Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Rookie No Longer!

Red Bull Racing has been testing the COT in Nashville the past two days to begin preparation for the 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup season. And what was the first thing AJ wanted to do upon arriving in Nashville? Remove the rookie stripe from his car!

The infamous yellow stripe donned the No. 84 car for the entirety of the '07 season. The NASCAR-sanctioned stripe is basically just a signal for other drivers to race with a little extra caution near a rookie...or some may say the yellow stripe is a way for the veterans to "target" the rookies. Either way, no one would disagree that AJ definitely paid his rookie dues this season.

AJ ended the season 5th in the '07 Raybestos Rookie of the Year standings, but gained a lot of ground in the last quarter of the season by earning two Rookie of the Race titles (Charlotte, October 13 & Atlanta, October 28). We know AJ is anxious to put his up-and-down rookie season behind him and show the NASCAR world that he is ready to race with the 'veterans' in '08!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Racing's Latest Relic

It used to be that Red Bulls of all kinds were crammed into the race shop tighter than a used car lot. But building one is unusually barren these days (see picture), thanks to NASCAR nixing the body style that had been in place for more than a decade.

“We have absolutely no use for that car anymore. Plus, we need the space,” admitted one shop worker.

The Sprint Cup Series goes all Car of Tomorrow in 2008, rendering useless a hearty portion of Red Bull Racing Team’s fleet of Toyotas. By the end of December, Red Bull Racing Team will have constructed 50 cars in its first year. Twelve of them, however, became obsolete when the checkered flag waved at Homestead. We had more “old” cars, but they didn’t survive the rigors of a 36-race season.

For argument’s sake, let’s say 43 teams did away with 15 cars apiece. That’s 645 cars, and at more than $100,000 per race-ready car … well, you do the math. But in case you’re numerically challenged, that’s about $64.5 million. And trust us, the cars don’t sell for nearly that much on the open market that includes ARCA, NASCAR’s two Grand National divisions and driving schools.

Apparently, the COT isn’t cutting any costs just yet.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Guys Just Talking Shop

Not all the good stuff comes out of AJ Allmendinger’s mouth …

“Last year, they had a little bit of snow down here, and everybody was panicking. In Canada, it wouldn’t even make the news.” — Mechanic Craig Fletcher, who lived north of the border for 35 years

“Our cars look the same. No matter which car is out front, you’re pulling for one team rather than one individual. That’s what team sports should be all about.” — Marty Briggs, paint shop manager

“I was a hero on fajita day.” — Chris Lopez, team chef

“You don’t quite get as much sleep as you’d like.” — No. 83 transporter driver Scott Denton on the trip to Fontana, Calif.

“There’s no stop or timeout or ‘let’s take a moment.’ Whether it’s pain, injury or even fire, you just go and keep moving. If you can’t keep that type of mindset, you’re probably doing the wrong job.” — Aaron Pieratt, No. 84 gas man

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Memorable AJ Moments from 2007

In the next couple of weeks we plan to open up our "Quote Book" and share some of the most standout quotes from some of your favorite Red Bull Racing team members. This first installment includes quotes from the driver of the No. 84, AJ Allmendinger. (And since AJ always has a lot to say, stay tuned for a Part 2 blog of AJ quotes in a week or 2).

“It’s been a wild ride. No matter what happens from here on out, it’ll be 12 months I’ll never forget.” — AJ on transitioning from Champ Car to NASCAR, and getting married in between

“Are we still doing karaoke tonight?” - AJ to spotter Tim Fedewa during the Daytona truck race. Timmy's response: “Yeah, if you have Rod Stewart.”

“Just so you guys know, it’s kind of fun passing all these cars. And it is even cooler passing them on the high line. Makes you feel more like a man.” — AJ while driving to a career-best 15th-place finish Oct. 13 at Lowe’s Motor Speedway

“It’s all about holding it up high on the first lap, trying to be smooth on the second lap, holding it on the bottom and praying the car is fast enough.” — AJ on restrictor-plate qualifying

“What are we, about halfway?” - AJ on lap 46 of 500 of his first race at Bristol Motor Speedway

“I do it to learn the track, but it’s competition — whether you’re playing someone else or the computer. It’s a fun thing to do. I’d like to say it’s a relaxing thing to do, and in a lot of ways, it is. But sometimes I’m throwing that stupid controller around because I’m losing.” — AJ the video gamer

“If he (Hornaday) makes a mistake, he’s my bitch!” - AJ running 2nd in the Lowe's truck race, right before the green-white checkered restart

“Pretend there is a bag of those Quizno’s chips under the brake pedal that you don’t want to crush.” - Crew chief Ricky Viers to AJ during the first Charlotte race. AJ's response: “I could go for some of those right now.”

Monday, November 19, 2007


1. Make a mess in our own homes instead of the hotel (then regret it when there’s no cleaning service to make the mess disappear).

2. Turn off our blackberry (a.k.a. “crackberry”) off for at least one day – just to see what its like.

3. Leave our “Gives You Wiiings” pants in the dirty laundry just because we can.

4. Spend Sunday afternoons watching football instead of NASCAR.

5. Use the same bath towel several days in a row instead of getting a fresh one hung daily on the towel rack.

6. Use headphones for iPod’s – not race scanners.

7. Avoid restaurants that require their servers to wear 10 pieces of “flair.”

8. Not respond to a sentence with “10-4” until we step foot at Daytona.

9. Only use golf carts for transportation when we’re actually golfing.

10. Put miles on our personal cars instead of rental cars and race cars.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Race Day Report From HMS

Ok - we give in. It took 36 races, but we're finally tired of hearing complaints that you don’t get team updates from the track all weekend. You want to know what’s going on as we prep for race day? Ask and ye shall receive…

Darren is prepping race tires.
Brian is doing a meet & greet.
Barry is stocking the Red Bull fridge.
Chris is making lunch.
Abbie is working on travel.
Elton is doing an interview.
Jeremy is pulling up a file on his computer.
“Bama” is pouring ice into the cooler.
Kyle is looking for credential holders.
Fans are walking through the garage.

Snore…Oh, sorry, we’re still here. There’s your official report from Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Red Bull Goes Asian Dragon

Enjoy a can of Red Bull and be inspired by what’s left – the empty can. That’s the concept behind Red Bull’s “Art of the Can” contest. This year’s 1st place winning art - “Vitalized Dragon”- was on display in Philadelphia, PA before moving to its current residence at Chicago’s River East Art Center. Winner T.J. Ishikawa (in photo) was inspired by an Asian myth and modernized a vision of a flying dragon pouring Red Bull through the clouds to give energy to people below. For 30 cool ways for playing with empty Red Bull cans, check out the Red Bull Art of the Can gallery.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Red Bulls by the Numbers

The season’s first green flag waved Feb. 18 at Daytona, and the final checkered flag will fall Sunday at Homestead. In between are 273 days filled with digits — and a lot of them. Here are a few from Red Bull Racing Team’s first Nextel Cup campaign.

Brian Vickers

*Starts: 22
*Short weekends: 13
*Top Toyota: Nine times (California-1, Bristol-1, Texas-1, Lowe’s-1, Dover-1, Pocono-1, California-2, Atlanta-2, Phoenix-2)
*Best finish: Fifth, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, May 27
*Average finish: 24.4
*Top 10 finishes: Five (California-1, Lowe’s-1, Michigan-2, California-2, Atlanta-2)
*Best start: Third, Talladega Superspeedway, Oct. 7
*Average start: 23.2
*Top 10 starts: Two (Pocono-1, Talladega-2)
*Laps completed: 5,702 of 6,212 (91.8 percent)
*Laps led: 12 times for 106 laps
*DNFs: Four
*Total winnings: $1,892,658

AJ Allmendinger

*Starts: 17
*Short weekends: 18
*Top rookie: Twice (Charlotte-2, Atlanta-2)
*Best finish: 15th, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Oct. 13
*Average finish: 31.6
*Top 20 finishes: Three (California-2, Charlotte-2, Atlanta-2)
*Best start: Fifth, Texas Motor Speedway, Nov. 4
*Average start: 28.7
*Top 10 starts: One (Texas-2)
*Laps completed: 5,373 of 6,233 (86.2 percent)
*Laps led: Once for one lap
*DNFs: Two
*Total winnings: $1,263,263

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

AJ on YouTube

All of the blog faithful will remember that back in May AJ shot a Red Bull First Person video with Red Bull's stunt gal Lenay at Hickory Speedway. The objective of the day was for AJ to teach Lenay how to drive a stock car, pass another car, and do a burnout. She succeeded in all tasks! Check out the video to see both Lenay and AJ in action. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Current Affair

Now that Phoenix is out of the way, the last step in the implementation phase of the Car of Tomorrow, Red Bull Racing Team members can begin their final fling with the car they’ve come to know and love.

This weekend’s finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway marks the final race for the so-called current car whose bullet-shaped body style was introduced in 1981. Nearly three decades have been spent perfecting this car, so excuse Brian Vickers and others should they need a little extra time to say good-bye.

Building two styles of race car has been a royal pain in the rear, but there is an emotional attachment to the current machine. BV’s first Nextel Cup victory came in one, as did Red Bull Racing Team’s first top five. AJ Allmendinger has taken quite a liking to the COT, but his best showing came without a wing.

“I’m excited to drive these real race cars for one last time,” Vickers said after finishing 21st Sunday at Phoenix. “These COTs are far from a real race car. It’s going to be fun to get at least one last run in the old car.”

As for BV’s Phoenix race, he started at the rear of the field because of a Friday engine change and fell a lap down twice with brake problems. He hung on, however, remained on the lead lap and finished 21st.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Asphalt Now, Snow Later

Red Bull athlete and freestyle skier Kristi Leskinen is mixing in a little NASCAR as she prepares to go for superpipe gold in January’s Winter X Games 12. She’ll hang out with Red Bull Racing Team this weekend at Phoenix. The Pennsylvania-bred Leskinen has helped establish women’s freeskiing as a mainstream action sport, but she’s extreme in everything she does. Named one of FHM’s “100 Hottest Women of 2005,” Leskinen recently spent a week skiing, bungee jumping and paragliding in New Zealand, golfing in Las Vegas, dirt biking in Phoenix and wakeboarding in Florida.

Race Note: Vickers earned the 22nd qualifying spot, but will start from the back of the field due to an engine change before the first practice session on Friday morning.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Longest Arm of the Law

Red Bull Racing Team will be sure to walk a straight line during this weekend’s stay in the Valley of the Sun. We wouldn’t want to upset “America’s Toughest Sheriff.”

Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, is no joke, and he doesn’t mess around when it comes to enforcing the law in the Phoenix area — and that includes Phoenix International Raceway, the site of Sunday’s Nextel Cup race and a place where the moral conscience can take a back seat to debauchery.

At 75 years old, Arpaio treats inmates as harsh as legally possible to drive home the punishment portion of their incarceration. Meals are limited to twice daily, and he even removed salt and pepper. He reinstituted chain gangs, introduced pink underwear that robs men of machismo and erected Tent City — and outside extension of the Maricopa County Jail. On a 110-degree day in Tent City in 2003, Arpaio told complaining inmates, “It’s 120 degrees in Iraq and the soldiers are living in tents and they didn’t commit any crimes, so shut your mouths.”

Contoversial? Maybe. Effective? Certainly. Either way, Arpaio and his Posse are ready to cuff, stuff and severely punish at a moment’s notice. He really does have an all-volunteer Posse, too, responsible for everything from traffic control to chasing down deadbeat dads.

If all goes well in Friday’s qualifying, Red Bull Racing Team’s two drivers, AJ Allmendinger and Brian Vickers, will keep their miles per hour to a minimum during pre-race pace laps because Arpaio, as the honorary pace car driver, will enforce a standard of speed before the green flag waves.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Overtime Approved for AJ, BV

AJ Allmendinger’s Busch Series tutorial continues, as he’ll drive Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 41 Dodge in the final two events of the season. Start No. 6 comes in Saturday’s Arizona.Travel 200 at Phoenix. Allmendinger’s best Busch finish is 14th Sept. 7 at Richmond, and he has qualified in the top 15 three times. Brian Vickers has seat time schedule for Saturday, too. He’ll drive Braun Racing’s No. 10 Toyota — his first race with the team since finishing ninth Sept. 29 at Kansas.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Passion for Flight

It’s a bird, it’s a plane…it’s the Red Bull Air Force? That’s right – the foursome of Jon Devore, Mike Swanson, Luke Aikins, and Clint Clawson fell from high out of the sky at Texas Motor Speedway into the infield just a few moments shy of the start of Sunday’s race. Some people think race car drivers must be crazy to risk their lives racing at 200+mph speeds, but the RBAF guys might give them a run for their money. These professional athletes are at the top of their game in skydiving, paragliding, BASE jumping and hang gliding – some really extreme sports. Each of the RBAF elite athletes has an average of 15, 000 jumps under his belt – and the group of four jumpers combined have done over 60,000 jumps! Sound like a lot? Sounds like even more when you compare that the Army and Navy jump performance teams only average about 1,000 jumps individually. There’s no messing around when it comes to the Red Bull Air Force.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Speed on Speed

Red Bull Racing Team driver Scott Speed sits shotgun beside host Dave Despain for a live appearance on tonight’s edition of “Wind Tunnel” at 9 p.m. ET on Speed (TV, that is).

Speed (the driver) is a new North Carolinian now that he has turned his attention to stock car racing, and viewers can see and hear his thoughts on the 2008 ARCA season with Eddie Sharp Racing, his long relationship with Red Bull and the prospects of being a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver someday.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Tidbits for Texas


3 laps to go
1 restart
1 batch of contaminated racing fuel, preferably by water that’s brown in color
“More than two and less than 43” fuel cells carrying the contaminants
1 stumbling engine in the leader’s car
Add aggressive Chase drivers to spice

In an intermediate oval on high heat, mix ingredients thoroughly, sit back and watch all hell break loose.

On a serious note ...

AJ Allmendinger, the rookie driver of Red Bull Racing Team’s No. 84, earned his best finish of 15th in the Oct. 13 Nextel Cup race at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Two weeks later, he ran 16th at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

The youngest sister in the family of 1.5-mile, double-dogleg tracks is Texas Motor Speedway. The last time Allmendinger visited there, looming tornadoes and 60-mph winds stripped the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota of its chance to qualify. NASCAR nixed the session, owner points set the lineup and AJ and Co. were sent packing.

Rain or threatening weather, however, wouldn’t send Allmendinger home this weekend. The No. 84’s 44th-place position in owner points and 33 qualifying attempts have the car safely locked in even if the Fujita Scale enters the equation.

Teammate Brian Vickers, a pole winner last season at Texas, was one of the lucky few to sneak into the show based on his 2006 victory at Talladega. He finished 14th. At Atlanta, Vickers and the No. 83 regained some lost momentum with a 10th-place showing — the team’s fifth top 10.