in a full Cup ride next season, though there is still only sponsorship support for two drivers. #83-Brian Vickers and #84-AJ Allmendinger are the team's Cup drivers, and Frye wants to keep both. If Frye stays, that would likely mean a three-car team.(Winston Salem Journal), word is that Speed will test at LMS in a few weeks in a #82 Toyota and could make his Cup debut there in Oct.(9-6-2008)
UPDATE: Jay Frye had a "positive meeting" with Red Bull Racing management in Austria, but would not say Sunday whether he'll remain general manager or leave to run Tony Stewart's new team. Frye also said the team is not certain AJ Allmendinger will be back in the #84 Toyota next season. "AJ has been a Red Bull athlete for a long time. They are very fond of AJ," Frye said before Sunday's race at Richmond International Raceway. "We are going through different scenarios right now and should know something shortly." Asked if it was possible Allmendinger would not be back, Frye said "Yes, that's one of the scenarios." The future of the team has been widely discussed since an ESPN report earlier this week that Stewart had asked Frye to manage Stewart-Haas Racing next season. The report came as Frye was traveling to Austria to discuss the direction of the race team. Among the issues was Allmendinger, who is in the second and final year of his Red Bull contract. He's shown marked improvement this season under Frye, and the entire Red Bull organization has been considerably better since Frye's late January arrival.
Frye would not directly comment on the reported Stewart offer. "I'm very happy where I'm at," Frye said. "Obviously there is a lot going on in the sport right now, there are a lot of flattering things being said and a lot to think about, but I'm very happy where I'm at." Toyota Racing Development president Lee White said he was told by Red Bull executives the meeting was positive and Toyota officials are optimistic Frye will remain with the team. Red Bull struggled in its first NASCAR season last year, when team leadership operated with a Formula One mentality. The addition of Frye, a NASCAR veteran who spent 12 years running the team that merged with Dale Earnhardt Inc. last year, has put Red Bull on the right track in its second season. Brian Vickers is 15th in the standings, Allmendinger is no longer failing to qualify for races and former F1 driver Scott Speed is quickly adapting to stock cars under Frye's developmental plan. "I think (Frye leaving) would be a significant challenge for their evolution and improvement as a team," White said. "We are absolutely thrilled with their progress and that they are fulfilling their possibilities." Frye said it was his first trip to Austria, where the energy drink maker is based. "The NASCAR program is very important to their business," he said. "As a company, I wanted to understand where we're at, what's in store for the future. There is a lot going on with the company that is really good. We've made good progress. It was a very positive meeting. No matter what happens, it is great to have Red Bull part of this sport."(ESPN/AP)
AND Jay Frye, whose work this season as general manager for Team Red Bull has helped spark a turnaround, is just back from a trip to Salzburg, Austria, the home of Red Bull. And Frye says he laid out for owner Dietrich Mateschitz all the various team options for 2009 – including possible expansion to a three-car team, or what Frye called “a 2-1/2-car team,” with a new Scott Speed team running a partial Cup schedule as teammate with Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger. But Frye also pointed out that Allmendinger’s contract is up at the end of this year, and Frye said the owner has not been particularly enthusiastic about funding a full three-car operation. “We should know more in the next week,” Frye says.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-8-2008)
- Allmendinger uncertain of driving plans for next season: Red Bull Racing's #84-AJ Allmendinger is still uncertain about whether he will return to his Sprint Cup team next season. The driver has previously stated he'd like to stay with the group, but he says he continues to wait to hear from the team. "Phone is silent as can be from their end," he said. " … I've stated I'd like to be back next year, but I just want an answer. I need to know I'm racing somewhere next year." Almendinger and his team are outside the top 35 in the owner standings, though they have been on the line of making that field and were in it for one week. Allmendinger says that the team has improved to the level where he expects top finishes week to week.(SceneDaily.com)(8-30-2008)
- 3rd Red Bull team in 2009? Between now and the end of the 2008 season, Scott Speed likely will make his Sprint Cup debut. Red Bull Racing will probably employ its test team – which includes veteran Cup crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe — for a third car for Speed, said team Vice President and General Manager Jay Frye said Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway. Red Bull is still deciding whether or not to run two or three full-time cars next season, or two full- and one part-time cars, and whether it will retain AJ Allmendinger in its #84 Toyota. Speed, who has a chance to win the ARCA RE/MAX Series title this year, has been exceptionally impressive transitioning to stock cars, while Allmendinger has shown huge improvement since the start of the season. Frye said he hopes to have 2008 plans finalized in October.(SPEEDtv)(8-23-2008)
- Allmendinger waiting on Red Bull for 2009 plans: #84-AJ Allmendinger's situation is unique to the NASCAR garage. Red Bull not only sponsors his team, it owns the team, too. Executives at Red Bull's Austrian headquarters make the final decision on its athletes, and are rarely around to banter with. That, in turn, creates a disconnect with its Mooresville, N.C.-based NASCAR team, Allmendinger says, and ultimately leaves him wondering whether Red Bull plans to pick up the option on his current contract. "The assumption in the garage is that I'm back at Red Bull, but they have the option and haven't picked it up yet," Allmendinger said. The main obstacle Allmendinger faces is teammate Scott Speed, the former Red Bull Formula One driver who has experienced notable success in both the Craftsman Truck Series (he won at Dover earlier this year) and ARCA. Red Bull corporate executives like Speed. His brash attitude is the corporate mantra personified, and he's escalating rapidly through the stock car ranks.(full story at ESPN.com)(8-8-2008)
- Speed aiming for Sprint Cup debut: Scott Speed is confident that he can make his Sprint Cup debut before the end of this season. The Red Bull-backed American will test a Cup car for the first time later this month, and has been racing in the ARCA and Craftsman Truck series this season after losing his Formula One drive with Toro Rosso 12 months ago. He hopes to continue full time in Craftsman Trucks next season but also wants to include several Sprint Cup outings. "I'm about to start testing, proper testing, in a Cup car with (Red Bull's lead driver) Brian Vickers," Speed told this week's Autosport magazine. "The car is quite a bit different from the Truck, but if it goes well, and I think I should be able to adapt, then we can go racing."(Autosport.com)(7-18-2008)
- New crew chief for Allmendinger: Red Bull Racing Team formally announces Jimmy Elledge as crew chief of the #84 Red Bull Toyota piloted by AJ Allmendinger, effective this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway. Elledge’s most recent Sprint Cup Series crew chief duties were with #42-Juan Pablo Montoya, so he’s quite familiar with translating open-wheel lingo. Elledge’s resume includes stints with drivers Casey Mears, Reed Sorenson, Kenny Wallace, Bobby Hamilton and Dale Jarrett. AJ Allmendinger on the addition of Jimmy Elledge: “Of all the crew chiefs in the Cup garage, Jimmy is one of the only ones I’ve spoken to and had a chance to get to know. When I drove a few Nationwide races at Ganassi last year, Jimmy was always helpful. He’s a guy with a lot of crew chief experience and has a good knowledge of these race cars, so I’m looking forward to turning this season around together.”(Red Bull Racing PR), no word on the plans or fate of former #84 crew chief Ricky Viers.(7-9-2008)
- Red Bull Racing helping out: After treating all of Red Bull Racing Team to lunch Tuesday, members of the #83 and #84 pit crews caught I-85 north to Randleman, N.C. The destination? The NASCARnival at Victory Junction Gang Camp. They took a tour of the sprawling facility that, through fun activities and experiences, empowers the lives of children with chronic medical conditions or serious illnesses. Along with #84 driver AJ Allmendinger, the Bull Crews sat down for dinner with campers, then performed pit stops and taught them how to tear through lug nuts. And all were more than happy to offer an autograph or two. The #83 Bull Crew’s victory in the Sprint Pit Crew Challenge is still paying off. The charity portion of the hefty purse earned in May comes out to $23,793.25. On Friday, crew members will present a check, through the NASCAR Foundation, in that amount to the Speediatrics unit of Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach. Over-the-wallers Jake Brzozowski, Brian Haaland, Danny Kincaid, Shaun Peet and Aaron Schields will take a tour of the unit and hand out Speediatrics teddy bears.(Red Bull Racing PR)(7-2-2008)
- Red Bull Racing F1 driver to visit Dover: Red Bull Racing’s David Coulthard will be heading out early to North America prior to the Canadian Grand Prix to pay a visit to Red Bull’s NASCAR team. The weekend before the F1 race in Montreal sees the NASCAR boys racing at Dover in Delaware, on a track known as the Monster Mile. David will be a guest of the NASCAR Red Bull Racing Team, which is now in its second year of competition, racing Toyota Camrys, driven by #83-Brian Vickers and #84-AJ Allmendinger. “I’m interested in all sorts of racing, but hardly ever get a chance to see anything other than Formula 1. So when Red Bull came up with the idea of shooting a promo film around their NASCAR operation on the week before the Canadian GP, it seemed like a great opportunity to go and see why this form of racing is so popular in the States.” Coulthard arrives in time for race day, Sunday 1st June, when he will get a chance to sit in the race car as well as sitting in on the team’s pre-race engineering briefing, before watching the “Best Buy 400”. Coulthard is just there to visit the team and do a film and has no plans to move to NASCAR in the future.(Red Bull Racing PR)(5-27-2008)
- Silver scheme for Allmendinger at 'dega AND rest of season: The silver #84 that’s been shining in Red Bull Racing Team’s shop unloads for the first time Friday at Talladega, and AJ Allmendinger, who returns after a five-race layoff, can’t wait to show off his car’s new look. “I think it’s sweet,” Allmendinger said. “Our blue has been good, but it’s one of those things that says, ‘I’m back!’ It’s silver. It’s going to stand out. It’s going to look fast, and it’s going to be fast.” In 2007, Red Bull’s motorsports branding featured dynamic bulls, suns and custom deep blue color. More than a year later, the design is expanding with the silver #84. The car maintains the same styling cues as the #83 to ensure close affiliation but carries a metallic silver pearl base and blue number to create its own identity and personality.(Team Red Bull Blog), see image of the scheme on my #84 Team Schemes page. Been told the Silver scheme will run the rest of the 2008 season.(4-22-2008)
- Allmendinger now expected back in #84 at Talladega: AJ Allmendinger, originally expected back in the seat of the #84 Red Bull Racing Toyota April 12 at Phoenix, said Friday he will not return until the following week at Talladega. Mike Skinner made his first appearance in the # 84 at Las Vegas and has a best finish of 27th (at Atlanta) in four starts entering Texas. "He's said the same things that I've been saying, so just more than anything there's a peace of mind of getting back in the car and [saying], 'OK, so I'm not crazy. I am feeling the right things," Allmendinger said. He has tested for the team at New Smyrna (Fla.) Speedway and Nashville during his hiatus from competition.(SceneDaily.com)(4-5-2008)
- Thomas to Red Bull? UPDATE: Brandon Thomas, who recently was replaced by Steve Boyer as crew chief for #96-J.J. Yeley at Hall of Fame Racing, is apparently bound for Red Bull Racing, though his exact duties remain to be seen.(SPEEDtv)(3-31-2008)
UPDATE: hearing that Thomas will go to Red Bull Racing as Chief Design Engineer.(4-2-2008)
- Changes at Red Bull, Labbe?: Guenther Steiner is no longer the director of competition for Team Red Bull. Officially, Steiner is on "vacation." However, sources close to the team say he's gone and there's been no replacement named. It's all part of the shakeup underway at the team now that Jay Frye has been put in charge. I [Yahoo's Bob Margolis] also hear that Slugger Labbe could be on his way over to Red Bull to be reunited with Frye.(Yahoo Sports)(3-17-2008)
- Four races for Skinner in the #84...hopefully: Mike Skinner envisions mentoring as the next phase in his NASCAR career, and what he did Friday was an important step toward ensuring that A.J. Allmendinger maintains his. Skinner quelled speculation about Allmendinger's benching by Red Bull Racing by making it clear he's just pinch-hitting for the struggling second-year Sprint Cup Series driver, who reiterated his commitment to NASCAR. Skinner then went out and fulfilled his primary duty by qualifying the #84 Toyota Camry 34th for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500, which will mark the car's first competition this season. Skinner's interim job description is getting the car into races and finishing in the top 35 to guarantee a spot in the field starting with the sixth race at Martinsville, Va. The hope is that Allmendinger, minus the pressure of having to race his way in, can take over from there and just drive. "We're planning on four races and hopefully that's all it's going to take," said Skinner, 50. "Hopefully we can go test somewhere (to the point) that I don't even get in the car and (Allmendinger) does all the driving, and I can talk to him and tell him some of those things I felt when I was in that situation and how I dealt with it. Hopefully, that will reduce some of that pressure. There's no question from anybody about this guy's ability to drive a car. Is it the race team? Is it the driver? Is it a combination? Is it too much pressure? That's what I'm here to evaluate. If A.J. succeeds, then I've succeeded." After winning five open-wheel races in 2006 in the since-disbanded Champ Car World Series, Allmendinger jumped to stock cars last season in start-up situations with Red Bull and Toyota. That combination has resulted in a series of hard knocks, with the start of his career delayed to the fifth race at Bristol and just 17 races in a 43rd-place ranking. This season Allmendinger has failed to qualify for the Daytona 500, while rain denied him an opportunity to make the field for the Auto Club 500 in California. He missed last week's race at Las Vegas despite being part of a "go or go home" group thought to have an advantage by going out after the top 35 drivers already locked in. Allmendinger and Skinner have a previous history as protégé and mentor dating back to Allmendinger's brief learning curve in the Truck series. He promised to stick by Skinner and absorb his expertise even harder this time, dismissing whispers that his struggles would send him back to America's reunited open wheel circuit. "#I want to be here," Allmendinger said. "This is the place to race. The ultimate thing comes down to I know I have the ability to win races and win championships. We just need to get the ship turned around the right way. Mike doesn't want this job, he wants to help me."
Going out next to last in qualifying, Skinner knocked out former champion Bill Elliott to ensure the team's first tandem appearance this season. That led to a series of congratulations for the driver and Red Bull Racing general manager Jay Frye, who also expressed a sense of relief. "Mike did a phenomenal job for the program," Frye said. "He and Brian were running similar lap times in practice and that gave us a direction. That's what a multi-car team has to do to get better. What we're trying to figure out now is the direction the car needs to go because A.J. is a phenomenal talent and he can do this. We're just trying to catch our breath and hopefully get this thing pointed in the right direction and put him back in there, and 10 years from now we'll forget this even happened." (USA Today)(3-9-2008)
- Red Bull could replace Allmendinger UPDATE Skinner in: Red Bull Racing is considering temporarily pulling #84-A.J. Allmendinger from his Toyota as it reevaluates that struggling program. Allmendinger failed to qualify for Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, making him 0-for-3 on the season. In contrast, teammate #83-Brian Vickers has made all three races in the other Red Bull car. "We can't keep missing races. It's just not an option," said general manager Jay Frye, hired in January to turn around the second-year Red Bull program. We're looking at several different ideas, all aimed at figuring out what's wrong with that program, how we can fix it and how we can get that car into races. But it can't continue the way it is. It just can't." One of the options being considered is pulling Allmendinger from the seat and replacing him with a veteran who can help assess the program and get the car into races. Among the available drivers are Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson, who are currently both pitching in to fill an open seat at Bill Davis Racing, and Sterling Marlin and David Stremme. "We love A.J. and we're 100 percent committed to him and want to develop him," Frye said. "This is not at all giving up on A.J. But we just can't do nothing and risk having a season like that team had last year." Red Bull is also working on securing seat time for Allmendinger in Nationwide Series and Truck Series races to help his adaptation to NASCAR. Options in the Nationwide Series are rides in a Joe Gibbs Racing or Chip Ganassi car, and there could be some seat time available in a truck owned by Billy Ballew.(Associated Press/Sports Illustrated)(3-3-2008)
UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team has confirmed that veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner will temporarily replace AJ Allmendinger in the #84 Red Bull Camry in the Sprint Cup Series effective this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner, a Craftsman Truck Series champion, currently races full-time in the #5 Toyota Tundra. "We’re at a crossroads where we need to make a change that will elevate the #84 team to success,” said VP and General Manager Jay Frye. “AJ’s our guy and he’s a talented driver, but there’s a lot being asked of him. In order for him to be successful, we have to get this team pointed in the right direction. We hope we can do that with the help of a veteran driver.” Skinner’s history with Red Bull Racing Team dates back to 2006 when he served as a test driver for the team. Skinner’s history with Allmendinger also dates back to 2006, when he mentored teammate Allmendinger during the rookie’s part-time ride with Bill Davis Racing NCTS team. Frye hopes with the help of Skinner, that RBRT will have the program turned around and the ride returned to Allmendinger in no time. AJ Allmendinger, #84 Red Bull Driver said: “Let’s not kid ourselves; I’m a racer and I want to be racing, but I get the big picture here and obviously we need to improve our program. Do I want to be out of the car? #But, I know Skinner can help both me and my team. All I can say is he better be prepared for me to eat, drink, and sleep with him. Ok, well maybe not the sleeping part, but I’m ready to attach myself to him and learn everything I can.” Mike Skinner, Substitute #84 Driver: “The first time I ever met AJ, I took an immediate liking to him. He’s not just a great personality; he also has a remarkable amount of talent. He took on a huge challenge jumping into stock cars last year, and I’m glad I can be the one to help him and his team figure out where the glitches are in their program. This is a positive thing for AJ as a learning experience, for the Red Bull Racing Team to get back on track, and for me to have the opportunity to help another Toyota team that has great equipment and potential.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(3-3-2008)
- Scott Speed Taking Baby Steps Toward a Career in Stock Cars: Instead of racing in places like Monaco or hobnobbing with the European elite, Speed will now be checking out the sites in such exotic locales as DuQuoin, Illinois or Berlin, Michigan. Speed will spend this season competing full-time in the ARCA Series. Speed said he’s prepared to give himself 2-3 years to figure out if stock car racing is something he can be successful with. If it doesn’t work out he said he’d likely go back to open wheel racing.(Hartford Courant)(2-9-2008) .
- Frye named Red Bull GM: Red Bull Racing Team [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger] announced Jay Frye as General Manager effective January 14, 2008. Frye brings on board 16 years of experience in the NASCAR industry, most recently with a 12-year stint as CEO and GM of Ginn Racing (formerly MB2 Motorsports). “Red Bull along with Toyota has all the necessary tools to compete at a very high level. I’m excited about the opportunity to work with an organization that has unlimited potential,” says Frye. With a long-standing history of industry success, Frye completes Red Bull Racing Team’s search for a GM, since the position was vacated in June 2007. Guenther Steiner, who joined the team in 2006 with extensive Formula One technical expertise, will continue to work as Technical Director and focus fully on delivering advanced engineering performance and technology. Red Bull Racing Team's focus on superior and precision engineering paired with Jay Frye's industry expertise is certain to lead to consistent and successful results in 2008.(Team Red Bull PR)(1-13-2008)
Past 2007 News
- Other Owners Looking at Allemendinger? UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger, an Indy-car racer trying to make it in NASCAR, has another year on his contract with Toyota’s Team Red Bull, according to competition director Elton Sawyer. Nevertheless, there is speculation that at least one rival team owner would like to make a run at Allmendinger, even though Allmendinger has had a fitful first season on the stock-car tour.(Winston Salem Journal)(10-26-2007)
UPDATE: A.J. Allmendinger said that he was amused Friday morning when he read an internet report stating that at least one other Cup team may be interested in him driving for it next season. Allmendinger said that he has no plans to leave Team Red Bull Racing. "My focus is trying to finish this year off good and get ready for next year," Allmendinger said.(Macon Telegraph)(10-27-2007)
- Red Bull Would Want Another Sponsor for Third Team: Team Red Bull boss Guenther Steiner said the team hasn't decided whether it would add a third car for Scott Speed when the former Formula One driver, who will run the ARCA series next year, is ready to move to Cup. But if the two-car team were to expand, additional Camrys wouldn't be sponsored by Red Bull, the energy drink company that also owns the operation. "First we need to see how Scott performs, but if we did a third car we would try to finance it somehow differently," Steiner said. "To have three Red Bull cars doesn't make sense. There is a plan, but at the moment in Cup, we want to perform with two cars at highest level and then proceed to three to four cars in the future."(USA Today)(10-27-2007)
- Team Red Bull buying Yates' shop? UPDATE no: Team Red Bull [#83, #84) has approached Robert Yates Racing [#38, #88] about purchasing its racing and chassis manufacturing shops in Mooresville, N.C. The offer comes in the heels of Yates' announcement that it wants to move to Concord, N.C., to a shop currently occupied by Boris Said's No Fear team (next to Roush Fenway) to expedite their sharing of technology in 2008. Yates will use Roush-built chassis next season. Red Bull is in dire need of more space. It gets engines from Toyota Racing Development and buys chassis, but wants to start departments in both areas. Buying Yates' facilities would give them the room to do that.(Sports Illustrated)(10-11-2007)
UPDATE: "Robert Yates did contact us awhile back to see if we were interested in talking with him about purchasing his building or his teams. We weren't - so the conversation ended there. We're committed to building our team from scratch and making our cars competitive. We don't have plans to buy anyone else's team."(Red Bull VP of Competition, Guenther Steiner statement)(10-18-2007)
- Scott Speed to run ARCA in 2008, maybe some NASCAR: Team Red Bull formally announced an agreement with former Formula 1 Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Scott Speed to race the #2 Red Bull Toyota Camry with Eddie Sharp Racing for the 2008 ARCA Re/MAX Series Season. Patrick Donahue will serve as crew chief for the rookie driver as he begins his ascent into stock car racing. Red Bull may consider occasional opportunities for Speed in NASCAR as the 2008 season progresses. Speed’s connection with Red Bull dates back to 2002, when Speed won the Red Bull Driver Search, a program aimed at putting an American talent into Formula One. With Red Bull backing, Speed raced his way through the European ranks and into a full-time seat in 2006 at Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso, before mutually parting ways in 2007.(Red Bull Racing PR), Speed starts 7th in Friday's ARCA race at Talladega.(10-5-2007)
- Red Bull Racing could be switching manufacturers UPDATE denied..again: As the Nextel Cup Chase for the Championship moves to Dover International Speedway Sunday there are negotiations taking place that seem to have slipped under the radar of most garage watchers. Sun Media has been told that Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz has been in discussions to switch manufacturers from Toyota next year. Those in the know say that Mateschitz has been deeply disappointed about the results of both the #83 and #84 Red Bull Toyotas in the team's inaugural Cup season. And he is not pointing the finger at either A.J. Allmendinger or Brian Vickers. The general feeling among team members is that Toyota has not stepped up with the kind of technological and engineering support that the team expected when it signed on with the Japanese auto giant. With Chevrolet losing Joe Gibbs Racing to Toyota next year, there certainly is room for Red Bull to fill that void in the Bow Tie brigade.(Toronto Sun), however, as of Sept 4th, Elton Sawyer, Team Red Bull’s competition director, said the team would stay with Toyota.(9-18-2007)
UPDATE Denied..again: Despite speculation suggesting a switch to Chevrolet to boost its Cup performance, Team Red Bull reiterated its commitment to Toyota. "The rumor keeps coming up, but we are staying with Toyota," Team Red Bull vice president of competition Guenther Steiner said Friday. "We don't want to want leave Toyota, we want to stay with them and I hope I have to say it for the last time now." The season has seen more qualifying misses than hits with the tandem combining to miss 25 starts on speed. While Steiner said he expected some stumbles with the Camry in Toyota's transition to stock cars, he admitted to not fully grasping the concept of being in the top-35 in terms of qualifying.
In time that won't be an issue with Toyota, Steiner added. "When we get in the race we are not yet decent, far from where we need to be," Steiner said. "Maybe we underestimated that (top-35), but we are learning and we try to make up for it. We want to win in two years, but we are realistic."(USA Today)(9-22-2007)
- Scott Speed to race ARCA at 'Dega: Team Red Bull and Eddie Sharp Racing announced former Formula One driver Scott Speed will drive the #21 Red Bull Toyota in the ARCA RE/MAX Series at Talladega Superspeedway on Oct. 5, 2007. This will mark Speed's debut in stock car racing. With Red Bull backing, Speed raced his way through the European ranks and into a full-time seat in 2006 at Red Bull Racing’s sister team, Scuderia Toro Rosso. After parting ways during the 2007 season, Speed turned his attention to landing a Red Bull-backed drive in the States. In an effort to hone and adapt Speed's skills from F1 to stock car racing, Red Bull tapped ARCA team Eddie Sharp Racing.(Red Bull Racing PR)(9-20-2007)
- Red Bull staying with Toyota: Elton Sawyer, Team Red Bull’s competition director, responded to questions about a possible switch from Toyotas to Chevrolets next season by saying his operation “is very content with our current manufacture. We have no plans to make any changes. It’s been a good partnership.” There has been intense speculation that the first-year team has been trying to make the change. The other question facing the new NASCAR operation is Scott Speed, the Red Bull-backed racer who just lost his Formula One ride and who has been at the company’s Charlotte-area shops the past few days looking for something to do next. “Scott is a Red Bull athlete, and anything we can to do to help him get introduced to NASCAR racing, whether it be Busch, Truck or ARCA, we’ll do,” Sawyer said. But he said that there were no specific plans currently for Speed.(Winston Salem Journal)(9-4-2007)
- Allmendinger to drive for Ganassi in 5 Busch races: Chip Ganassi Racing officials announced Wednesday that AJ Allmendinger would drive the team's #42 Dodge in the next five Busch Series races. Allmendinger's first race in the car will be this weekend's Camping World 300 at California Speedway. Allmendinger drives Team Red Bull's #84 Toyota in the Nextel Cup Series, and the agreement with Ganassi allows Allmendinger, a rookie in Cup, more seat time in a NASCAR stock car. Allmendinger will also drive the $42 at Richmond, Dover, Kansas and Charlotte.(SceneDaily.com)(8-29-2007)
- Scott Speed wants to run NASCAR, but lacks oval experience: Nextel Cup's Team Red Bull appears willing to help ex-Formula One driver Scott Speed, 24, into NASCAR, but the road may be long and winding. Speed, who lost his F1 ride with Scuderia Toro Rosso recently, has almost no oval-track experience at any level. Until he gains that experience, NASCAR isn't likely to clear him for its Craftsman, Busch or Cup series. Even so, Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz feels Speed can make the transition. "He would be an asset for us in NASCAR," Mateschitz said of the Californian. The Red Bull-backed Toyota NASCAR team featuring #83-Brian Vickers and #84-A.J. Allmendinger has had problems of its own this season, missing 25 of 48 potential starts through Bristol. Vickers scored the team's only top-five and its only three top-10s in his 14 starts. Allmendinger has missed 15 races and has nine finishes between 31st and 40th. Elton Sawyer, TRB's director of competition, does not foresee any significant personnel changes next year. "...our two drivers will be back," he said at Bristol. "Scott Speed is a Red Bull athlete, which means we'll do whatever we can to introduce him to this form of racing. But I don't think you'll see him over here in a Cup car with our team next year."(Autoweek.com)(8-29-2007)
- Red Bull Will Help Scott Speed in NASCAR: Red Bull’s motorsports guru Helmut Marko says that the company would be happy to help Scott Speed kick start a NASCAR career. As the man who looks after the company’s young drivers, Marko is eager to give Speed a helping hand, after he was dropped following a falling-out with Scuderia Toro Rosso bosses Gerhard Berger and Franz Tost. The former STR driver had some initial discussions with U.S.-based teams last week. “We are still trying to co-operate with him, but in a different area,” Marko told SPEEDtv.com. “NASCAR is a very special form of racing, and even a guy like Montoya, with all his F1 experience and his Champ Car racing on ovals, can’t just jump in and be competitive. So, they will look maybe at some Busch races and if that is going well, put him up to the Nextel Cup.”(SPEEDtv.com)(8-23-2007)
- Scott Speed to NASCAR? Axed Toro Rosso racer Scott Speed will almost certainly switch to the NASCAR series in 2008, it has emerged. Although his relationships with STR chiefs Franz Tost and Gerhard Berger are over, the Californian remains strongly linked with Red Bull magnate Dietrich Mateschitz -- who also owns a new team in the premier American tin-top category Nextel Cup. "Speed drove in Formula One against the world's best drivers," the Austrian billionaire is quoted as saying by Motorsport Aktuell, "he is courageous, and his name is a marketer's dream -- and with a cowboy hat it is perhaps complete!" Team Red Bull is a works Toyota-supported NASCAR team. "He would be an asset for us in NASCAR," Mateschitz said of the 24-year-old.(Yahoo UK), it doesn't say of it will be for Cup, Busch or Trucks or if Speed would replace Vickers or Allmendinger or that Red Bull would add a 3rd team for Speed.(8-14-2007)
AND: Formula 1 racer Scott Speed will switch to NASCAR in 2008, according to sources at Red Bull Racing [once again, it doesn't say which series]. The California native made his debut in Formula 1 in 2006 and competed this past season, but was released from his Toro Rosso team last week for lack of performance. Since his debut with the team in March of 2006, Speed failed to score a championship point. Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz who sponsored Speed’s Formula 1 team also owns a the Nextel Cup team with Toyota drivers AJ Allmendinger and Brian Vickers. Mateschitz told a German language motorsports website Tuesday that Speed “Would be an asset for us in NASCAR.” According to the same sources, the team will drop the Toyota brand and switch to Chevrolets in 2008 as well [which has been denied].(Cup Scene Daily)(8-14-2007)
- Red Bull VP/GM leaves; RBR to Chevy? denied: Citing “irreconcilable differences in the team philosophy,” Red Bull Racing and Marty Gaunt, formerly the team’s vice president/general manager, have parted company effective immediately, the team announced Monday. The team, which is owned by Austria-based Red Bull energy drink founder Dietrich Mateschitz, has struggled in its first year in the Nextel Cup Series, with both its cars outside the top 35 in owner points and therefore not guaranteed starting spots in races.
“Red Bull Racing must concentrate nearly all efforts on qualifying, while maintaining a strong emphasis on building a solid foundation for a successful and enduring organization for the future,” the team said in a statement issued Monday. Given the team’s struggles in 2007, Red Bull has been rumored to be changing to Chevrolets next season, a scenario Gaunt and Toyota’s Andy Graves denied last weekend at Pocono Raceway.(SPEEDtv.com)(8-7-2007)
- Red Bull in it for the long run: Team Red Bull [#83-Vickers, #84-Allmendinger] director of competition Guenther Steiner reassured me [Yahoo Sports Bob Margolis] this weekend that despite his team's difficult entry into Nextel Cup competition, they were "in it for the long run. If [Red Bull owner] Dietrich Mateschitz had wanted to do it the easy way, he would have just sponsored one of the Hendrick cars," Steiner said.(Yahoo Sports), also on the SPEED Report Sunday, Bob Dillner mentioned that since #44-Dale Jarrett is now out of champions provisionals for the season, 1988 Cup Champ Bill Elliott is a wanted driver, supposedly Red Bull Racing is one team interested, but supposedly Elliott is not interested in a situation like that.(4-30-2007)
- Red Bull Teams to honor slain team member: Team Red Bull celebrates the life of one of its most colorful characters this weekend in Texas. In honor of James “Jimmy” Sprinkle — a test team mechanic who died after an unfortunate altercation at his property on March 31 — the #83-Brian Vickers and #84-A.J. Allmendinger will carry the words “In loving memory of Jimmy Sprinkle: ‘Breakin’ it down’” on the B-post. It has been a tough two weeks around the shop, as one Team Red Bull member admitted, “I don’t know if they can replace him.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(4-13-2007)
- Sad News: Red Bull Team Member Killed UPDATE 2: Arrest Made: A member of a NASCAR team was shot to death outside his home in Alexander County late Saturday. Jimmy Sprinkle, 44, was a mechanic for the Red Bull racing team. He had been a member of the test team crew for about a year. Sprinkle lived on a farm in northeast Alexander County north of Hiddenite. He spent the afternoon working on his yard, then saw someone coming down his long gravel driveway around 10:30pm. Saturday and went out to investigate. That's when the person shot him once in the chest and died at Iredell Memorial Office. Alexander County investigators and State Bureau of Investigation agents believe they've found the shooter's vehicle, a white 1980s model Monte Carlo with a dark blue top. They are not commenting on a motive in the case. Although Sprinkle had spent much of his life in and around racing, his wife says he also had a life away from the track. "We live in the farming community, he helped plow many gardens, he's out with fertilizer, anything they need to do with cattle and horses," Sylvia Sprinkle said. Family members are still in disbelief and have many unanswered questions. Vickers' team released a statement on Monday regarding Sprinkle's death. The team, based in Mooresville, NC, had a moment of silence at the start of the day for their lost member. Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Alexander Crime Stoppers at (828) 632-8555.(wsoctv.com.(4-2-2007)
UPDATE: Police say they have identified a suspect in the shooting death of James “Jimmy” Sprinkle, a NASCAR crew team member and Hiddenite resident, but they are not naming names just yet. And no charges have been filed. Sprinkle, of Center Church Road, died Saturday at Iredell Memorial Hospital in Statesville. Sprinkle, was shot once in the chest about 10:30 p.m. at his home. Authorities located a vehicle believed to have been used in the shooting. They spent much of Monday combing the car for evidence. “We are making substantial progress in the case, and hope to make an arrest soon,” Capt. Keith Warren of the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office said. The shooting stunned Sprinkle’s friend, Phil Keever. “It’s beyond me,” Keever said. “This came from left field.” Keever was with Sprinkle shortly before he was killed. “He was helping me fertilize my pasture,” Keever, 48, said. “We were going to borrow his flatbed truck to load golf carts so my dad could take them to Virginia. “I dropped Jimmy off at his house about 7:30 p.m.” Sprinkle tested race cars for Team Red Bull, a Nextel Cup team based in Mooresville. He previously worked for Evernham Motorsports Marty Gaunt, vice president and general manager of Team Red Bull, issued this statement: “We are shocked and deeply saddened by the unfortunate loss of Jimmy Sprinkle’s life. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to Jimmy’s family and friends. Jimmy was one of those hard-working crew guys with great personality that don’t come around very often. Jimmy will be sorely missed at the race shop and at the track.”
Tom Czoka, transportation manager for Team Red Bull, worked with Sprinkle for five years. He spent many hours on the road with his co-worker and friend. “He was quite a character,” Czoka said from the Mooresville office. “He never had a bad word to say. He always looked for positives, and was always upbeat, willing to help somebody. I don’t know if they can replace him.”(Hickory Record)
Survivors include: his wife, Sylvia Dyson Sprinkle, of the home; his step-father, Willie Feimster of Taylorsville; a sister, Susan McLain and husband, Marty, of Hiddenite; a step-sister, Diana and husband, Shaun Cory, of Banner Elk; a step-brother, Chuck Feimster, of Waxhaw; two nephews, Darren and Kelly McLain of Hiddenite. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitiation is scheduled for today: Adams Funeral Home, 307 Main Avenue Drive, Taylorsville, NC. Tuesday, April 3 from 4:00-8:00pm/et. The funeral will be conducted at 5 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at Fairview Baptist Church by the Revs. Tony Dyson and Ruel Fox. Memorials may be given to Motor Racing Outreach, 5555 Concord Parkway S., Suite 405, Concord, N.C. 28027.(4-3-2007)
UPDATE 2: A Taylorsville man was charged with the Saturday slaying of James Sprinkle, a NASCAR mechanic for Team Red Bull, according to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office. Earl Wayne Flowers, 51, of Gravel Hill Court, was arrested at about 3 p.m. Thursday. He received no bond and was in the Alexander County Detention Center Thursday, charged with one count of murder.(Charlotte Observer)(4-5-2007).
- Vickers takes over for Allmendinger at Daytona UPDATE: #84-AJ Allmendinger will finish his week of testing at Daytona International Speedway early. Allmendinger, the open wheel star and newest addition to the Red Bull driver lineup, will step aside Tuesday to allow teammate Brian Vickers to return. Vickers, who has more stock car experience than Allmendinger, will help the team
try to find the speed that has eluded them so far in the Daytona test sessions. Vickers scheduled test session was last week, but team officials confirmed Monday that they would bring him back to Daytona. During last week's session, Vickers and Team Red Bull posted the slowest laps among the Toyota's that tested. Allmendinger managed a 34th place lap [of 62] on the speed charts on Monday.(Cup Scene Daily)
UPDATE: Vickers is slotted to test the #84 Totota on Wednesday as Allmendinger will be truck testing down in Homestead, FL that day. To make up for the schedule conflict, Allmendinger ran laps last week in the 83 car in Daytona.(Red Bull Racing)(1-16-2007)
- Ragan Cleared to run Daytona; Allmendinger & Whitt to be 'observed': Roush Racing's David Ragan, whom owner Jack Roush named as Mark Martin's replacement this Nextel Cup season in the #6 AAA Ford, has been approved to compete in the Nextel Cup Series events of Speedweeks 2007 at Daytona International Speedway. Two Nextel Cup rookies #72-Brandon Whitt and #84-A.J. Allmendinger will come to Speedweeks with "observation" approval. They must also participate in the final session of Cup testing Jan. 15-17.(NASCAR.com)(1-9-2007)
Past 2006 News
- Red Bull Finished for 2006, gearing up for Daytona: Word in the garage is that there were many very unhappy faces in the Red Bull camp on Friday after A.J. Allmendinger failed to qualify for Sunday's Dickies 500. Sources within the team say Allmendinger's qualifying speed, which was an embarrassingly slow 10 mph off the pole speed, raised some questions about the Dodge cars and engines the team has been using. The team now is finished for the 2006 season. Their original plan was to run only three races this season in preparation for their official debut with Toyota Camrys next year, but they failed to qualify (once due to rain) each time.
The team will focus on a rigorous testing schedule for Allmendinger, who now is scheduled to make his Cup debut in the Daytona 500 in February 2007.(Yahoo Sports)(11-5-2006)
- Red Bull Major League Soccer team featured on the #84 at Texas: Heading into this weekend’s Dickies 500 Nextel Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Team Red Bull is partnering with the New York Red Bulls Major League Soccer team to roll out a soccer-themed paint scheme for the #84 race car. With his keen eyes, New York Red Bulls goalkeeper and avid NASCAR fan Jon Conway gets to indulge in tin-top racing from his perch on top the Team Red Bull pit box. Driven by now-former, American open-wheel sensation AJ Allmendinger, the blue #84 Dodge features the New York Red Bulls logo on the hood and side panels and the dynamic bull and soccer ball on the rear quarter panel. The car also features a logo decal of the The MLS Cup, which is the league’s championship finale slated for the following Sunday, November 12 at Pizza Hut Park in nearby Frisco, Texas. Then on Saturday and Sunday, the Red Bull Air Force skydiving team joins the party as they drop in from the skies above Texas Motor Speedway prior to the start of the Busch Series and Nextel Cup Series races.(Red Bull Racing PR)(11-2-2006)
- #83 now the #84 for Atlanta: A.J. Allmendinger will run the #84, not the #83, on the Red Bull Dodge at Atlanta. The team had planned to run #30 with Bill Elliott and run a special scheme to honor Elliott's 30 years in Cup racing [Elliott will be in the #37 Dodge]. But Red Bull signed Allmendinger as their 2nd team driver this past week to run the full 2007 season in the #84 Toyota. Allmendinger was to run the #83 [which will be run by Brian Vickers in 2007] and the entry list changed Wednesday to #84. Allmendinger may not even get a chance to run the car this week if qualifying at Atlanta is cancelled as rain is forecast all day Friday and Friday night [100%]. Qualifying is scheduled for 7:10pm/et and be televised on SPEED.(10-27-2006)
- Allmendinger dropped from Champ Car ride for final race: SPEED has learned that 2004 Indianapolis 500 winner Buddy Rice has been tabbed by Gerry Forsythe to replace A.J. Allmendinger in the Champ Car season finale Nov. 12 at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. Allmendinger announced earlier this week he was leaving Champ Car for NASCAR next year and Forsythe decided to look for the future. "We've got to think about '07 and this will be a good audition for Buddy," said Forsythe, who called Allmendinger on Thursday morning to inform the five-time winner his services were no longer required. Besides giving Rice a long-awaited chance, this also means Champ Car will have an American in the starting lineup since Allmendinger was the lone Yank this season.(Speed Channel)(10-26-2006)
- Official Allmendinger to drive 2nd Red Bull car in 2007, #84: 2006 Team Red Bull formally announces a multi-year agreement with American open-wheel race car driver AJ Allmendinger to race the #84 Red Bull Toyota Camry for the 2007 Nextel Cup season. AJ completes the 2007 driver line-up for Team Red Bull that already includes 23- year-old Brian Vickers, who’ll pilot the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry. Rick Viers, the veteran crew chief who guided the 24-year-old Californian through two successful NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races for Bill Davis Racing earlier this year, also joins Team Red Bull in the same role for 2007. A former Toyota Atlantic champion and Champ Car rookie of the year, AJ currently stands second in the 2006 Champ Car World Series standings with five race wins. To speed up his acclimation to stock car racing, Bill Elliott has graciously agreed to step aside and let AJ take on driver duties in the Team Red Bull entry for the upcoming 2006 Nextel Cup races at Atlanta and Texas.
QUOTES: AJ ALLMENDINGER – #84 Driver: “I'm really excited about this next challenge in my racing career. To race against some of the best drivers in the world in front of fans that are as enthusiastic about racing as I am is going to be a pretty big thrill. I know this is going to be a lot of work in the upcoming months, but I couldn't be happier to do it with Team Red Bull. Hopefully, we can all go out and deliver a good show.” MARTY GAUNT – Vice President, General Manager: “AJ has the talent, guts and ambition to be successful in any form of motorsports. He has proven to be one of America’s top young race car drivers in open-wheel racing and we are confident he can accomplish the same in stock car racing over time.” RICK VIERS –Crew Chief: “I see a huge amount of potential in AJ. On the racetrack, he’s smart, patient and definitely not afraid to race. For the first half of next year, AJ must use his patience to learn as much as he can before moving forward in the second half. Hopefully, he’ll be a solid rookie of the year candidate by year’s end.” More info on the Red Bull teams at redbullusa.com.(Red Bull Racing PR)(10-24-2006)
- Elliott switches teams for Atlanta; Allmendinger in Red Bull ride: Bill Elliott's plans to run in the Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway next week with a special paint scheme commemorating his 30 years of racing at his home track have been scrapped, but he'll race in front of the home folks anyway. Elliott said the Red Bull team that was set to field his car asked him to step aside so rookie A.J. Allmendinger could drive. Elliott agreed, then struck a deal to drive the #37 Dodge R&J Racing. "But the key is that I'll be racing, and that I don't let down the fans who have already bought tickets," Elliott said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(10-20-2006)
- Elliott still undecided on 2007 plans: Bill Elliott, who failed to qualify in Team Red Bull's Nextel Cup debut Thursday at Lowe's Motor Speedway, will run two more events for the team that will be part of Toyota's debut in 2007. Elliott is considered one of the candidates for that job. "Right now, we're just doing three races and we're going to figure out where it is going to go from there," Elliott said Thursday following his qualifying attempt but before learning he had missed the race." A full-time schedule for Elliott, who last ran all of the Cup races in 2003, is still an option, he said. "We'll wait and see," Elliott said. "It depends on my options." Elliott has driven four races for Michael Waltrip Racing and has two left with Team Red Bull as well as one with MWR. "Pretty much the same program with different guys," Elliott said about comparing Team Red Bull with MWR. "These guys are probably a little bit greener than Michael's guys because of [crew chief] Larry Carter. All it is is a learning curve."(SceneDaily.com)(10-14-2006)
- Elliott to run Commemorative paint scheme at Atlanta: When Bill Elliott takes the green flag for the October 29 Bass Pro Shops 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he will reach a milestone and further etch his name in the AMS record books. Elliott will make his 58th career start at AMS, a stretch that started 30 years ago. In recognition of the accomplishment, Team Red Bull has
designed a retro paint scheme for Elliott to run in the Bass Pro Shops 500, complete with the #30 [will NOT be their 2nd team car # in 2007] to mark his three-decade career at AMS. The paint scheme is designed after the Dahlonega Ford Sales sponsored car Elliott drove in his first start at AMS in 1976. That very #9 powder blue Ford Torino Elliott drove in his inaugural start will return to the high-banks of AMS when it makes a circuit during the parade lap before the start of the Bass Pro Shops 500. To catch Bill Elliott race at his home track, fans can contact the Atlanta Motor Speedway ticket office at (877) 9-AMS-TIX, (770) 946-4211, or visit www.atlantamotorspeedway.com or an authorized Ticketmaster retail outlet for more information on the Bass Pro Shops 500 NEXTEL Cup race weekend.(AMS PR), see an image of the car on my #83/#30 Team Schemes page.(10-13-2006)
- Team Red Bull Close to naming a 2nd driver: Team Red Bull General Manager Marty Gaunt told Sirius Speedway Thursday that there are three drivers remaining on his wish list, and that he hopes to announce a teammate for Brian Vickers within the next few weeks. "There are three guys that we have our eye on," said Gaunt. "We're looking for the best, pure driver we can find. This is not about who brings the most sponsorship to the program. We want a driver." Gaunt admitted that Champ Car World Series star AJ Allmendinger is on that list, saying, "We are obviously interested in AJ Allmendinger. He is a proven winner, and he has been very impressive in his two NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series races." Gaunt said he initially considered the possibilitty of splitting a ride between a veteran driver like Bill Elliott, and a young, up-and-coming driver. "We talked about it, and ultimately ruled it out," he said. "After giving it some thought, we decided that we want to have the same driver in the car, 100% of the time."(10-13-2006)
- Red Bull to debut at LMS UPDATE: Team Red Bull will make its racing debut next weekend with Bill Elliott at the wheel and its research and development manager Randy Cox serving as crew chief at Lowe's Motor Speedway. Cox, who most recently was a crew chief at ppc Racing and has previously worked with Chip Ganassi Racing, will serve as crew chief for the three races that Elliott will drive this year, said TRB General Manager Marty Gaunt while at Talladega Superspeedway. The car will be a Dodge as the team begins a three-race schedule to get ready for its Toyota debut in 2007. Brian Vickers will drive the #83 car next year with his teammate still to be announced. Gaunt said he hopes to have the second driver named within 30 days. "Everybody right now is in the candidate pool," Gaunt said. "We haven't found a second driver. We are still looking at everybody who is available out there who we can put in it. We haven't ruled anybody out as of yet."(SceneDaily.com)(10-7-2006)
UPDATE: There's a new car on the track and NASCAR legend Bill Elliott is behind the wheel. Elliott will be driving
the Victory Junction Gang #83 Dodge at the Bank of America 500 at Lowes Motor Speedway from October 12-14. Running the #83 entry is Team Red Bull, which is entering its first of three 2006 Nextel Cup races in preparation for the 2007 season. In addition to Elliott's on-track driving duties, he'll serve as the Grand Marshall at this year's Ride to Victory IV, which takes place on Sunday, October 15. "There's no better way to raise awareness and funds for the Victory Junction Gang than through two of my passions - racing and riding," said Elliott, who will be make his 754th start. Team Red Bull, together with Elliott, plans to donate the team's Charlotte race winnings and the #83 car and Elliott's driver suit for auction. The auction will take place in November and Information can be found at www.nascar.com/foundation.
On Sunday, October 15, the day following the Charlotte night race, Elliott leads the fourth annual Ride to Victory charity motorcycle ride that also benefits the Victory Junction Gang. The ride originates in Gastonia, NC, makes a pit stop in Mooresville for a tour of Team Red Bull race shop, then crosses the finish line at Victory Junction Gang Camp in Randleman, NC. The ride will cover just over 100 miles and the event is $85 per person. All proceeds will benefit Victory Junction Gang Camp. Fans that will be coming in for the weekend are invited and encouraged to bring their bikes and join the Ride to Victory IV. Registration for the ride can be done online at
- Allmendinger to Red Bull? UPDATE: Murmurs in Champ Car circles say Red Bull, which carries a personal services contract with AJ Allmendinger, might like to see the young American in Nextel Cup, where it hopes to strike big in 2007 in partnership with Toyota. With so much money and fame up for grabs in NASCAR, it has become a challenge to keep promising open-wheel drivers away from the France family circus. It could prove difficult for Owner Carl Russo and Champ Car to hold onto Allmendinger, especially if he starts winning.(Autoweek)(4-9-2006)
UPDATE: Champ Car driver A.J. Allmendinger wears a Red Bull helmet as one of the drivers endorsed by the energy-drink maker, so maybe that's why Team Red Bull Competition Director Elton Sawyer was one of the first people to talk to Allmendinger on pit road after his Truck Series debut Saturday at New Hampshire. Sawyer and Team Red Bull General Manager Marty Gaunt were both in attendance as Allmendinger finished 13th in his debut after wrecking his Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra in qualifying. Could the 24-year-old Allmendinger, who has four wins in Champ Car this year in a season driving for two different teams, be Brian Vickers' teammate when Team Red Bull takes to the track next season as part of the initial Toyota Camry Nextel Cup effort? "That's a tough question," Gaunt said on whether Allmendinger could be Nextel Cup ready. "He did a hell of a job for his first time out. He finished 13th in a backup truck. He did real, real good. He wanted to try this, and when he was switching rides, he got hold of [Bill Davis] and you've got to give him a lot of credit for going out and doing what he did here today." Gaunt said TRB is still a month away from naming a driver and a possible sponsor for that car. "We still have a lot of pieces to put together," Gaunt said. "We're still looking at all the [driver] candidates that are options, It is a crucial decision, so we have to make sure to make the right one." Allmendinger, who still might return to Forsythe Championship Racing on the Champ Car circuit next year and used the NHIS event to test the NASCAR waters, plans on competing in the Oct. 8 truck race at Talladega. "Red Bull has been a great driver-sponsor/athlete sponsor of mine for the last three years," Allmendinger said Saturday. "Over this year with my success and switching to the Forsythe team, we've been able to really have a strong relationship and they [Red Bull] enjoy the atmosphere in Champ Car as well. Right now, I was just trying to see what it was like and my focus is still on the rest of the year in Champ Car and more than anything just trying to please Red Bull and win races in that."(SceneDaily.com)(9-17-2006)
- Elliott back to roots; no word on 2007 plans yet: Bill Elliott is going back to his roots this weekend, racing his own car at the track where he learned to drive race cars. Elliott will run his Late Model car in the feature event at Dixie Speedway in Woodstock, where he once was a regular competitor. "That place has a lot of history for me," Elliott said. "I've been going there since the early '70s." Elliott last raced at Dixie in 1991. As in his early years, Elliott will be racing on Saturday with an engine prepared by his brother, Ernie Elliott. His new car was taken for a shake-down run on Thursday by dirt racing veteran Ray Cook. "I think it'll be competitive," Elliott said. Elliott's 2007 NASCAR plans are uncertain. He's weighing several offers and expects to decide soon.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(9-15-2006)
- Elliott's plans for 2007? still unknown: Bill Elliott will attempt to make his fourth start for #00 Michael Waltrip Racing this weekend in the Sony HD 500 Nextel Cup race at California Speedway but says he still isn't sure what he will do next season. The semi-retired Elliott still has one more race for MWR and then three for Team Red Bull this year. He said he was undecided on his 2007 plans. "I honestly don't know. I'm trying to sort through some stuff right now and try to figure out where I'm going to land," Elliott said.(SceneDaily.com)(8-31-2006)
- Elliott still has not decided: Bill Elliott says he is within a couple of weeks of deciding what he'll do next season. The semi-retired former series champion, who won this race in 2002 and is at the Brickyard this year driving Michael Waltrip's #00 Chevrolet, has been courted by several teams, including some that plan to field Toyotas next year. "I'm still waiting on a few things to come together," said Elliott. "The folks that I've talked to still haven't decided what we're going to end up doing. I'm going to try to put things together a little bit more in the next couple of weeks."(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(8-5-2006)
- Elliott fulltime with Red Bull in 2007? According to sources in the garage, Bill Elliott, also known as 'Awesome Bill from Dawesonville', will return full-time to NASCAR Cup competition as Brian Vickers' teammate at Team Red Bull in 2007.(source Ford Racing)(7-15-2006)
- F-1 Car in Vickers future? Sometime next season, Brian Vickers might get to drive a Formula 1 car owned by Red Bull. And he could easily become the face of the energy drink now that he's signed to drive the #83 Toyota Camry for Team Red Bull when it enters Nextel Cup competition next year.(SceneDaily,com)(6-28-2006)
- Vickers to drive for Red Bull Racing MORE: it was announced by Brian Vickers on Speed Channel's Wind Tunnel with Dave Despain that Vickers has signed with Red Bull Racing to drive one of their two Toyota's in 2007. Bill Elliott will drive for the team in three races and could run for the team full time in 2007, he will supposedly drive Dodge's in the three 2006 races.(6-25-2006)
MORE: As revealed this evening on Speed TV, Team Red Bull formally announces a multi-year agreement with NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series driver Brian Vickers, the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series champion, to race the #83 Red Bull Toyota Camry starting with the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season. Rumors notwithstanding, more official information on the new team, including the second 2007 driver, will be made available later this year.(Red Bull Racing PR)(6-26-2006)
- Vickers looking to get out of contract? UPDATE 2: Hearing that Brian Vickers, driver of the #25 GMAC Chevy for Hendrick Motorsports is now looking to get out of his contract with Hendrick after the 2006 season.(6-7-2006)
UPDATE: Hendrick Motorsports has given driver Brian Vickers permission to seek a ride elsewhere in racing. Hendrick spokesman Jesse Essex said Thursday that the driver of the team's #25 GMAC Chevy in the Nextel Cup Series had asked team officials for permission to pursue "employment opportunities outside our operation." Essex said "multiple years" remain on Vickers' contract at Hendrick.
AND rumors have Vickers going to the #88 Robert Yates Racing ride or one of the Red Bull Racing rides.(6-8-2006)
UPDATE 2: There's been speculation that Vickers might drive a Toyota for Team Red Bull next season. Team Red Bull general manager Marty Gaunt indicated in an e-mail that there's no deal yet with any driver. "Frankly, it is flattering to have this much interest in our new program, but the reality is that the driver search is still very open right now," Gaunt said.(Atlanta Journal-Constitution)(6-9-2006)
- Elliott to drive for Red Bull UPDATE: Red Bull Racing is planning to announce that former Nextel Cup champion  Bill Elliott will drive for the team for three races this season as the team prepares a full-time entry into Cup racing with Toyota in 2007, a source close to the situation has confirmed. The car Elliott will drive will not be a Toyota, but the make of car has not been determined. He will attempt to qualify for the races at Charlotte and Atlanta in October and Texas in November. He also is running select races this year for MB2 Motorsports and Michael Waltrip Racing. The Red Bull team will use the races to help get its crew ready for the Daytona 500 in 2007. Drivers and crew chiefs for 2007 have not been announced.(SceneDaily.com), Elliott is also scheduled to run five races for Michael Waltrip Racing in the #00 Burger King Chevy at Chicago, New Hampshire [July], Indy, California Homestead.(6-5-2006)
UPDATE: Originally scheduled to debut in 2007, Team Red Bull today announces a short schedule of three NASCAR NEXTEL Cup races it plans to enter in the fall of 2006 with veteran driver Bill Elliott, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, behind the wheel. “The organization and its competitive spirit are what attracted me to Team Red Bull,” says Elliott, who won the NASCAR Winston Cup driver’s title in 1988. “My job is simple . put the car in the show, drive it toward the front, and provide valuable input so that Team Red Bull is fully prepared by the Daytona 500. It’s really a great role at this stage of my racing career.” Leading the preparation of the non-Toyota equipped car are two recent race staff additions, Competition Director Elton Sawyer, a stock car racing veteran, and Technical Director John Probst, one of the racing industry’s top vehicle dynamics engineers. Sawyer and Probst join Gaunt and another appointee, Guenther Steiner, who came over to Team Red Bull from the Red Bull Racing F1 operation in a technical advisor role, as the team’s racing leadership operating out of the race shop in Mooresville, NC. The 60,000 sq. ft. facility recently underwent a Red Bull make-over since the energy drink company acquired the property from Penske Racing South prior to the team’s January 24 announcement by Toyota. Gaunt says the driver agreement with Elliott spans over three NEXTEL Cup races this fall – Charlotte, NC (Oct. 14), Atlanta, GA (Oct. 29), and Ft. Worth, TX (Nov. 5). Starting with the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup season, Team Red Bull will field two, full-time Toyota Camry entries. Rumors notwithstanding, more “official” information on the new team—including 2007 drivers and crew chiefs—will be made available later this year.(Red Bull Racing PR/Newsletter)(6-5-2006)
- Red Bull Shop...and rumors: Mears? Sadler? Knaus?: Toyota's Marty Gaunt has turned the lights on over at Roger Penske's old shop [in Mooresville, Lakeside Park], hired about 40 people for NASCAR's newest team, and is now looking for a couple of good men to run Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull [Toyota] Camrys on the Cup tour next season. #42-Casey Mears may be signing with Red Bull for 2007, leaving Chip Ganassi. Mears, in the final year of his Ganassi contract, was courted by car owner Richard Childress, either to fill Kevin Harvick's ride if Harvick had decided to leave, or to run a fourth Childress car. #38-Elliott Sadler [but is signed with RYR thru 2008] may also be signing with Red Bull, leaving Robert Yates, who is already dealing with the defection of Dale Jarrett to Toyota's Michael Waltrip for 2007. #48-Crew chief Chad Knaus, who has put Jimmie Johnson in the thick of the Nextel Cup championship race for four years now, may also be getting a major offer from the Red Bull team, though his current contract with car owner Rick Hendrick runs through 2007. Hendrick just extended Johnson's contract through 2010, but Knaus said that no one has talked with him about a contract extension. And mum's the word with Gaunt. When will he name drivers? "We haven't put a timetable on it, though obviously we'd rather do it sooner than later. When the time is right, we'll do it," Gaunt said. "We're going to run three races near the end of the year; hopefully we can clarify which three soon. And we'll be doing some testing throughout the year.(Winston Salem Journal)(5-21-2006)
- Red Bull Hire: Red Bull Racing has hired John Probst from Ford Racing Technology, a team spokesman confirmed Tuesday night. Probst will serve as the new team's technical director. A mechanical engineer with a degree from Penn State, Probst was the vehicle systems supervisor for Ford. The Red Bull operation, owned by the energy drink company, will field two Toyota teams in Nextel Cup in 2007. Probst joins a management team that includes recently hired Elton Sawyer as director of competition, Marty Gaunt as general manager and Guenther Steiner as a technical advisor. Steiner comes over from Red Bull Racing's Formula 1 team.(SceneDaily.com)(4-20-2006)
- Toyota and...Jarrett? UPDATE 3 Allmendinger? Gibbs?: The new NASCAR Nextel Cup Toyota operation that is being backed by Red Bull "has opened the checkbook," according to one top Ford man, who points to Red Bull's hiring of John Propst, a top Ford Motor Company vehicle dynamics specialist, and the hiring of a top Dodge engineer from the Ray Evernham camp for its new stock-car racing team. General Motors executives are anxiously watching their own key engineers for any similar defections. Elsewhere on the Toyota-NASCAR front, Toyota has made a bid to sign a two-year contract with Dale Jarrett, the tour's 1999 champion and a three-time Daytona 500 winner. Jarrett's contract with car owner Robert Yates is up at the end of this season. While it has been unclear for several months if Yates and Jarrett could come to new terms, Ford officials said Yates is offering Jarrett a contract similar to the Toyota deal.(Winston Salem Journal)(4-8-2006)
UPDATE - Red Bull Drivers? When Red Bull Racing debuts their two Toyota teams at Daytona in February of 2007, rumor has it the organization is looking to pair a rookie with a veteran, taking an approached used by Evernham Motorsports with Dodge. Veterans on the Red Bull list are said to be Kevin Harvick and Dale Jarrett. No word on a rookie, but it could easily be an accomplished veteran from another of the Motorsports arenas.(CircleTrackPlus)(4-9-2006)
UPDATE 2 Allmendinger? Murmurs in Champ Car circles say Red Bull, which carries a personal services contract with AJ Allmendinger, might like to see the young American in Nextel Cup, where it hopes to strike big in 2007 in partnership with Toyota. With so much money and fame up for grabs in NASCAR, it has become a challenge to keep promising open-wheel drivers away from the France family circus. It could prove difficult for Owner Carl Russo and Champ Car to hold onto Allmendinger, especially if he starts winning.(Autoweek)(4-9-2006)
UPDATE 3 Gibbs? There is still no word on which drivers Toyota might back, but Toyota may be making a run at car owner Joe Gibbs, with hopes of persuading the veteran Chevy man, and his three-man team of #20-Tony Stewart, #11-Denny Hamlin and #18-J. J. Yeley, to jump to the Camry brigade, according to sources. Chevy's Kevin Harvick continues to be a focal point of Toyota speculation. However, there is word that Harvick may be under consideration by Ford's Jack Roush for a driving job next season, though Harvick insists "I've not talked with Jack Roush, and I don't know Geoff Smith (Roush's contract attorney)." Smith was not here to discuss the situation, and Roush demurred: "I hear Toyota goes with Kevin Harvick, and there's not a Toyota in my future. What I do know, is Toyota just hired (engineer) John Propst from Ford, and that gives Toyota access to everything all the Ford teams have known about the engineering of the cars, and that's a cheeky move by Toyota, and it's certainly a coup for Toyota. The thing that is more distressing is Toyota is in position to make their own tires, with its relationship with Bridgestone....And I've heard Toyota has acquired 100 acres of land in Charlotte to put together a test track."(Winston Salem Journal)(4-10-2006)
- Red Bull hires Elton Sawyer: Elton Sawyer, who was working with Evernham Motorsports in its driver development program, has been hired by Red Bull Racing as its Director of Competition, a team spokesman confirmed Thursday. Sawyer is third all-time in Busch Series starts with 392. He finished fifth in points three times in the series. He also had 29 Cup starts. Red Bull Racing will field two teams as part of Toyota's Nextel Cup effort next season. The team is owned by the energy drink company.(SceneDaily.com)(4-7-2006)
- Red Bull's technical director moves to NASCAR: Red Bull will use one of its first prominent figures to set-up its NASCAR team in the US. Their technical director for Red Bull Racing in Formula 1, Gunther Steiner, will more from Formula 1 to NASCAR starting April 1st. The forty-year-old South Tyrolean will also assume the function of Technical Director for the Red Bull Toyota NASCAR team, acting on a level with General Manager Marty Gaunt. Red Bull's NASCAR team will start preparing for their debut season in 2007 on the first of April. Gunther Steiner said about his career move inside Red Bull Racing: "It is a new and fascinating challenge. If as a European you are asked to help set up such an ambitious project you simply cannot say #I'm really looking forward to working on my new task."(f1racing.net)(3-3-2006)
- More on Toyota's move to Cup: According to Toyota Racing Development officials, the newest manufacturer will field six Camrys when it debuts in 2007. Bill Davis Racing, Waltrip-Jasper Racing and Team Red Bull will each enter two apiece. The only driver sure to be racing a Toyota in 2007 is Michael Waltrip. Dave Blaney, who will drive a Dodge for Davis this year, is only under a one-year contract with the team.(Gaston Gazette)(1-26-2006)
- Three Teams to field Camry's in 2007 Cup Series UPDATE: hearing that Bill Davis Racing [#22,23], Michael Waltrip Racing [#55] and Team Red Bull will run the Toyota Camry in 2007 when Toyota enters the series. In addition to Red Bull, other sponsors that will be associated with the Toyota teams are Caterpillar (Bill Davis Racing) and NAPA (Michael Waltrip Racing). Team Red Bull will be based in Mooresville, NC, and stock car veteran Marty Gaunt [Penske] will serve as the team's general manager. Who will drive for Red Bull? how many teams/cars? not sure, Robby Gordon, who owns his own team has been sponsored by Red Bull. And have heard that Kevin Harvick, who drivers the #29 RCR Chevy, could be one of the drivers for Red Bull team. Expect these teams, but doubt the Red Bull drivers, in part to be announced at Toyota's Press Conference at Lowe's Motor Speedway tonight.(1-24-2006)
UPDATE: One veteran race team with close to 20 years of stock car experience, another with an owner who has been driving race cars for more than 20 years, and a third totally new team will all be running the Toyota Camry in the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.
Bill Davis Racing, Michael Waltrip Racing and Team Red Bull will all utilize the "Most Popular Car in America" when the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series season kicks-off next February with the Daytona 500, Toyota and teams announced.
Bill Davis Racing has been a regular competitor in the NASCAR Cup Series since 1993, while Michael Waltrip Racing has primarily been involved in the Busch Series. Team Red Bull is new to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup, although the company has been heavily involved in worldwide motorsports. In addition to Red Bull, other primary sponsors that will be associated with the Toyota teams are Caterpillar (Bill Davis Racing) and NAPA (Michael Waltrip Racing). Caterpillar has been associated with Bill Davis Racing for nine years and NAPA has had a relationship with Michael Waltrip for five years.
"Based on our motorsports experience, we know the importance of working with experienced teams and partners," said Jim Aust, vice president of Toyota Motorsports and president and CEO of TRD, U.S.A. "We have developed excellent relationships with Bill Davis and the Waltrip family --- and look forward to developing a similar relationship with the Red Bull team as Toyota joins one of the world's most competitive racing series."
"Next year -- 2007 -- marks Toyota's 50th anniversary in America and seeing a Toyota Camry -- America's best-selling car -- in the NEXTEL Cup Series will be a great way to celebrate this milestone," said Kim McCullough, TMS corporate manager, marketing communications. "The response to Toyota's involvement in the Craftsman Truck Series has been very positive, and we look forward to building on that acceptance at the next levels -- in both NEXTEL Cup and Busch racing."
The Toyota Camry has been the best-selling car in America for four straight years and eight of the past nine years. Assembled at Toyota's Georgetown, Ky. plant, more than six million Camry models have been sold in the United States since its debut 23 years ago. The all-new 2007 Camry, a complete redesign from previous models, was recently introduced at the North American Auto Show in Detroit.
Bill Davis has been involved in NASCAR competition for 18 years. During his tenure as a NASCAR team owner, the Arkansas-native has worked with some of the sport's top drivers and claimed numerous honors, including the 1991 Busch Series Rookie-of-the-Year award with driver Jeff Gordon, and a 2002 Daytona 500 win with driver Ward Burton. Bill Davis Racing has 18 victories, 38 poles, 104 top-five finishes and 257 top-10 finishes as a NASCAR team owner. In 2004, Bill Davis Racing partnered with Toyota to field three Tundras in the Craftsman Truck Series. In two seasons participating in the NCTS, the Bill Davis Racing drivers have combined for two wins, 11 poles, 22 top-five finishes and 41 top-10 finishes. The team will again field three Tundras in the series in 2006.
Michael Waltrip, a two-time Daytona 500 winner, formed his own race team nearly a decade ago in Sherrills Ford, N.C. Established primarily as a Busch Series team -- where Waltrip would collect four wins and six poles -- the organization began fielding cars in the NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series on a limited basis over the past few years. In order to better prepare for the expansion of his team, Waltrip announced plans last August to develop, design and create 'Waltrip Racing World' -- an interactive, high-tech race shop that will feature more than 125,000 square-feet of shop space, buildings and housing when completed.
Team Red Bull will be based in Mooresville, N.C., and stock car veteran Marty Gaunt will serve as the team's general manager. Although Red Bull is new to NASCAR NEXTEL Cup competition, the world's leading energy drink company has been increasingly involved in global motorsports over the last decade. Red Bull owns and operates two Formula One teams -- Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso -- plus is an active supporter of action and adventure sports, music and culture, along with motorsports.
In 2004, Toyota became a regular competitor in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) -the first new manufacturer in elite NASCAR competition in more than 50 years. In its inaugural NCTS season, a Toyota Tundra recorded four wins, five pole positions and 25 top-five finishes. During last year's Craftsman Truck Series campaign, four Toyota drivers -- Todd Bodine (five), Mike Skinner (two), David Reutimann (two) and Brandon Whitt (one) -- combined for nine Tundra wins and Toyota drivers recorded 13 poles. This season, Toyota will again field five teams and nine drivers in the NCTS, including defending series champion Ted Musgrave. Toyota made its initial move into the NASCAR ranks in 2000 with the introduction of a V6-powered Celica in the Goody's Dash Series. In three years in the Dash Series, Robert Huffman won 10 races and earned Toyota it's first-ever NASCAR championship when he claimed the 2003 driver's title.
Powering all of Toyota's American racing programs is TRD, U.S.A. (Toyota Racing Development) in Costa Mesa, Calif., and High Point, N.C. A subsidiary of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., TRD serves as the North American racing arm for design, development and assembly of Toyota's factory racing engines. In addition, TRD is also the source of high-performance aftermarket products for both street performance and grassroots racing Toyotas. From the race track to the aftermarket product segment, TRD plays a key role in providing Toyota with an enhanced performance image.(Toyota Motorsports Site)(1-25-2006)