Monday, December 31, 2007

Out With The Old; In With The New

As we ring in the New Year and gear up for our second season on the NASCAR circus, we say goodbye to a place we’ve called home for a year and a half – the marketing trailer. Yep, that triple-wide with its prime location sitting in the back corner of the parking lot is finally being hauled away. That trailer saw plenty of hard work, groomed many great ideas, witnessed lots of good times…and oh, if those walls could talk. The trailer was a part of an evolution as it housed our creative group as they prepped for and anticipated their first NASCAR season and then endured the season full of highs and lows. As we wave bon voyage to the trailer we called home (and once decorated with pink flamingos and hamburger and hot dog string lights) we also say hello to our new home inside one part of the always-being-renovated race shop.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Nerd’s At-Track Survival Kit

Any racer’s racer would swear by a hammer, pry bar and adjustable wrench if he were allowed only three tools at the race track.

Beating? Check. Banging? Check. Loosening? And check. All three are essential to help a damaged car at least maintain minimum speed.

That is a mechanic’s wish list. Now here’s an engineer’s. John Probst is the technical director at Red Bull Racing Team, and needless to say, his at-track survival kit is far different.

+ Simulation sheet. “So you knew what would make the car go quicker.”

+ Fuel prediction software. “It would be really embarrassing if your car went out there and ran out of gas when you weren’t planning on it.”

+ Laptop. “So you can run all of that stuff.”

“Sorry, we’re nerds around here,” Probst laughed.

Gotta have the geeks to go fast, though.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Jingle Bells with AJ, BV

Just where are Red Bull Racing Team’s two drivers spreading their Christmas cheer this holiday season?

Brian Vickers will be in his hometown of Thomasville, N.C. There’d be a price on his head if he were anywhere but.

“Christmas is going to be at home with the family,” BV said. “I think I wouldn’t make it to the next Christmas if that was not the case. My parents, particularly my mom and my grandparents, would probably have me killed. But I’m excited. I love being at home with my family.”

As for AJ Allmendinger, he isn’t exactly sure where he’s headed.

“Taking a cruise during Christmas. Going to the Caribbean. Doing some of those islands out there,” AJ said. “I don’t know. I didn’t pay attention when she (wife Lynne) booked it. I wrote the check for it.”

Have fun, boys. It’s go time when you get back.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Most everyone hopes to shed unwanted poundage before beach season. We just hope we’re in the top 35 come Martinsville. At the top of Red Bull Racing Team’s New Year’s Resolution list is the number that eluded us in 2007, but we also vow to …

1. Not let the "American Idol" premier get in the way of Daytona testing.
2. Avoid mention in the next Mitchell Report.
3. Live up to our end of a hotel reservation on race weekend.
4. Double check BV’s power steering before NASCAR’s longest race.
5. Test, test and keep testing.
6. Have the Sprint Cup name change down by the time we leave Daytona.
7. Quit calling our cars the COT.
8. Qualify ninth at Talladega and AJ actually make the race.
9. Buy stock in umbrellas.
10. Stay out of the New England Patriots’ way.
11. Train like an Olympian for SoCal’s August heat.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Camera One

Now we can't show you the photos for 2008 yet, but we can give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peak for what is in store. Last week Brian and AJ had 2-day photo shoot that took them around the Charlotte area - to NoDa (North Davidson), the South End of Charlotte, Jillian's sports pub, a local Charlotte fire department, and a stop at the new LightRail system. Don't worry - you will have plenty of opportunities to see the end result as we will use these photos on Red Bull Racing's hero cards and website.

Some highlights from the shoot:
* AJ telling onlookers that he and Brian are professional bowlers.
* BV making friends with a boxer pup in NoDa.
* AJ in the driver's seat of a firetruck.
* BV and AJ disappearing between shots to play video games and basketball at Jillian's.
* AJ telling folks riding the LightRail that they are shooting a Banana Republic ad.
* BV and AJ riding the LightRail to lunch.

* "Every time I look at AJ I regret it because he is always doing something inappropriate." - Creative director Joe, while AJ was hiking up his pants really high.
* "We aren't going for pretty good - we are going for great." - AJ to the photographer.

We think you will enjoy these photos! Stay tuned...

Monday, December 17, 2007

Stocks For Tots

It's that time of year again when many local charities are hosting holiday events. And in Race City USA that involves getting the local celebs - AKA the race car drivers - involved. Last Tuesday night AJ and Scott participated in the 19th annual Stocks For Tots event, held at the Charles Mack Citizens Center in downtown Mooresville. AJ had such a good experience in 2006 that he wanted to come out and show his support again this year.

The purpose of Stocks For Tots is to raise awareness of the child abuse problem in North Carolina, and to raise money and collect toys for local families. So for a mere $10 donation and a toy, fans are given the opportunity to meet and chat up to their favorite NASCAR drivers and personalities. Others participating this year were Kurt & Kyle Busch, Rusty Wallace, Larry McReynolds, David Ragan, Joe Nemecheck and Ryan Newman.

Scott commented that one thing he will have to get used to when racing ARCA this season is the longer autograph sessions. He hails from F-1 where the sessions are usually limited to 15 minutes... so the 2 hour session was a shock to his hand! But both guys thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to give back to the community and meet some of the fans of Red Bull Racing.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Red Bull ROCs

Red Bull athletes manned up big-time in Sunday’s Race of Champions at Wembley Stadium.

Touring car ace Mattias Ekström (pictured above) took two of three heats from Michael Schumacher to win his second straight individual ROC title. On the Nations Cup side, Sebastian Vettel did Scuderia Toro Rosso proud when — after Team Germany partner Schumacher fell to Finnish foe Heikki Kovalainen — he reeled off back-to-back victories over Marcus Grönholm and Kovalainen in the best-of-three final to stake Germany’s claim as the superior nation.

“I asked David Coulthard what to do in preparation for this,” Vettel said. “He said you are not allowed to come to the event not drunk. Fortunately, I didn’t follow his advice.”

On the United States front, NASCAR’s fair champion, Jimmie Johnson, bowed out in the first round. His teammate, X Games star Travis Pastrana, fell to Ekström one round later.

Friday, December 14, 2007

In-Flight Entertainment

Our test crew was headed to USA Speedway in Lakeland this week when they got a stand up comedy routine from the flight attendant on board. (Read these out loud with your best Japanese accent for the full effect...)

1. If you need oxygen during the flight, put the oxygen mask to your mouth and breathe slowly. Don't breathe fast, or you will get high.
2. Your seat is your flotation device. If you need it, rip the cushion off, hug it, and start swimming. You know, swimming is good for you. Good for your whole body. So just swim, swim...
3. If you are going to get sick, use this bag before it’s too late. Then, don’t put it on the floor, because you will step on it. Then, we will all get sick.
4. Don't smoke in the lavatory. You will get busted.
5. We have soda, beer, wine, hard liquor. I have vodka and an orange. I could make you a screwdriver. I will give you time to decide what you want. Then I will come around for your drink order. (We don’t actually serve alcohol on the team planes – this was just his imagination running wild!)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Operation Tall Order

The jump was spectacular. Everything else was secret.

Austrian BASE jumper Felix Baumgartner leaped off the world’s tallest building Tuesday — the 1,671-foot Taipei 101 tower in Taiwan — to complete a mission the extreme sports ace chose to accept three years ago when the mammoth structure was finished.

After two reconnaissance missions to scout the tower in 2006, Baumgartner went incognito in the days leading up to the big jump. Disguised in different clothing, he first surveyed the building’s security system and zones of exclusion. He smuggled his parachute past tight security with the help of a Taiwanese acquaintance, who then hid it in a bathroom ceiling. Just before the leap, cohorts created a distraction on the observation platform, enabling Baumgartner to climb up and over the 10-foot security barrier.

At 4:18 p.m. local time and after a five-second free fall, Baumgartner opened his chute before landing safely on a parking deck’s roof. He quickly made his way to the street level, escaped in a taxicab and two hours later was on a plane bound for Hong Kong.

“F-----’ eh. I did it,” Baumgartner said. “Highest building in the world. Number one.”

See Baumgartner’s covert ops for yourself. Click here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Brit's Shoplifting List

Cameras caught pop princess Britney Spears lifting a lighter — valued at $1.39 — on Dec. 7 from a SoCal service station. Three weeks earlier, Spears’ shoplifting spree began with a wig from an X-rated Hustler store in West Hollywood.

Brit’s recent five-finger discounts beg the question: What might catch her fancy in Red Bull Racing Team’s shop?

+ Team swag. For the times when underpants get left behind.

+ AJ’s No. 84. The car screams safety and is perfect for the reckless driver who only recently obtained a valid license. It comes in handy in those alleged hit-and-run incidents, too — good for a quick getaway.

+ Spotter Tim Fedewa. His keen eye for traffic signals can alert Spears that she’s approaching a red light and should press the pedal on the left.

+ HANS device. Never again will sons Sean Preston and Jayden James have to ride around unrestrained.

+ BV’s blocking mirror (pictured above). Spears has been known to run over a foot or two.

Monday, December 10, 2007

All-Stars Karting Classic

A true racer just can’t get enough of racing. Last Thursday, AJ and Scott raced in the Snap-on All-Stars Karting Classic on a 3/10-mile temporary karting circuit in front of almost 3,000 people exiting the PRI Trade Show at the Orlando Convention Center. Some of racing’s biggest names were on hand including fellow Red Bull driver Buddy Rice, Marco Andretti, Jamie McMurray and Bryan Herta. AJ raced in the “Masters” division in a Red Bull CRG #84 kart – and finished 4th in the Final event, with the race win going to Grand Am Series driver Michael Valiente. Scott was also competing in the “Masters” division, but behind the wheel of a Birel kart. After leading laps in the Pre-Final, Speed spun and clipped the inside barrier of Turn 3, leading to handling problems that prevented him from entering the Final event. Get your full race rundown here.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Replacing 'Buschwhacker'

“Buschwhacker” was the popular label slapped on any Cup driver taking a Saturday drive a step down in the Busch Series. But the Busch Series is no more after this weekend’s awards ceremony in Orlando, Fla.

Nationwide takes over as title sponsor in 2008, stripping NASCAR’s second-tier series of the catchy word used to describe drivers with superior savvy and equipment who pillage a division once designed for development.

Enter “Cuppetbagger” — derived from the term carpetbagger, or an outsider who cares only about personal gain with no plans to stick around. Are Cuppetbaggers any different? And it’s not a bad fit, either, considering “Nationwidewhacker” has zero ring to it.

Nationwide might be on the side of teams devoted solely to its series, but Cuppetbaggers aren’t. Maybe the “Not On Your Side Guys” should be considered.

Of course, your suggestions are always welcome.

Monday, December 03, 2007

AJ Quoted...Continued!

As promised, here is Part 2 of AJ's '07 quote highlights...

“They told me to take the word grip out of my vocabulary because there’s going to be none. It’s a cool place, but at the same time it’s the biggest bitch in the world.” — AJ on Darlington Raceway

“I’ve got the confidence I can make one of these frickin’ races now.” — AJ after qualifying for his first Nextel Cup race in March at Bristol Motor Speedway

“Probably get naked and scare myself.” — AJ when asked what he’ll be for Halloween

“It would have been easier to have driven nothing and start in one of these things. Nothing can be transferred over.” — AJ, confirming that there are no similarities between a Champ and stock car

"My boney ass hurts right now. People say I have a ghetto booty but it doesn’t cushion me from the seat.” - AJ during his first race at Bristol Motor Speedway

“TV crews don’t stray me from what I want to say. I pretty much say whatever I want to say anyway. Sometimes it gets me trouble.” — AJ

“It was chaos from one to 500. I thought during the race things would settle down, and they don’t.” — AJ on his first race at Bristol Motor Speedway

“The Red Bull hospitality is booming over there! Anybody seen it? Anyone want to go over there and party with me?” - AJ To spotter Tim Fedewa during the Lowe's Motor Speedway truck race. Timmy's response: “We will have a big party once you win this buddy.”

“This place is just crazy, and I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing around here. This track is bumpy and awkward — they told me it’s like a road course and that’s a lie. It’s nothing like a road course.” — AJ on Pocono Raceway