Friday, December 29, 2006

Putting Speed in The 84

That’s the job for Race Engineer Phil Jimenez who’s taking the reins on the 84 car. Phil’s put speed in the cars of Dale Jarrett, Bobby Labonte, Elliott Sadler and Kyle Petty. When asked about AJ’s wild personality, Phil laughed saying, “I’ll withhold comment for now.” (We’ll take that as a good sign.) When asked why he came to TRB we got the politically correct answer, “I believe in the way TRB is running their engineering group” followed by some humor, “Actually it’s because my house is 300 yards from here.” Joe Hoffman goes way back with Phil, but wouldn’t spill the goods saying, “I could unleash something right now, but…” We’ll have to dig deeper for more scoop on Phil.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Breakfast Fit For a King

The guys at the shop are known for working hard, playing hard, and eating…well, things hard on their stomachs. Jimmy Sprinkle is enjoying a chili dog and Sun Drop (North Carolina’s version of a Mountain Dew), which isn’t all that abnormal – except this was at 9:30 AM and it was his breakfast! We’ll have to get this man some good old fashioned oatmeal. PS…Jimmy may look like a tough guy, but don’t let the act fool you - he lives in a town called Love, North Carolina!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Energy Station

Most teams set up a hospitality area at the races to feed and entertain sponsors and guests. The entertaining aspect is...well, one might say dry. Usually no more than a tent and some card tables with checkered flag decor. Red Bull isn’t down with that so they’re rolling out The Energy Station at select NASCAR races next year - a two-story steel and glass structure that puts those little tents to shame. Even the interior screams stylish with stainless steel bars, lounge areas with plush sofas and love sacs, catered food, all the Red Bull one can drink, plasma TV’s, and a DJ to spin tunes. (Photo: sneak peek inside the Energy Station)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Traveling Billboards

The team uses 53 foot-long haulers to transport cars and equipment all over the country. The haulers are on the road so much that they’re considered traveling billboards, so National Tours was enlisted to give the haulers snazzy paint jobs. Most teams use a graphic wrap to cover their haulers, but not the TRB haulers - they're being hand painted to look just as good as our race cars. Every design element (minus the Bull and some lettering) is painted (see photo), which is no short process – we’re talking 10 days and a 7-stage process to do a job this intricate.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

It’s Christmas Day and while AJ and Brian might be a little too old to race to the tree to find their presents, they’re still enjoying some holiday traditions like the rest of us – eating good food and spending time with family and friends. AJ is heading north to Toronto, Canada and who knows… maybe he’ll even get a white Christmas. Brian’s not going too far from his Charlotte residence – he’s headed up the road to his hometown of Thomasville, NC. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 22, 2006

If It's Almost Right...It's Wrong

That’s the motto of the TRB Quality Control Department. Derrick, our Certified Quality Control Technician, is using a Coordinate Measurement Machine to verify dimensions on each and every part that goes onto our race cars. Bet you didn’t even know that department existed, huh? Derrick is new to the world of racing, but with five years of QC experience and tons of special training – he’s got a keen eye for knowing if the parts match the engineering drawings. The hardest part of his job is “Learning the numbers that are assigned to each part.” That’s no easy task either – there’s about 1500 parts that make up each car!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

6 Guys Go To 5 Guys

There’s a great burger joint in Mooresville called Five Guys that serves up the best burger and fries combo in town, but steer clear if you're calorie counting. Good thing these six guys – Marty, Kyle, Artie, Chuck, Elton, and Ricky – aren’t worried about their waistlines. They’re so smitten with Five Guys that they even try to rope in the health nuts at the shop by raving about the salad bar (FYI – there’s no salad bar). They’re known to get the occasional discount from the owner and they’ve even developed fond memories of the place…like the time Artie forgot he poured leftover vinegar into his soda cup – and then took a big gulp of it! Find your very own Five Guys at

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Watch for Flying Bullets

Our testing facilities are so impressive that we had to install bulletproof glass to prevent jealous teams from coming after us. Ok, so that’s not completely true. What’s true is that we do have a 1 3/8 inch thick bulletproof glass installed where we’ll be doing chassis dyno testing, but it’s actually to keep race car parts from hitting the engineers while they’re working – should the parts fly off. The first story just sounded more exciting.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Proper Sendoff

Harley Rauch had his last day at TRB today so his fellow crew guys thought he should get a proper sendoff. They duct taped him to a rolling office chair, blind folded him, and launched him down the parking lot. There was plenty of laughter and HR will be happy to know that there are no injuries to report. It was all in good fun and the guys’ way of letting Harley know he’ll be sorely missed around here. Good luck Harley!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Soiree at Soiree

There are plenty of great things to say about last night’s team party at Soiree Restaurant, but at the top of the list - there was no shortage of great food. Every nook and cranny of the two-story place had stations of filet mignon, Ahi tuna, crab cakes, shrimp gumbo, pork, mashed potatoes, salad bar, dessert bar, and even a cotton candy machine. No shortage of Red Bull, no shortage of great DJ tunes, and no shortage of fun stories that unfolded. Everyone has a camera full of pics, but we’re only going to let you in on the G-rated photo of the Team Red Bull ice sculpture – check that thing out! For those who waited in suspense to find out what the holiday gifts were… an iPod shuffle, Puma watch and Puma beanie (or toboggan as they call it in “The NC”).

Friday, December 15, 2006

Ho, Ho, Ho

It’s said that “to give is better than to receive,” but come on, who doesn’t like to receive a nice holiday gift? That’s why TRB is hooking up every team member with some really cool “Thanks for the hard work – you guys rock” gifts. What’s in Santa’s secret bag? Well if we told you today it would ruin the surprise - Santa’s not delivering gifts until the holiday party this weekend. We’ll sneak in a few hints to get you guessing though. All three gifts (yes, three) can be (1) worn by everyone, even though they don’t come in sizes (2) used all year long (3) are unisex. Ok, that’s all we’re telling for now. Stay tuned for Monday when we reveal the goods…

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The End of Flag Football

Funniest Moment: Nate barking at his opponents. (TRB lost that game, so the intimidation tactics must not have worked.)

Most Improved: “Cucumber,” a British transplant who had never even played American football until the first game. (“It’s like rugby, right?”)

Most Loyal Fans: Somer and Crystal (Thanks to Scott for bringing his daughters every week.)

Best Tackle: When “IKE” took down “Prince.” (It would have been a good tackle, if it weren’t for the fact they’re teammates.)

Record: 10 games, 0 fights, and 0 team members thrown out of games. (Now that’s a successful season.)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Stocks For Tots

You can always count AJ in for a good time and a good cause. Last night he posted up at the Charles Mack Citizen Center in Mooresville to sign autographs at the “Stocks for Tots” charity event. The charity draw – fans got to meet the drivers by donating $10 or a new toy. A bunch of big name drivers and racing personalities broke out their Sharpies for the annual event including Dale Jr, Carl Edwards, Denny Hamlin, Greg Biffle, and Fox Sports Racing Analyst Larry McReynolds. AJ chatted up fans who took a quick liking to the open-wheel transplant and even made a new friend, 15 year-old Bandolero Driver Matt Stover (see the two new buds in the photo).

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

"Fastest Half Hour on TV"

As soon as Doug Richert landed the role of the No. 83 crew chief, TRB got the word out to the die-hard Bull fans. Now the fans are jonesing for more from Doug so he’s giving RACELINE the low down on why he joined the TRB stable. RACELINE is a weekly TV show that airs in almost every pocket of the country and features racing folks in the NASCAR know like crew chiefs and drivers. To see Doug’s interview, check for when the segment is airing in your city. Bonus – the segment was taped on the shop floor during a real workday so you not only get to see Doug, but you get a little glimpse at live action inside the shop.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Roach Coach

It’s 9:30 AM and a white truck comes zipping into the TRB parking lot. Robin is behind the wheel honking the horn and letting the crew know the break truck has arrived. Robin Lynn Catering is a snack shop on wheels packed full of chips, cookies, sandwiches, pastries, drinks, and lots of other goodies that could get a waistline growing. Break trucks have been circling the race shops for so many years that you could say they’re a tradition. The “Roach Coach” is an unfortunate nickname the trucks acquired back in the day when these catering trucks didn’t used to be so, well shall we say – clean. It wasn’t uncommon to see roaches crawling around inside the food trucks. Times have changed and you now see nothing but cleanliness, but the nickname still lives on. (See Tony & Greg in pic)

Friday, December 08, 2006

For Him Magazine

FHM Magazine visited the Team Red Bull raceshop today for interviews and photos for a feature piece on the team for their March 2006 issue, which includes a NASCAR preview section. If you subscribe, you may recall last year's spread on the DEI shop. The feature will include the above photo as well as various takes of the race shop and drivers from the day. The writer sat down with AJ and Brian together for a fun FHM-style Q&A session. AJ claims he is bringing sexy back to NASCAR. Speaking of sexy, wouldn't it have been cool if frequent FHM model Vida Guerra was a part of this shoot. 2006 is all about learnings. Next time we'll ask up front.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Visiting the Bluegrass State

AJ popped in to a Toyota Engineering & Manufacturing office in Kentucky yesterday to teach the folks there a thing or two about NASCAR…or at least what he thinks his first NASCAR season will be like. The Team Red Bull show cars let employees get up close and personal with the 3400-lb stockcars and of course, plenty of Red Bull was on hand. After throwing back a few cans, AJ got down to business signing t-shirts for hundreds of employees. He signed so many autographs that he started thinking about ways to shorten his signature for next year. How about just AJA? The Californian also introduced himself on stage and got a big laugh from the crowd saying, “I would stand up taller behind this podium, but this is as big as I get.”

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Oh...To Be 20 Again


At the ripe age of 20, Brian Vickers became the youngest-ever NASCAR title holder in winning the 2003 NASCAR Busch Series driver’s championship. Likewise at 20, Doug Richert became the youngest crew chief to win NASCAR’s elite Cup Series championship back in 1980, the first of Dale Earnhardt’s seven titles.

As of today, Brian and Doug now have something else in common. Together they’ll make up the driver-crew chief tandem for Team Red Bull’s No. 83 Camry entry in the 2007 NASCAR NEXTEL Cup Series.

DOUG RICHERT – No. 83 Crew Chief
“The Cup series has gotten so much more competitive these days. Starting from scratch is no easy task, but once the team gets some chemistry and momentum going, we’ll hopefully be able to do some exciting things.”

BRIAN VICKERS – No. 83 Driver
“Doug has worked with practically a Who’s Who list of drivers in this sport and he knows what it takes to be consistently successful at this level. What an awesome feeling to know he’s in my garage now.”

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Inventory 101

Ordering parts for a race team is a lot more complicated than a standard inventory system. For TRB, it takes 5 full-time guys just to get the job done and we’re not talking your average 9-5 job – these guys put in some long hours. With dozens of cars being built and hundreds of parts going into each car, there has to be a method to the madness (Jeff and Matt are controlling the madness in the photo). Just yesterday alone 180 parts were ordered and at any given time there can be up to 800 parts stashed on the shelves just waiting to be used. That means a lot of paperwork, a lot of spreadsheets and a lot of purchase orders. The good stuff? Getting to play with all the toys…er, parts…before the rest of the race team does.

Monday, December 04, 2006

A Puck, A Pigskin & A One-Touch Pass

What do a former minor league hockey player, college football fullback, and semi-pro soccer star all have in common? They’re just 3 of 13 new hires who took coveted spots on the over-the-wall pit crew roster. Now if we could just get a rear tire changer and crew chief for Vickers…we’d be all set. Greg Miller is the man in charge of the 83 and 84 pit crews (see pic of him supervising the guys while they customize a pit box) and he’s over the moon about the new hires saying “These guys are awesome! By far the most diverse group I’ve ever worked with.” Most Cup teams choose to not have their pit crew working full time in the shop, but TRB is breaking that tradition. Mondays and Friday’s will put their mechanic and fabricator skills to the test, while Tuesdays through Thursdays are reserved for intensive pit crew training with conditioning practice, agility work, and film review at pit crew school.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Missing in Action

A few team members returned to the shop today following this week's photoshoot down in Brooklyn, NY. They brought back tales of a missing racecar. The story goes that since the racecars are not street legal, right in the middle of day 2 of the photoshoot, No. 84 was seized by City of New York Marshals, put on a tow truck and hauled away. The drivers weren't nearby, rather hanging out in front of a local tattoo shop down Metropolitan Street. Thus, they weren't ticketed with a violation. Feelers have been put out to corroborate this tale.