Thursday, August 30, 2007

AJ Scores More Seat Time

Laps are still what AJ Allmendinger is searching for. He found plenty of them in the Busch Series, landing a five-race deal to drive the No. 42 Dodge owned by Chip Ganassi Racing.

AJ will begin his Busch career with this weekend’s Camping World 300 at California Speedway. The 25-year-old also will compete in four other companion events. The No. 42, previously run by Juan Pablo Montoya to assist with driver development, will carry a Memorex paint scheme with Texaco/Havoline as the associate sponsor.

Brian will remain in the seat of the #10 Braun Toyota for this weekend's Busch race. Tune in to see both guys in action at 9:30 PM (EST) Saturday night on ESPN2.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

First for Everything

As soon as Brian Vickers crossed the finish line 10th at California Speedway, the Red Bull began flowing. Red Bull Racing finally came full circle. In its first Nextel Cup points race — February’s Auto Club 500 — the No. 83 started up front, stayed and finished there.

It was the culmination of more than a year of work just to get to that point, and when it counted, Red Bull Racing and Toyota Racing Development brought their “A” game from start to finish. First race, the team’s first top 10, Toyota’s first top 10 … it made the red-eye flight back to North Carolina that much easier to stomach.

The No. 83 Red Bull Toyota returns to the Inland Empire this weekend, and all signs point to another strong showing. BV, whose average start at California is 9.0 with a pole in 2004, is returning with the same Camry that finished eighth Aug. 21 at California’s sister track in Michigan.

Freshman AJ Allmendinger started his fall semester when the No. 84 returned to action Saturday night at Bristol. AJ missed the first race in Fontana, but he tied a career-best finish of 31st at Michigan in June.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

SoCal Detour

The Red Bull Racing marketing team made a detour through SoCal on their way out to California Speedway. Red Bull's North American HQ are just a few blocks off the sunny beaches of Santa Monica, so it wasn't hard to entice the group to go out for some '08 business planning. With access to so many Red Bull athletes at our fingertips, it only makes sense to get BV and AJ mixing it up with other great athletes. This year we paired Vickers and extreme kayaker Tao Berman, and sent AJ out to MotoGP at Laguna Seca. What's in store for next year? Will Vickers snowboard with Shaun White? Will AJ get in Kirby Chambliss' plane? You'll have to wait til '08 to see. For now, here's a pic of Red Bull HQ where the meeting of the minds is going on.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Under The Lights

Tonight's race under the lights of Bristol Motor Speedway is anything but an average NASCAR race. It is one of the most talked about races on the NASCAR circuit. It is a highlight of the year for drivers, team members and fans alike. Tickets for the Bristol NASCAR night race are said to be the second hardest to obtain in all of sports, second only to the opening ceremony of the Olympics – and the track seats 165,000 fans! Bristol Motor Speedway is a .533 mile short track with a banking of 36 degrees in the turns, which makes Bristol the most steeply banked track used by NASCAR. The track is so short that speeds here are far lower than is typical on most NASCAR oval tracks, but very fast compared to other short tracks due to the high banking. This makes for a considerable amount of "swapping paint"! The initial starting grid of 43 cars reaches almost halfway around the track, so the slower-qualifying cars begin the race almost half a lap down. Another unique aspect of Bristol is that the short overall length means that there are two sets of pits.

Tonight AJ will roll off the grid in the 43rd position. Why? Although he earned the 34th spot, AJ claimed the 8th "go or go home" spot, which by NASCAR rules is the provisional spot. Bill Elliott did not need his provisional, so AJ is forced to take the provisional spot.

Watch AJ and the No. 84 on track tonight at 8:00 pm on ESPN!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Pullin' Double Duty

Brian and AJ are both pulling double-duty this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway - AJ in the Craftsman Truck Series and Brian in the Busch Series.

Wednesday night AJ raced in the O'Reilly 200 Truck Series race for Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. It was an up and down night under the lights for AJ and the No. 00 Aaron’s Lucky Dog Tundra. After starting towards the back of the field in the 34th position, the truck went from very tight, to loose, and back to tight again as the track surface changed throughout the race. He encouraged the crew by telling them he was “going to keep fighting until the end.” Crew chief Jason Overstreet responded, “We’ll stay with you, you stay with us.” The No. 00 ended the day on the lead lap in the 21st spot. All in all it was a solid run – especially considering several late race incidents – and one in which AJ gained more lap time and experience in preparation for Saturday night’s NASCAR Nextel Cup race.

Tonight Brian will take on the high banking of Bristol against the other drivers in the Busch Series in the No. 10 Fort McDowell Resorts Camry for Braun Racing. Last week in Michigan Brian drove the No. 10 Fort McDowell Resorts Camry to a 6th place finish. Tune in to ESPN2 tonight at 8:00 pm to see Brian in action.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Two Bulls Back at Bristol

It’s the little victories that count for first-year Red Bull Racing — two laps led in the Budweiser Shootout, the first top 10 at California and a fifth-place display of endurance in NASCAR’s longest race. And then there was Brian Vickers’ eighth-place run only a day ago when Mother Nature finally allowed the boys outside to play in the Irish Hills. Lost in the shuffle, however, is a sunny March afternoon in the mountains of eastern Tennessee. AJ Allmendinger, with DNQ No. 5 staring him in the face, pulled off the lap of his stock car life to qualify at Bristol Motor
Speedway. AJ flirted with the edge, even scraping the wall a few times, to make his first Nextel Cup race. Sure, Bristol bit the rookie on multiple occasions, but it was a banner day for Red Bull Racing. Both Red Bulls competed together for the first time. AJ ended up 40th, and BV, nearly choking on exhaust fumes, hung tough and finished on the lead lap in 15th.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Believe it or not, the twice-delayed Michigan race is finally about to get underway! The cars are currently lined up on pit road getting ready to take the track - the green flag should fall shortly. There is still fog in the air, which could pose problems for the spotters, but at least there is not a raindrop in sight. Brian in the No. 83 will roll off the grid 18th.

The last time a Cup race was run on a Tuesday was July 4, 1978 when the Firecracker 400 was run at Daytona International Speedway. Back then, the race was always run on July 4th, no matter what day of the week it fell on.

You may be wondering what Red Bull's other driver is up to today... AJ is on his way to Bristol to begin truck practice at 1:00 pm today in preparation for Wednesday night's O'Reilly 200 Craftsman Truck Series race. Because this is such a big race, the trucks will have 4 hours of practice time this afternoon!

Tune in to ESPN2 now to catch Brian in action at MIS. Also, the race will re-air tonight at 8:00 pm on ESPN Classic.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Setting the Record Straight

We've let you have your fun with the Team Red Bull/Chevy rumor, and — well maybe we're just tired of this rain delay — but we think it's time to stop the madness. Armed with a fleet of Camrys, Red Bull Racing is in fact returning with Toyota in 2008. We repeat ... Red Bull Racing is returning with Toyota in 2008.

No Chevy. No Impala. Nothing but Red Bull Camrys stamped with the mark of Toyota. Insiders call it the "bug" and it can hold its own with the bowtie any day. (BTW — Shout out to BV and Braun for the great show during the only sunny day in Michigan! And let's not forget the Leffler/Reutimann battle for the first Toyota victory at ORP.) The Camry's win in the Busch Series is just a preview of what's to come.

On the flip side, while Toyota continues to make a name for itself in NASCAR, it's already rollin' the red carpet with Hollywood A-listers.

Cue the Prius and the stars will follow. See Julia, Leo and Brad go green. We love Larry David and the fact that Toyota's HQ is in Southern California. Nothing better than doing business in a major sunshine state.

And sure, Chevrolet has the '57, but there's no denying that the Toyopet Crown raised the bar for cars in the U.S.? No seriously, the Supra is "the" '57 Chevy of gen-X, Y and Z long before the Fast and the Furious brought street racing to the silver screen. Plus the Supra is six degrees of separation to the Camry. No bull.

There's no denying the bowtie boasts an incredible heritage, but we're sticking with Toyota and the "bug," which is coming in the rearview mirror near you, maybe tomorrow, maybe next week or the week after. Most importantly, it's coming.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chasin' Rain

Yet again another blog about the rain…but seeing as this is the fourth NASCAR race rainout of the season, it just seemed fitting. (Yep, count ‘em – Darlington, Richmond, Dover and Michigan). Rains poured down on Michigan International Speedway all through the night and into the morning. A small break in the rain was enough of a tease to send dryers onto the track and drivers onto the stage for intros, but before the last driver walked the stage, the rains were coming down again. Is second time a charm - or third? The green flag is scheduled to fall tomorrow at Noon (EST), but the forecast isn't looking any brighter - they're calling for 80% chance of rain. Keep your fingers crossed that we’re going racing tomorrow.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

BV Buschwackin' with Braun

BV will be joining fellow Cup drivers Buschwackin' today at Michigan International Speedway. Vickers is teaming up with Braun Racing in the No. 10 Toyota Camry for the Busch Series Carfax 250. Always eager to be behind the wheel, Vickers will also pilot the No.10 at Bristol Motor Speedway and California Speedway with sponsorship from Ft. McDowell Resort Destination and Richmond International Raceway with sponsorship from Expect to see him in the No. 10 at Lowe's Motor Speedway in October too. Vickers first run with Braun Racing was in Daytona in July when the Busch and Cup Series ran a double header - two races in one hot, humid Florida day. Vickers toughed it out to bring home a 13th place finish for the #32 machine. Tune in to Busch qualifying Saturday at 11:10 AM (EST).

Friday, August 17, 2007


Fellow Red Bull athlete Scott Speed stopped by to say hello to his RB brethren. TRB blogsters eavesdropped on the conversation .....

So rumor has it you look good in a cowboy hat. Do you own one?
SPEED: I used to have one, but I am currently in the market for a new one...

What's your first car you ever bought?
SPEED: Still haven't bought one actually

Where are you calling home right now?
SPEED: The middle of the Atlantic

How long has it been since you lived in the U.S.?
SPEED: Since 2003

We hear you like cycling. Charlotte's a big cycling town. Any chance you might call it home one day?
SPEED: Well the most difficult thing about moving to America is going to be to find a place where Valentina, my Austrian girlfriend, likes and so far she has given Charlotte the thumbs up!

What's your favorite food?
SPEED: Valentina's spaghetti

A taste for BBQ is a must in the South. Have you sampled the local BBQ?
SPEED: Not yet but quality BBQ is Definitly something I have missed in Europe

Do the words "Boogity Boogity Boogity" mean anything to you?
SPEED: Other than hearing it on TV no...

Can one "get er done" in F1 racing?
SPEED: I tried....

Aside from racing itself, what's the biggest challenge you faced overall in F1?
SPEED: The politics in F1 are over the top!

First 3 words that come to mind when thinking about NASCAR?
SPEED: Rubbin is Racing

What/Who's your current inspiration?
SPEED: Ricky Bobby

Thanks, Scott! Godspeed (Sorry we can't help ourselves!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Sometimes Saved, Sometimes Snubbed

The weather forecast for Friday in Brooklyn, Mich., calls for sunny skies with a mere 10-percent chance of precipitation. Friday, of course, is qualifying day for the 3M Performance 400, and the weather is worth noting because Mother Nature has been a dear friend of Red Bull Racing, all the while being its worst enemy. Twice in the past five Nextel Cup races rain has helped Brian Vickers’ No. 83 Red Bull Toyota earn a spot in the show. His victory last fall at Talladega carries a lot of weight when it’s wet — like in July at Daytona or last week at Watkins Glen, even though the No. 83 had the speed in practice. But a free pass is a free pass. And then there’s AJ Allmendinger. At the Glen, he hardly got a chance to show off his road-racing skills … rain, an abbreviated practice, more rain and no qualifying. Just like that, AJ and the No. 84 were headed home. The June event at 2-mile Michigan International Speedway was the last time both Red Bulls raced together. BV qualified 16th, and AJ tied a career-best finish in 31st.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Knowledge Is Power

Here’s testing your Toyota knowledge, true or false style (answers below):

1. The Camry — not the ones AJ and BV drive — has been the best-selling car in America nine of the past 10 years.
2. Todd Bodine gave Toyota its first NASCAR victory when he won the 2004 Craftsman Truck race at Michigan.
3. Toyota and its dealers employ about 145,000 workers worldwide.
4. Toyota is in the infant stages of building a NASCAR support facility outside Charlotte, N.C.
5. Red Bull Racing holds the distinction of earning Toyota its first top-five and top-10 finishes in Nextel Cup competition.
6. More than half of all Camrys sold in the U.S. last year were produced at the Toyota plant in Georgetown, Ky.
7. Toyota is so committed to American motorsports that it supplies engines for short-track midget racing.
8. Toyota’s initial involvement with NASCAR came in 2004 when it entered the Craftsman Truck Series.
9. Toyota’s NASCAR programs are managed from company headquarters in Aichi, Japan.
10. Toyota’s slogan in its native Japan is “Drive Your Dreams.” In the U.S., it’s “Moving Forward.”

Answers: 1. True; 2. False (Travis Kvapil); 3. False (145,000 in the U.S. alone); 4. True; 5. True; 6. False (more than 90 percent); 7. True; 8. False (in 2001, the Toyota Celica competed in the former Goody’s Dash Series); 9. False (Torrance, Calif.); 10. True.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Can't Catch a Break

An engine change after Saturday’s final practice forced the No. 83 Red Bull Camry to drop back to the 43rd position at the start of the race, due to NASCAR rules. With nothing to lose starting from the back of the field, Crew Chief Doug Richert carved out a different pit strategy before the green flag even fell, telling Vickers to come into the pits on lap 4 to top off fuel. The change in pit strategy worked in Vickers favor when a caution on lap 10 had cars scrambling into the pits, while Vickers Red Bull Racing crew chose to stay out, gaining 9 positions. On lap 22, the No. 83 started experiencing brake problems and spun out, causing the No. 01 car to hit and damage the left side of Vickers car. The Red Bull Racing crew worked quickly in the pits to install NASCAR’s mandatory impact foam and secure the sheet metal – all while never losing a lap. On lap 60, Vickers came into the pits for a fuel-only stop, but was penalized for speeding down pit road and punished with a pass through down pit road on the following lap. Shortly after the incident, the No.83 transmission started to go out, leaving Vickers with only 4th gear. Richert advised, "Limp her until she blows, then we’ll come into the garage and change the transmission." Unfortunately, the Red Bull Racing crew just couldn’t catch a break. On lap 67 the No. 83 lost the transmission and the clutch, putting an early end to their race. Vickers No. 83 Red Bull Camry finished in the 41st position.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Timmy takes on Black Rock

After a long, rainy day at Watkins Glen yesterday, AJ's spotter Tim Fedewa took on the dirt oval at Black Rocky Speedway in Dundee, NY last night. Frustrated by the rain that kept the No. 84 out of Sunday's race, he was on a mission to win.

The 2nd annual Spaulding Foundation Nextel Cup Driver's Challenge brought out many fans hoping to see some good racing and catch a glimpse of their favorite driver or NASCAR personality. Among the celebrity racers were Cup drivers Clint Boyer, David Reutimann and Jeremy Mayfield, crew chiefs Jimmy Elledge (#41) and Tommy Baldwin (#22), and SPEED reporters Bob Dillner and Rutledge. The event featured 2 match races - one between the cup driver's and crew chiefs driving the track's premier 358 Modifieds, and the other with NASCAR crew members racing each other in Late Model cars.

The celebrity race consisted of 12 laps in which Tim led the majority. In the end Jeremy Mayfield was able to pass Timmy on lap 10 and ultimately get the win. Tim still finished 2nd though - great job!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Soggy Day at the Glen

The rains moved in on Watkins Glen International cancelling qualifying for Sunday’s race. The 43-car field will line up according to owners points (as NASCAR says “Inclement Weather Line Up”) putting Vickers 36th on the grid and AJ unfortunately missing the cut. Tough break for AJ considering he was 34th in today’s NEXTEL Cup practice session. Vickers wound up 13th, while Denny Hamlin topping the speed charts. The No. 83 takes to the track at 10:30 AM (EST) tomorrow to gear up for Sunday’s show.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

On the Road Again

A July 31 research-gathering mission took Red Bull Racing across the North Carolina state line to the tiny southern Virginia town called Alton. There, Red Bull Racing puts is road-course package to the test at Virginia International Raceway. The scenic 2.27-mile circuit is not on the Nextel Cup schedule, but it becomes a hotbed for stock cars when events roll around like this weekend’s at Watkins Glen International.

Brian Vickers’ No. 83 Red Bull Toyota completed 85 laps (193 miles) during the test. AJ Allmendinger’s No. 84 traversed VIR 72 times (165 miles). Should the testing pay off in qualifying, they’ll be required to turn 90 laps in Sunday’s Centurion Boats at The Glen.

Seven of Watkins Glen’s 11 turns are classified as right-handers. Heck, even the entrance to pit road is a right-hand turn — an art AJ perfected in his road- and street-circuit days driving open-wheel single seaters. BV, who grew up knowing nothing but ovals, is no slouch on a road course, either. In 2005 at Watkins Glen, he finished third in the Busch Series race and a day later ran eighth in the Cup car.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pit Crew Practice!

You loyal blog readers often request more stuff about the pit crews... so ask and you shall receive!

Last week, a photographer from Atlanta Motor Speedway came out to the pit school where both Red Bull Racing pit crews train and shot the guys working out and going through a series of drills. AMS is planning to include a 4-page feature story on Red Bull Racing's pit crews in the race programs for the October 28th race weekend.

On this particular Tuesday, pit crew coach Greg Miller led the guys through a series of drills. Everyone seems to like the drill in which one crew throws tennis balls at the other crew (see the picture above). Dodging the balls can prove quite the challenge. But if someone gets hit, they must go back to the end of the line. These drills are designed to help with speed, coordination and reaction time.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Study Up: It's Pop Quiz Time

Get your No. 2 pencils and Scantron sheets ready, because you’ve just been hit with a true-or-false pop quiz on Watkins Glen International, which happens to be Red Bull Racing’s next stop on the Nextel Cup circuit (see answers below):

1. Watkins Glen is known simply as “The Glen.”
2. Watkins Glen uses the same configuration for its Nextel Cup and IRL IndyCar Series races.
3. Watkins Glen is the only track on the Nextel Cup schedule where cars pit to the right.
4. Bobby Labonte won three straight Busch Series races from 1995-1997.
5. A series of four quick turns — turns five, six, seven and eight — along the backstretch is known as the outer loop.
6. Jeff Gordon owns the fastest qualifying lap in a stock car.
7. The longest professional race at Watkins Glen lasts six hours.
8. For 20 years, Watkins Glen was the home of the United States Grand Prix.
9. A man named Watkins Glen drew up the plans for a 6.6-mile course that hosted the first race in 1948.
10. Brian Vickers, Red Bull Racing’s driver of the No. 83, has never finished in the top 10 in his three visits to Watkins Glen.

Answers: 1. True; 2. False (long/grand prix course, 3.4 miles; short/NASCAR course, 2.45 miles); 3. True; 4. False (Terry Labonte); 5. False (inner loop); 6. True (124.580 mph in 2003); 7. True (Grand Am’s Six Hours at The Glen); 8. True (1961-1980); 9. False (Cameron Argetsinger); 10. False (BV finished eighth in 2005).

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Trouble in the Tunnel Turn

There Brian Vickers was, minding his own business, keeping his nose clean and just trying to make it to the end. After all, the more laps completed in Sunday’s Pennsylvania 500 the more points earned for Red Bull Racing.

Then, with 19 laps go, a plume of smoke rose above the infamous tunnel turn, and, as it turned out, BV’s No. 83 was a large part of the plume. It wasn’t his doing, however. It’s safe to say Brian has Pocono Raceway pretty much figured out.

Up ahead of Brian, who at the time was running 29th, Reed Sorenson spun sideways. That meant David Gilliland had to slow down. That meant Brian had to slow down, too. But each driver involved was part of one big accordion lesson. Brian almost had the mess cleared. Evasive maneuvers took him to the high side of the track, but Sorenson’s lifeless Dodge drifted high, too, and he and Brian had a close encounter along the outside wall.

Brian limped away, and the Red Bull Racing crew kept the No. 83 going until the end. Brian ended up 29th. The dedication helped the No. 83 move up a spot in the owner standings to 39th, but 286 points must be gobbled up to reach the top 35.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Pocono Race Prep

Slow and steady progress was the theme for Red Bull Racing today at Pocono Raceway. Preparation was underway for tomorrow’s Pennsylvania 500 and Vickers and his crew were determined to put together a good race setup. Last time the team raced in Pocono, Vickers had his best starting spot of the year (9th), but couldn’t back it up in the race and finished 35th. The No. 83 was down on power in the straightaways, making it difficult to keep up with faster cars stalking him around the track. After today’s double practice sessions, it looks like the 83 Bull Crew is on to something. Vickers was 33rd in the first practice run, and moved all the way up to 17th in his second practice run. Just think if we had one more practice session to work with? Tune in to tomorrow’s race at 2 PM (EST).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Wake-Up Rookies!

This morning the Nextel Cup Raybestos rookie class (minus Juan Pablo Montoya)O participated in the weekly Nextel Wake-Up call in the media center which all members of the media are invited to attend. AJ, David Ragan, David Reutimann, and Paul Menard were asked a series of questions. Of course most questions centered around the top-35 rule. Paul Menard has just worked his way into the top-35 so AJ and David were able to ask what it was like on the other side. He said he has definately been sleeping better on Thursday nights. We hope we can know what that feels like at some point this season!

NEXT UP - Cup Qualifying at 3:40 pm EST. AJ goes out 2nd, Brian 24th. Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Dancing Partners Do The Pocono Shuffle

The last time both Red Bull Racing Toyotas competed together at a track they’re visiting for the second time was in June at Pocono Raceway, and the tricky triangle is where the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series heads this weekend for the Pennsylvania 500. Pocono is widely considered one of the most difficult tracks to figure out. It has three distinct turns — each with its own set of characteristics. It has three distinct straightaways, too — one of which is the longest in all of NASCAR (3,740 feet, to be exact). Despite the splitting headache Pocono causes crew chiefs and race engineers, Red Bull Racing ingested enough Advil to put both cars in the show the first time around. Brian Vickers, in the No. 83, had his strongest qualifying effort of the season. He rolled off ninth. AJ Allmendinger’s No. 84, timed in 28th in his first trip there. A lack of straightaway speed, however, translated into disappointing finishes, as Vickers was running 35th and Allmendinger 39th when the rains came. Still, there is reason for optimism, as Vickers’ Pocono record is quite impressive.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Not All Cops Like Donuts

Red Bull Racing brought a taste of music culture to the Brickyard when Grammy-nominated rapper “Twista” took in his first NASCAR race from the No. 83 pit. Chicago-native Twista first made a name for himself in 2004 when his hit “Slow Jamz”featuring Kanye West and Jamie Foxx topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He then posted up in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s fastest rapper - was challenged – and then reclaimed his title. His most recent accomplishment – a stunt with the Red Bull Racing show car to promote his upcoming album, Adrenaline Rush 2007. The original plan was for Twista to pull up in front of the Bassment in Chicago in front of a crowd of his fans, but a “twist” was put on the stunt and the showcar went squealing into the middle of a busy intersection doing donuts and smoking out the crowd. A female cop caught wind of the stunt and came over to lecture Twista. I guess not all cops like donuts? Video coming your way as soon as we get our hands on it!