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Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:58 pm

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The owner of energy drink Red Bull plans to leave NASCAR at the end of this season, The Associated Press is reporting.

Multiple people familiar with the decision say a team official traveled to Michigan Speedway and told industry leaders Sunday of the impending move. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement has not been made to team employees.

Red Bull is both the owner and sponsor of the two-car NASCAR team. The team has struggled since its 2007 entry into NASCAR and consistently has been plagued by rumors and speculation that the Austrian ownership group will leave the auto racing series.

No reason for Red Bull's leaving has been given, but the energy drink markets to the 18-to-34 age group -- the demographic NASCAR has consistently lost in its current ratings slide.

The team had a horrendous debut season in 2007, when Brian Vickers failed to qualify for 13 of 36 races. He finished 38th in the final Sprint Cup standings.

AJ Allmendinger missed 19 races that year and was 43rd in the final points.

Jay Frye, a respected team manager in NASCAR, was brought on the next season as general manager, and the team slowly improved. But Allmendinger was let go late in 2008 for Scott Speed, who had been let go from Red Bull's Formula One team.

Like Allmendinger, Speed was not ready for NASCAR's top level, and the lack of experience in Red Bull's second driver hindered Vickers' development. Speed was let go at the end of last year and is currently suing Red Bull.

Vickers won a race in 2009 and made the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship, only to be sidelined most of last year with blood clots. He's back this season, and the team has Kasey Kahne on loan from Hendrick Motorsports, but still isn't among the top NASCAR organizations.

Kahne has five top-10 finishes and is 19th in points; Vickers has five top-10 finishes and is 24th in points.

Kahne moves to Hendrick Motorsports at the end of this year, and Vickers is in the final year of his contract. It's not clear what will happen to development driver Cole Whitt, who is ranked second in the Trucks Series standings, or to the Red Bull employees.

It's possible Frye could line up investors to buy the race team from Red Bull. He's twice before run race teams that way with varying success.

Red Bull, meanwhile, also owns a pair of two-car Formula One teams. Current points leader Sebastian Vettel is the reigning world champion and has won five of seven Grand Prix races this season.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 2:30 pm

wow, didnt see that one coming.

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:10 pm

wonder who will land Vickers?

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:19 pm

I was thinking the same thing schmoopy.
I reckon JGR & Roush have some serious thinking to do ;)

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:22 pm

jamo14 wrote:I was thinking the same thing schmoopy.
I reckon JGR & Roush have some serious thinking to do ;)

If you listen to the rumors, JGR is being aggressive to land a FA. (with rumors of Carl & JPM)

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:26 pm

don't think I'd believe the JPM rumor, he's been Ganassi's boy toy for over a decade now.

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:38 pm

Schmoopy1000 wrote:wonder who will land Vickers?


Should be a pin ball company! ha ha ha

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 4:25 pm

michaeljohn wrote:wow, didnt see that one coming.


maybe they oughtta toss Vickers and bring up that Cole Whitt, that kid's got a promising future as far as I can see. I mean look back and see how many rookies have EVER gotten the pole at Darlington on there first trip there. I bet that would be a REALLY SHORT list. ####, maybe bring Kimi Raikkonen up after a few more starts between trucks and NW, that guy can handle a race car....Who knows? :?

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:49 pm

driving in the truck series is a lot different than driving cup, just because another driver flourished somewhere else doesnt mean they can drive nascar, ask dario franchitti, the truck series is full of drivers that couldnt handle cup and didnt have the talent, that is why kyle appears to be a good driver, but put him in cup, he is so so.................

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 5:56 pm

michaeljohn wrote:driving in the truck series is a lot different than driving cup, just because another driver flourished somewhere else doesnt mean they can drive nascar, ask dario franchitti, the truck series is full of drivers that couldnt handle cup and didnt have the talent, that is why kyle appears to be a good driver, but put him in cup, he is so so.................


I didn't say anything about Kyle, go get your glasses on

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:17 pm

I wouldn't say that about trucks MJ. Ron Hornaday won four nw races and contended for championships. But he never got a good shot at cup. He raced for DEI in trucks but they gave Mikey the 15 ride and he went to AJ Foyt's team and that team was no good.

Todd Bodine won what 15 nw races and contended for titles. He really never got a fair shot at cup.

Brendan has one year in cup and Penske never gave him a second shot even though he got a top ten in his last race for them.

Matt Craftom as never gotten a shot and Johnny Sauter has been screwed every single time he's been in a cup ride.

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Mon Jun 20, 2011 11:25 pm

midwesternsmoke wrote:
michaeljohn wrote:driving in the truck series is a lot different than driving cup, just because another driver flourished somewhere else doesnt mean they can drive nascar, ask dario franchitti, the truck series is full of drivers that couldnt handle cup and didnt have the talent, that is why kyle appears to be a good driver, but put him in cup, he is so so.................


I didn't say anything about Kyle, go get your glasses on


i did, so i dont need glasses............

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Tue Jun 21, 2011 3:55 pm

UPDATE: Jay Frye, vice president and general manager for Red Bull Team Racing, said Tuesday he is optimistic that he can line up investors to keep the organization intact for the 2012 season. "We have talked to some people who have great enthusiasm about what we're doing," Frye said on a conference call. "We believe we can put something together rather quickly in 30 to 45 days. But the process has just started. We had a lot of inquires yesterday. The goal is to keep the Red Bull team continuing on the path it's on." Frye said he couldn't get specific about ongoing negotiations. He said he learned a few weeks ago that Red Bull might pull out of the sport. Frye said it's possible Red Bull could stay involved in the team in some capacity in the future.(ESPN.com)(6-21-2011)

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:29 am

i stand by what i say about the truck and cup series being different, if these guys you mentioned were so good, they would be in cup, and not show up sparingly. there are only two things that keep you in a good cup ride, and that is either winning, or having that charisma that attracts sponsors, i love kenny schrader, but his cup career was anything but spectacular, but he had that talent of making people laff and be a good spokes person for a sponsor, even after bud and m&m's left him as full sponsors, they stayed on as associate sponsors til him cup career came to a end

Re: Report: Red Bull will leave NASCAR

Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:10 pm

Your acting like the Cup series is the only series in NASCAR

All these drivers has skills otherwise they wouldn't be here. Hornaday has beat the cup guys in head to head battles in trucks, same with Bodine, Crafton and Sauter.

Look at the nw series. Jason Keller made a career in that series. Was he good enough to be in cup? For sure. But he only made 2 cup starts.

There are some drivers in cup that shouldn't be there and there are tons in nw and trucks that should be in cup.

If Johnny Sauter had ever gotten a fair shot in cup he could be winning races and contending for titles in the cup series.

Btw Ken was and is a #### of a driver. He did get some top five finishes in points. After he left HMS he never was able to get back into a winning car again.
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