Wednesday, February 28, 2007

BETA dot com

Okay, okay...a few of you have caught on to the new Team Red Bull website that hasn't been publicly announced just yet. It's a BETA version that is still under development from both a technical and content side of things. But it's live, so you can check it out. Be sure to swing by the Multimedia section that has a few videos up already. They may load slowly now (we'll be moving them over from the servers in Austria to the worldwide Akamai serving network soon to speed things up) but are well worth the wait. We'll be adding more Flash, words, pictures and audio interviews each day the web developers allow us to. They've been working hard behind the scenes to build out the necessary database architecture so that we can add lots of content for you to digest. Feedback is always welcome. And yes, one day we will add a storefront link for merchandising so you can start to represent out there in the NASCAR Nation.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Work Hard, Play Hard

Running 36 races, a handful of tests, and juggling sponsor appearances in between can seem like all work and no play, but Brian and AJ know how to squeeze some fun into life. Last week they worked and played at the annual Toyota Motorsports Day at Toyota HQ in Torrance, CA. The guys were on hand to sign autographs for employees and grab some lunch with execs, but the twosome decided to first get in on the action meant for the employees. They hopped behind the wheels of racing simulators and battled it out in several intense games of racing against other Toyota Cup drivers. For those of you that know AJ, he’s a video game fanatic. We practically had to pry him away from the simulator to go sign autographs. Can someone send this kid his own simulator please?

Monday, February 26, 2007

Today's Top 10 List

An excerpt from today's post-race news release:

10. Not only is it a top 10, it’s our first-ever finish in a points race
9. A top 10 in NASCAR equates to a top 5 in Formula One
8. Solid proof the Toyota engine can run strong for longer than a truck race
7. Sin City is the next race
6. Did we mention the No. 83 is in the coveted top 35 in owner’s points?
5. Bonuses for everybody at the race shop
4. All the more reason to break into all those cases of Red Bull
3. Now we can start selling t-shirts, hats and diecasts
2. Sunday night’s red-eye flight home from California goes a lot quicker
1. Matt’s Monday is Free Fries at Arby’s (thanks to Busch and Cup race winner Matt Kenseth)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Fun in the California snow!

When the Cup garage closed yesterday afternoon at 5:00 pm, a few TRB crew guys took off in search of snow. What they found was Snow Valley Mountain resort about 40 minutes away from Fontana. They were able to talk their way onto the slopes and took a ride down the sledding hill. There was no way to turn the sled or brake... so basically you could use your feet, hands, or in Engineer Dave's case - your face! Dave ended up going on a wild ride, as you can see from the picture. The guys had a great time though and at least everyone was still smiling at the end of the day.

The mood around the hauler and garage today is that of eagerness to get our first points race in the book! Brian always runs well at California and has a good car today... let's show everyone what we can do!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Education of AJ

AJ's transition to NASCAR continued yesterday at California Speedway. AJ's No. 84 experienced some engine trouble during Friday's practice forcing his crew to swap engines from the back up car. The result was only 10 practice laps over two sessions. Not good for a rookie that has never raced at the sweeping, two-mile track. Hence, he missed the field in qualifying, but not by much. Then later in the night, he boarded the No. 00 Red Bull Tundra owned by Waltrip Motorsports and finally got his seat time for 99 laps. When it comes time to return to California Speedway next Labor Day weekend, AJ will be a big step ahead of where he was yesterday. Today he'll chill and watch Brian's practice runs to soak in more lessons.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Game On at HQ

A quick stop at Red Bull headquarters in Santa Monica turned into five hours of Brian challenging Red Bull employees to video game contests and a lunch time bet…that Brian lost. Brian bet Jordan in the PR Department that he couldn’t eat 40+ pieces of sushi at Sushi Roku. Jordan had to take a few breathers and performed some intense stomach stretches in between his eating binge, but alas, he prevailed. The terms of the bet? Vickers had to go back to headquarters and ride an office chair up and down the massive ramp in the HQ lobby. See pic of Vickers taking on the ramp! Video on is now online.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

It is currently raining at California Speedway... AJ and the rest of the trucks were able to get in all but 20 minutes of their 2 1/2 hour truck practice before the rain started, though. AJ worked his way up to 17th on the speed charts in the 00 truck.

Let's hope the rain holds out tomorrow so TRB will have a chance to qualify on time (Cup qualifying 3:10 pm PST Friday). If it were to rain out Cup qualifying, Brian would be guaranteed a spot as a NNCS race winner in 2006... but AJ would be out of luck.

The Friday weather forcast in Fontana, CA calls for a 30% chance of rain early in the morning with the skies clearing up by the afternoon. Let's hope the racing gods are on our side this week!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sirius AJ

AJ has been asked by MRN (the Motor Racing Network) to be a weekly guest on the Sirius Satellite Radio show "Sirius Speedway" with host Dave Moody.
Each week he will give the Rookie Driver Diary and update all of us on how his rookie year is going so far, give his thoughts on the previous week's race, and talk about what he has going on in his life. Knowing AJ, I'm sure it will be worth tuning in... never a dull moment with him!

Check him out every Tuesday at 4:00 pm EST!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Bunch of Rookies!

This season AJ is participating in the Raybestos Rookie of the Year program, which sees him competing against another very strong class of rookies. Let's size up his competition... (from L to R) David Reutimann comes from the Truck series where he finished 3rd in the 2006 season ; Juan Pablo Montoya hails from Formula One, and also has a CART championship and an Indianapolis 500 win to his name; Brandon Whitt comes from the Truck series and won a race in 2005; AJ of course comes from Champ Car where he won 5 times in the 2006 season; David Ragan has a strong stock car background, having raced in ARCA, Busch and Trucks; and Paul Menard, who finished 6th in the Busch series standings in 2006.

The point system in the ROTY program is a little different than the regular NASCAR points system. Only the best 17 race finishes are counted at the end of the year... which really works in AJ's favor as the team works through the beginning-of-the-year 'learning curve.'

Who do you think will take ROTY honors this year?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Grave Digger!

Doug Richert (#83 Crew Chief) and Doug Newell (#83 Gas Man) popped by The Monster Jam on Saturday night to catch some monster truck action. They were tired of their own race cars getting crashed out, so they thought they’d feel better watching other people’s cars get beat up. The two Doug’s were just flying by the seat of their pants and showed up at the Jam prepared to buy some tickets on the streets. The Jam was sold out so they managed to sneak into the Bobcats Arena and ended up in the pits where they ran into Gary Porter, driver of the famous Grave Digger (see pic). Gary must have gotten sweet talked by Doug Richert (if you know Doug you can attest to that!) because Doug and Doug ended up in a suite all night drinking free booze and noshing on free food. Can you believe their luck??

Friday, February 16, 2007

Halo Germany!

Being an Austrian brand, Red Bull attracts the interest of European media outlets. In fact, print journalists from Italy, Austria, Switzerland, England and Germany are guests of Team Red Bull during Speedweeks. Then today, Premiere television from Germany caught AJ and Guenther (VP of Competition) before tonight's NASCAR Craftsman Truck race at Daytona. AJ had fun with the interview, pinching Guenther before being pulled into the German language. AJ looked at the crowd with a wide-eyed look of "what the hell are they saying."

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Bullish Artwork

Ok, so it's late. Friday morning actually. Today ('er Thursday) the racing gods weren't kind to Team Red Bull. Both Brian and AJ crashed out of each Duel under circumstances beyond their control. This happens in racing, so you accept it and move on to the next race. Simple. So we move on to another topic. Like Bull's balls. Prior to his race today, Brian made a visit to the Red Bull hospitality area, where he encountered a special Bull sculpture that commissioned artist Preston concocted from junkyard car and racing parts at his garage in Knoxville, TN. In the blog photo, Preston points out the "authenticity" of the Bull. As we like to say it at Team Red Bull, it's the details that count.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect

AJ and Brian got another chance to shake out the Team Red Bull cars today at Daytona. Having to qualify for the Daytona 500 through Thursday's Duel 150s, every opportunity to find speed is necessary. AJ found enough to make his fastests laps around the 2.5 circuit. While chatting about handling adjustments with his crew chief Ricky Viers over the radio during practice, he managed a fast lap of 48.131 (186.990 mph) that was good for 9th on the charts. The two briefly connected in the second session to draft with each other. It was neat to see both Red Bull cars running together. Something we would like to see alot.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007


AJ and fellow Raybestos Rookie of the Year contender Juan Pablo Montoya had a few moments after qualifying Sunday to talk about how their cars were handling on the race track and share stories about their transition into NASCAR. And the consensus is they are both ready to get the season started! Actually, all the drivers have been great to AJ - whether it's at a restaurant, media event or at the gym, they have all given him lots of advice and support.

Cup practice resumes tomorrow in Daytona - drafting practice to prepare for Thursday's Duels!

Oh and as promised, here is a photo of AJ breaking in his new karaoke machine Sunday evening at his motorcoach... he tore it up!!
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Monday, February 12, 2007

On the Board!

Well, the team didn't have long to enjoy Saturday night's Bud Shootout results. It was right back at it on Sunday at 7:00 am when the Garage opened. Since Brian was first in the qualifying order, the crew was already up against the clock to get the car ready and into inspection. Being first meant one thing...TRB and Toyota held their first pole position, albeit just for a handful of minutes. Conditions were cool and windy, but Brian put the hammer down and was able to post a time slighly off of their practice qualifying runs. Wind slowed them down. A few dozen drivers later, AJ got his chance and he posted a run that ended up 5 positions better than the No. 83. The good thing is that five means the fellas will run in separate Duel races on Thursday, resulting in better chances to race their way into the Daytona 500 field. AJ was in a chipper mood following his qualifying run as the car felt as good as it has all week. He celebrated with a karaoke party in his motorcoach later that evening. Still waiting for that report and photo.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ready, Set, Go!

Well, a year's work came to fruition last night at the Bud Shootout. Team Red Bull finally took to the track in a race situation, albeit an exhibition race. It didn't take long for Brian to nudge his No. 83 to the front, leading laps two and three -- the first time a Toyota has led a Cup race. But as expected, help didn't come often for Brian, as first he was hung out to dry by his former HMS teammates and then had difficult time finding drafting help behind him the rest of the night. Get used to it folks. Welcome to NASCAR. Brian hung in there and escaped the last lap crash to pull an eighth place effort for the team. The mood was high back in the pits and garage afterwards. Now the focus turns to the 500, which will be the toughest to qualify in its long history. Brian got the first qualifying position, which doesn't help things. Normally, being first means you get a hotter (and slower) track, and you don't learn any setup changes from previous qualifiers. If today proves difficult, Brian can still race his way in during the Duels races on Thursday. As he showed last night, he knows his way around restrictor plate tracks.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Daytona fun

Earlier this week, AJ, his crew chief Ricky, engineer Phil, and spotter Timmy managed to have a little fun away from the track. A little time to de-stress, if you will. What started off as a game of putt-putt golf (where AJ was beat by Ricky and even his wife Lynne!), turned into a competition. Because AJ cannot stand to lose, he was easily convinced to go Dragster racing to try and 'settle the score'. Well Phil ended up beating AJ - maybe it was the car color that mattered (Phil had the pink car, AJ blue).
Tune in tonight to see Brian and the first Red Bull car of the year on track in the Bud Shootout!

Media Darlings

Yesterday was a busy day for AJ & Brian as they were both subjected to NASCAR media day. This is a day when all drivers are shuffled through interview after interview, and photo shoot after photo shoot. Basically the guys got all their important pre-season media stuff out of the way... which all together took about 7 hours! The guys both took it all in stride though and handled it like veterans. A FOX producer even told AJ he was one of the best drivers they had ever shot because he was so comfortable in front of the camera...this of course comes as no surprise to anyone who knows him.

Brian's day did not end there... a few hours later at the Bud Shootout draw Brian scored a 4th place starting position. Brian's fellow Toyota competitor Dale Jarrett drew the coveted pole position...which means two Toyota cars in the top 4. Not bad at all!

It is going to be great to finally get the season started by seeing a Red Bull car on track Saturday night in the Shootout!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Diecasts, People, Diecasts!

For all you Blogger readers hungry for Team Red Bull merchandise, take a look at these lovely diecasts of the No. 83 and No. 84 that arrived the other day. These here are prototypes, so a few changes needed to be made before the final production run. Therefore, you will need to wait a few more weeks before they hit the streets. Retail price is expected to be around $65 per diecast. So plan now for your holiday shopping budget. We are already planning a day here for the boys to spend the day signing diecasts for all those employees' uncles, sons and nephews that are sure to get a diecast in their stocking next December.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Daytona or Bust!

Just before 4:00 pm ET today, Scotty and Jim closed up the rear doors of the Team Red Bull No. 83 and No. 84 haulers (aka race car transporters) for the 500 mile (excuse the pun) roadtrip to Daytona International Speedway for the start of the 2007 season. Both Scotty and Jim will get their kicks on Sirius Satellite Radio on the non-stop drive. Scotty listens to NASCAR programming while Jim does the Country music thing. The last words from Scotty before boarding his throne, was "See you Saturday night when I get back with the trophy." Since Scotty drives the No. 83 hauler, he was referring to the Bud Shootout all-star race in which only Brian will drive in. One staffer was heard replying "What about the money?" Exactly!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Ready or Not, Here We Come!

The Daytona countdown clock that all of us at TRB have been looking at for months and months is finally almost down to zero. 19 hours and counting.... then we are on the way. A year's worth of preparation and hard work has been leading up to this moment.

Today, everyone has been busy doing all the last minute things race teams do before leaving for the biggest race of the year -- the shop crew was making last minute adjustments to the cars; the pit crews were practicing; the marketing department was frantically distributing merchandise; haulers were being loaded; plus AJ and Brian were both around to spend quality time with their crews. The team meeting was the biggest attended and most emotional so far this year - Brian even had a special gift for everyone in the shop. You can definitely feel the excitement and nerves around here as everyone gets geared up to see just what TRB can do! See you at the track.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Supersized Donut

According to statistics, the two most popular spectator motorsports in the USA are NASCAR (duh!) and Supercross. For those that don't know Supercross, it's basically Motocross crammed onto a stadium floor in front of sold-out crowds. Well, Saturday night Brian Vickers got his first taste of Supercross during a Red Bull appearance at Anaheim Stadium in SoCal. Brian had a full night of activity that included a long ride in traffic SoCal style; group interviews with LA Times and other local media; hanging out in hospitality with other Red Bull athletes like MotoGP World Champ Nicky Hayden, skateboarding phenom Ryan Scheckler and X-Games FMXer Tommy Clowers.

Then Brian headed to the stadium floor to do an interview with Speed TV's Erin Bates before his real work began. Brian told Erin: "Watching it on Speed is great, but when you see these guys jump these jumps, these double and triples, it's amazing."

After the interview, he climbed into the waiting No. 83 and bolted out onto the stadium's dirt floor and did donuts in front of the start gate for the 45,000 cheering fans. Then out he came, banged off a live interview for the crowd and then headed out to a waiting car to take him to his red-eye flight back home. All in day's work for a NASCAR driver.

Friday, February 02, 2007

SBM's Invade Charlotte

Last weekend 13 Student Brand Managers from Virginia and West Virginia invaded Charlotte to get up close and personal with NASCAR. They toured the TRB shop, grilled the crew guys with NASCAR gotta know questions, hosted a planning meeting right in our very own HQ, and grubbed at The Speedway Club in true fan fashion. Looking at stock cars just wasn’t quite close enough to the full NASCARolina experience, so the Fasttrack Driving School at Lowe’s Motor Speedway gave them stock car rides topping speeds of 180 mph! They even met a special friend – a Dale Sr. impersonator (see photo of Corrie and “Dale”).

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Let It Snow!

Those of you from the South know how rare it is to wake up with snow on the ground!! Just like as a kid, just the sight of it still generates excitement.
Work goes on as usual at the TRB shop today... of course some of us still managed time for snowball fights and fun in the snow - not to mention the pelting of the 'trailer park' with snowballs (very loud from the inside by the way!).
Enjoy the first snow of the year... who knows when it will happen again. And be careful!