Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Light 459; Dark 601

The crew at Team Red Bull seem to like practical jokes as more and more are taking place these days. Just yesterday, the lead engineer Alan Keeble pulled a fast one on engineering intern Vince (a student at local UNC-Charlotte). Since auditors were in the shop, he told Vinny that they requested a total count of Red Bull cans in the raceshop, so Vinny spent part of the day going from room to room counting Red Bull and Sugar Free cans. Then he proceeded to walk in on the auditors (which included a high-profile partner in the firm) with his very professional looking spreadsheet (read: blue Post-It notes scribbled with various numbers). To quote Vinny: "Do you need me to add the numbers up?" Let me guess...Vince and Accounting 101 didn't agree with each other. Good one Alan.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Vegas, Testing and Hard Hats...

This week TRB finds themselves in Vegas for NASCAR Cup testing - right in the midst of a major track renovation, which, as you can see from the picture, is still far from being complete. They assure us it will be finished by race weekend in mid-March... we shall see!

On the track, the #83 and #84 cars have been working on race and qualifying set-ups - basically just trying to get as much info as possible before the season starts. It's definitely been a learning curve so far for AJ - yesterday the #84 car cut a tire and brushed the wall. Brian and the #83 car continue to improve and have been posting solid lap times, which bodes well for both teams.

Tonight it's back to NC for everyone on a red eye flight... back to work as usual tomorrow!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Round 1: Calvin vs TRB

The pit crew recently got a crash course in boxing from pro boxer Calvin Brock. They were warned ahead of time not to get on Calvin's bad side - he currently holds a 29-1 record! The guys headed down to The Ultimate Gym in Charlotte where Calvin had them doing shadow boxing, speed bags, heavy bags, and jump ropes. He even trained them in 3 minute intervals – just like boxing rounds – for about an hour and a half. Wondering why we have our pit crew boxing? Pit Crew Coach Greg Miller believes in training through different sport disciplines and says there’s a strong correlation between boxing and pit crew action – footwork, hand-eye coordination, rhythm, fast paced action, and breathing techniques. The training was so intense that Greg said he “kept waiting for Rocky to come out!” (see Calvin in photo on left)

Friday, January 26, 2007

"All New NASCAR"

You may be perusing the latest issue of FHM for cars, gadgets, and gals, but page 94 – that’s where you’ll find the real action. Team Red Bull got a visit from the folks at FHM back in December (see Dec. 8 blog). They had such a good time hanging out at the shop with the guys that they turned their visit into a 6-page spread. Quotable quotes you’ll find:
“I call this my money pit.” – Mike Good
“I don’t know how NASCAR drivers remember all their sponsors. Drivers must have to look at the side of their car all the time. It’s easy for us because we just have to say ‘Red Bull.’” – AJ
The magazine is on stands now and happens to be the last-ever issue of FHM Magazine. R.I.P 2000 – 2007.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

ABC Enters Our World

This afternoon a television crew from ABC World News Tonight visited the race shop. Amid the craziness that comes with gearing up for Daytona - most of us leave in 12 days by the way!! - it still managed to cause a bit of excitement around the shop! With only 30 minutes to prepare, the shop guys were told to clean up their work areas and of course, get ready for their '15 minutes of fame'. ABC is planning to do a short feature on the new Toyota teams that have ventured into the world of NASCAR this year... check out the story on Toyota Monday, Jan 29 at 6:30pm!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


The guys in the Finish Fab shop are just full of practical jokes…and not just on each other. Today the joke was on a gal in the marketing department. Parking is tight around TRB and the last spot she could find this morning was near the Finish Fab building…where trouble tends to lurk. The guys came into the Marketing Trailer and asked her if she could move her car. Thinking nothing of it, she goes outside to find her gleaming white Toyota Corolla – ambushed with flaming orange tape messages (see photo). At least they were kind enough to “give her wings” on the windshield.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


AJ has been a little quicker in step since last Friday's nuptials with Lynne in front of an intimate collection of family and friends at the Breakers Resort in West Palm Beach, Fla. AJ did a little dirty dancing (see picture) atop Lynne before clenching the checkered flag garter from her leg (one can only assume the real Victory Lane celebration was later that night). So now please welcome Mr. and Dr. Allmendinger (yes, Lynne's the Doc, not AJ). A toast to the happy couple!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Shipment In!

Check out those mugs! The December NYC photo shoot produced some really cool photography (see sneak peak) for the 2007 autograph cards and communications booklets. Several boxes of these goodies made their way to the shop today just in the knick of time for tonight’s Toyota Media Dinner. More than 200 motorsports covering journalists will rub elbows with AJ, Brian and all the Toyota team owners and drivers to mark the season that’s just creeping up on us…just 27 days away! Today is the first of a week-long "Charlotte Media Tour" hosted each year by NASCAR.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wedding Bells Are Ringing...

AJ & Lynne are tying the knot today! The ceremony kicks off in a few hours down in sunny Palm Beach, FL. The newlyweds will be back in Charlotte on Monday so that doesn’t leave much time for a honeymoon, but we’re sure they’ll sneak in a vacation sometime soon. We couldn’t let them get married without a great wedding gift so we got them…(see photo). Sorry, but we can’t tell you yet what the gift is yet in case AJ sees the blog before Monday. And don’t worry - we won’t leave you hanging with just a box for a wedding photo. We’ll try to snag some pics from AJ when he gets back…

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Bod Pod

At TRB, we want our crew to be fit and at the top of their game…so in came the Bod Pod. According to the guys, the Bod Pod tells you how fat you are. In technical terms, the Bod Pod ( measures body composition. Sit inside the Bod Pod for just 5 minutes and it measures the volume of air your body displaces, which is then used to determine your percent of fat and lean mass. Sounds scary, but more than half the team and even some of their spouses took their turn in the Bod Pod (see Marty). What’s the goal? To take the team’s average body composition and try to drop that number down by the end of the year. The Bod Pod will make an appearance in the shop several more times this year to see if the team is making progress…

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Business Man

It’d be no surprise to hear fans speculate that Brian is just a 23 year-old “kid” who’s kicked back and living a NASCAR dream, but there’s a side of Brian that fans just don’t see – The Business Man. Every spare minute that he’s not racing the car or working with his engineers and crew, he’s locked up inside the team hauler…working. Racing a full-time Cup schedule is enough to make anyone crazy, but Brian has a knack for staying on top of his game. He spends hours a day answering emails, working on his schedule, travel, and appearances, and figuring out when he’s going to squeeze some free time into his hectic life. How many “kids” do you know that have their hands in this many pots?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Life of a Junior Engineer

Meet Drew Nabb. At just 24 years old, this kid from Maryland is traveling all over the country learning what it takes to be a race engineer. Drew’s dad used to race power boats so he got a need for speed early on, but it wasn’t until he went to engineering school at Kettering University that he really got bit by the racing bug. Throughout school, Drew and a group of students got hands on experience building Formula SAE cars. Drew even used his free time to race – this time behind the wheel with Autocross Racing. Some guys on the team give Drew a hard time because he looks like he could be the son of Technical Director John Probst. We asked Drew if John gives him any special treatment for the resemblance and Drew replied, “No. I actually get extra harassment for that.” What a good sport.

Monday, January 15, 2007

84 Bull on Track

Here’s something you just don’t see at Daytona – a shot of empty grandstands. There was hardly a fan in the stands watching today’s Cup practice at Daytona, but come the Daytona 500 – you won’t be able to spot a vacant seat in the house nor a square foot of empty space in the infield. Around 200,000 NASCAR fans show up for the Daytona 500. When AJ caught wind of that, he thought he’d pop into Daytona and get some practice in before the big day. At press time (or would we call it blog time?), AJ was turning steady lap times in the #84 Bull and cruising just about six tenths off the fastest lap time – not bad for a rookie. Testing resumes tomorrow morning so check back in for updates...

Friday, January 12, 2007

A Loose Bull in Brooklyn

Back on Nov. 29th the Stock Car Ticker blog post was about the Team Red Bull photo shoot with the cars/drivers in Brooklyn, NY. During a break in the production, Brian took the No. 83 out for a spin at the intersection of Jay and Plymouth streets. Needless to say, it caught a few locals by surprise (see photo). Brian got a chuckle at the weird looks he got. A clip of the donuts surfaced over at You Tube the other day, so check it out! Meanwhile, across the city in Manhattan the same week, the 10 Chase drivers were doing a parade lap in Times Square. No donuts were allowed.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Check it!

While Brian shakes down the No. 83A and No. 83B super-speedway cars down in Daytona this week (with AJ looking on), the set-up crew back in the race shop are busy prepping AJ's No. 84A and No. 84B race cars for next week's official Daytona T01 tests. As pictured in the photo, the crew reference set-up specs sheet that are taped to the rear side panel of the car next to a check-off sheet. Since the sheets detail trade secrets for engine, suspension, brakes, shocks, etc...we can't show you what they say. One by one items will be checked off the list over the next couple days before the cars are loaded up into the hauler and driven down to Daytona. It'd be nice if our own personal cars received such attention and tender loving care.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

AJ Borrows Brian's Wheels

AJ was on hand at Daytona today watching his teammate turn some laps, when lucky for him, Brian let him take his wheels for a spin! After AJ’s flight issues yesterday, he’s just lucky he made it to Daytona on time. Get this - His flight took off from Charlotte...only to land in Charlotte one hour later. Turns out some straps from the food cart were hanging out of the plane and the flight crew decided they needed tucked in. They turned the plane around and landed back in Charlotte to fix the problem. AJ’s quick 1.5 hour flight turned into a whole day of just hanging out on the airplane. AJ thought the story was so funny that he was still texting friends about it this morning (see photo)!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Timmy's 21'st Birthday

The crew got a good laugh last night at The Wing House in Daytona. Everyone gathered for the Ohio State vs Florida game, but the real entertainment came when 10 Hooters-like waitresses approached our table looking for "Timmy." Tim Buller, Aerodynamics Engineer, was volunteered up by his fellow crew guys and peer pressured into standing on his chair while the ladies sang Happy Birthday. Did we mention the restaurant was completely packed? What a good sport Tim was. We're not sure who let the waitresses in on Tim's birthday, but we have a pretty good idea who the prankster is...and Tim tells us that revenge will be even sweeter.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Daytona Washout

Today was the first of a three-day NASCAR test at Daytona (we're only 41 days from the Daytona 500!), but the Cup cars only saw three hours of track time before the skies opened up and dumped rain down on the track. Lucky for Brian (or maybe unlucky if you ask him), he was still plenty busy off track with a Toyota photo shoot and media interviews. See photo of Mr. Vickers in the #83 chatting with his engineer, Dave Winston. His Camry was running 34th before the rains came in.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Chassis Dyno Up and Running

If you’re a faithful blog reader then you probably remember the post about flying bullets and the chassis dyno. If you’re an unfaithful reader, just check the Stock Car Ticker archives on Dec. 20th to get up to speed. We’re happy to report the chassis dyno is officially up and running today! See, our photo even proves it. That’s an exclusive view of what our engineers see from behind the bullet proof glass. We’ve even got a car up there just waiting to get shaken up. Have at it guys!

Thursday, January 04, 2007


Over in the marketing department, it's been getting crazy busy as well with the impending start of the season. Final revisions are being made on collateral pieces that go into production next week. You may come across them later at a driver autograph signing, at the team's merchandise trailer or if you are lucky enough to be a guest of Red Bull at the race track. The man spending hours behind a computer to design the collateral is Clint! Yes, Clint with an !. His momma named him that way. He runs a creative shop in middle America and is our man to bring the brand to life on paper in that graphical sense. He eats lots of Hormel and Spam and drinks lots of Red Bull. And that's just for breakfast. A breakfast for champions.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Get Your RACER Magazine

And read AJ's whopping 5-page spread in the February issue. Check out page 22 for “When Opportunity Knocks…” AJ tells all about the opportunity to come over to the NASCAR stable. The former Champ Car star said, “When it’s (the opportunity) there you’ve got to jump on it. Is it a risk? It’s a huge risk. But I look at it as a challenge. As much as I wake up daily saying, ‘Have I done the right thing? Oh my gosh, I’ve got to qualify today just to make the race…’As much as that scares me, I take it as a challenge and say, ‘If I’m able to conquer that, that’s bigger than I ever would have expected.’” We’ll let you read the rest of the article on your own.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Revving Up The 83

Dave Winston is the Race Engineer behind Brian Vickers #83 machine. He recently jumped ship after a six-year stint at Roush Racing working with Greg Biffle. He and crew chief Doug Richert are good buds and breaking up the successful twosome just wasn’t an option so Dave was quick to join the TRB stable. It’s no secret this guy knows how to engineer a car, but it may be a secret that he knows how to drive one too. He takes his turn behind the wheel each year in a Legends car in the Summer Shootout Series. If you want to see Dave race, head on over to Lowe’s Motor Speedway when the competition revs up in June. (See Dave on right, talking to Technical Director John Probst on left)