Monday, March 03, 2008

Skinner Temporarily Replaces AJ

Red Bull Racing Team has confirmed that veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner will temporarily replace AJ Allmendinger in the No. 84 Red Bull Camry in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series effective this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner, a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series champion, currently races full-time in the No. 5 Toyota Tundra. "We’re at a crossroads where we need to make a change that will elevate the No. 84 team to success," said VP and General Manager Jay Frye. "AJ’s our guy and he’s a talented driver, but there’s a lot being asked of him. In order for him to be successful, we have to get this team pointed in the right direction. We hope we can do that with the help of a veteran driver." Skinner’s history with Red Bull Racing Team dates back to 2006 when he served as a test driver for the team. Skinner’s history with Allmendinger also dates back to 2006, when he mentored teammate Allmendinger during the rookie’s part-time ride with Bill Davis Racing NCTS team. Frye hopes with the help of Skinner, that RBRT will have the program turned around and the ride returned to Allmendinger in no time.

53 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good for the 84 team and good for Team Red Bull.

This certainly isn't to fault AJ as a driver, but I like this move. It's a double edged sword because AJ can't get better if he can't get more seat time, but his lack of seat time is keeping him out of races.

TRB could have gone the easy route and signed a past champion to get themselves into races (like Penske, Wood Bros, and MWR) but have chosen a driver who feels as though he has something to prove.

I love this move and hope to see the 84 make it's way into the top 35 and AJ take the reigns back, but for now, Skinner will drive it like he stole it.

4:25 PM  
Anonymous Curt said...

i like this. and judging by the way Skinner drove at Vegas yesterday, it's a good deal.

now i hope AJ gets a Nationwide or truck ride for Atlanta.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The story on jayski sounds like AJ still has his funny sense of humor. We are still behind you AJ and we want the best for you! Keep your head up and never back down.

4:40 PM  
Anonymous RJ said...

Why did AJ not get to run in the Busch and Truck Series? The guy needs seat time! He's not going to learn if you just sit him out!

I like AJ. I like his fire and desire. I hope he leaves NASCAR and goes back to the newly unified Indy Car Series.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

This is a tough situation, but my hat is off to AJ for his great attitude. Makes me root for him even more.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree - I can understand putting Skinner in to see where these cars stand but unless AJ is actually driving something I dont understand how this helps him. They already said Speed had to truck ride for Atlanta so where does that put AJ? Watching everybody else race? Having a mentor for AJ and someone to help him learn is not a bad thing at all but he does need to be racing.

4:59 PM  
Anonymous Jason Lyman loyal to AJ said...

Team Red bull totally screwed the pooch here.
WHY oh WHY do they NOT have thier own nationwide series car? They should have had AJ running Busch series races every week, or half Busch, half trucks. Anyhing that is sharing a date with the sprint cup series race... And when Cup comes up here to Pocono in June and August, put him in an ARCA car and let him race... As I have said before, if you expect to get 100% out your guy (they say they LOVE AJ) than it should be up to RBR to cultivate him the RIGHT WAY. So now that Skinner is in the 84, AJ should definately be in the nationwide series race AND the truck race. If Kyle freaking Busch can get his hands in on every series AJ should have the same oppurtunity. If this goes well for Skinner and he then gets the car back into the top 35, RBR will then give the car back to AJ, and RBR should creat car #85 and give Skinner his own car and team next season for his mentorship of AJ... ALSO- Red Bull should go out of thier way to get AJ a car for the INDY 500 THIS SEASON... That would be the best thing for them to do, seeings how they screwed this up royally... Just my two cents...

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Team red bull already said they were going to get AJ a ride for the trucks and/or nationwide series...I think this is a good thing..I would rather have AJ out of the car learning (that might mean not racing at certain points) than have the 84 car fall deeper into a hole...and why does AJ need an indy 500 car that wont help him learn that will just get him more confused

5:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great move as Skinner is a great qualifier just as the #27 team. Red Bull shiuld make a deal with BDR to let Skinner do the whole season and let AJ drive the BDR #5 truck if Skinner wants to rin the whole cup season.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skinner is a great qualifier, and gets along good with AJ. I think this move is a good decision for the redbull team.

5:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I may be off the mark here, but for the comments wanting to know why Red Bull didn't just put AJ into trucks and the Nationwide series themselves...wouldn't that be a major extra cost and use of resources for a team that needs to concentrate on the COT in Cup? It seems trying to get AJ a ride with teams that are already established and have those cars/trucks already built would be beneficial to both teams and to AJ. You can't just go out and build new cars and trucks at the drop of a hat. Especially when your focus has been on Cup. Am I missing something obvious here?

I'm hoping that AJ is back in that car as much as anyone as quickly as possible, but just calling for RBRT to come up with another car/truck immediately seems unreasonable.

6:27 PM  
Anonymous Jason Lyman loyal to AJ said...

Why should RBR have a nationwide series ride? They should've had one from day one! All of the top teams have a "minor league" car for development purposes... It's probably too late now from RBR this season, but if they want to get 100% out of developing thier drivers they will need minor league cars. Why shoulod RBR get AJ an Indy 500 car? Because he is an open wheel stud- As for confusing him, I seriously doubt that would be the case... He is not just going to forget how to drive a stock car if he climbs back into an IRL car for 1 race... Robby Gordon and Tony Stewart have both competed at both.

6:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ WE LOVE YOU!!! I'm sad for AJ but, I know that this will be a good thing and it will work out in the end.

We are all still supporting you and your team AJ and I really admire that you have taken such a great position on the situation. It took guts and courage to be the team player that you are.

You will always be Top DOg in my book!

7:09 PM  
Blogger ncsuredbull said...

"TRB could have gone the easy route and signed a past champion to get themselves into races (like Penske, Wood Bros, and MWR) but have chosen a driver who feels as though he has something to prove."

Who is available...Terry Labonte? I don't call that the easy route. The next available one is DW.

"All of the top teams have a "minor league" car for development purposes..."

They are a beginner team. They don't have a big enough shop for one. Dietrich only has enough money for 4 F1 Teams and 2 Nascar Teams. They have a budget and at the end of the day you can only do so much with the budget. So they can't buy him an Indy ride which is 3 months away. He should be back in the 84 by then.

Mike Skinner will do a great job, but AJ is the future. TRB should work to find him a truck ride and I think they will find him something but you can't expect them to start a program just for that.

AJ will be back in a few races.

7:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even if Mike Skinner can manage to qualify the car, finishing 30th each week isn't going to help. They are 3 races in the hole already, there is no chance to make the top 35. Sorry to be a downer.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ could race this weekend, if they just take Scott Speed out of the truck.

9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ- you rock!! I think your attitude in a should be admired - looking at the big picture. Im sorry you are out of the car but take this chance and learn everything you can from Mike. You have many years of winning ahead of you in this series and this minor set back wont change that. It will also put a veteran in there to see where the car/team needs work. GO AJ!!

9:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am just afraid, Skinner is going to do really well, and they will be reluctant to give AJ the car back... It's toucgh to ask a vet to get the car in the top 35 then say, well time to get out ...

6:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter what happens with the 84, RBRT must focus on the 83 team to get them into the show for the next two races. I would hate to see Skinner in the show and not BV. That would suck!

6:50 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Skinner is a good qualifier but not the greatest racer, no worries for AJ to get his seat back...

7:05 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Rough week for AJ and RBRT and Packer fans everywhere! Brett Favre has retired!

7:23 AM  
Blogger nicole83 said...

AJ, we're all behind you and can't wait to see you racing again. I really admire the way you have handled all of this with your great attitude.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

AJ, No matter what we all the Red Bull Racing fans are behind you. Hopefully we'll see you back in the 84 Toyota Camry real soon. Keep your head up! We all believe in you.

8:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate this plan, but commend Jay for doing SOMETHING. At least it is a step in the right direction to try and FIX things, instead of the way the "old Red Bull" would do it - just point the blame at someone or something completely unrealted to the issue!!! GO JAY FRYE!

Can't wait to see AJ back in the car. I have to say though, saying that HE Is 0-3 in qualifying this year is unfair. That CAR is 0-3.

8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope this plan helps the 84 team with their program and their car - you cant put all the blame on the driver. We have seen what AJ can do when he has the car to do it with. I also hope they dont keep AJ out too long - he cant learn if he isnt in the car. And I really hope they find something in Nationwide or trucks so he can get more seat time. We are all with you AJ!!

9:15 AM  
Anonymous Jason Lyman said...

just a question- I know that the car #84 has gotten some owner points for attempting to qualify for all 3 races. How do they determine how many owner points to give to each car that doesn't make it? The 84 is only 150 some odd owner points from being a #35 car... Realistically could be done in 3 weeks if Skinner can qualify for all and race in the 20's... Hopefuilly they can get Aj in the truck race this weekend and get him some seat time- I would love to see AJ back in the car in 5 weeks or so (maybe Phoenix on April 12th seeings how he is the one testing the car out there)just a thought

10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let say Skinner gets them in the top 35. It would not make good sense to put Allmendinger back in the car. Let's face it some guys are great open wheel racers like Allmendinger and now that the 2 open wheel series are back together that is where he should go. Nascar teams are too interested in getting a guy with hollywood good looks that can talk the b s instead of looking for a driver. Allmendinger has had plenty of seat time. He's just not cut out for this type of racing.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Jason Lyman said...

you are an idiot if you believe that. AJ has been approached by other Cup organizations but has loyalty to Red Bull because of his long affiliation with being on the "red bull roster" The weeks he doesn't make the races he typically goes home and doesn't race for the week... hopefully thats all about to change. He needs minor league experince, even if nothing more than to get into a groove... He has more than capable than when he gets to race...

11:47 AM  
Blogger Mouse said...

"Allmendinger has had plenty of seat time. He's just not cut out for this type of racing."

I completely disagree. AJ made 17 Cup races last year; that's not even close to being 'plenty of seat time.' And I think he proved during the truck race at Charlotte that he IS cut out for this type of racing...he just needs some more experience.

I'm sad to see AJ leave the 84 temporarily, but hopefully this move will help everyone out and AJ will be back in the 84 ASAP.

1:55 PM  
Anonymous Lauren McCaslin said...

If by saying he was "bringing sexy back to NASCAR" he meant getting forcibly removed from his ride, then AJ sure was right when he made that brash statement! lolerz

I hope the red bull teams will finally be able to gang bang these races out, it has been hard for BV not having a teammate that he can run with.

Also with Skinner being 50+ years old, he can just slam some red bulls before the race to wake his elderly bones up for some wins.

3:08 PM  
Blogger Tyler said...

As a die hard Mike Skinner fan it is interesting to read all of the posts here...
A few said Skinner would not want to get out of the ride...

If you remember correctly Skinner has taken over truck, busch and cup teams before to evaluate and then get back out...For example Billy Ballew's 15 truck a few years back, the 34 cup car, the 78 cup car etc...

Speaking for all of us over at the Mike Skinner Discussion Board...We all agree Skinner's main focus is on the #5 truck for BDR...

Hope he helps RedBull as much as he can...

Good Luck to all

3:15 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Thanks, Tyler. I hope MS can give some good feedback and give the 84 a baseline. As for some of these posts... AJ has a future in Nascar, no doubt about it.

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Mike Wilson said...

Bottom line, AJ has no talent for driving in NASCAR, go back to the girl's league with Danica.

7:11 PM  
Anonymous Jackie said...

If the team gets the car close to being good Skinner will get the #84 in the show. For all the AJ fans dont worry doesnt seem like Skinner wants to run the whole season but i wish he would.

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

AJ seemed pretty fast today in testing at Phoenix. Maybe its a matter of getting the car set up to his liking and on race weekend its tough to do that when all you get in is a couple of mock qualifying runs.

7:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we're all overlooking something here. AJ is truly 0 for 1 this year in qualifying. Daytona's qualifying format is unique and Cali was rained out. Neither RBRT car was that strong qualifying at Atlanta as BV only made it in by the skin of his teeth. AJ has talent and we all remember how much he improved last year when he was able to double-dip on those weekends he drove for Ganassi in Busch.

8:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard, from a close source to AJ's family, that the car AJ was testing with and doing so great with at Daytona earlier in the year, was given to Vickers for the daytona Duels and qualify because it was a faster car.

Hard to get ahead when your team is doing things like that to ya.

Keep your head up AJ. You'll turn it around.

9:14 PM  
Blogger Brian said...

Anon, if what you are saying is correct that Brian got AJ's car he tested at Daytona then you have it all wrong. Brian's car was actually faster in pre-season testing.

Vickers was the 4th best overall at a 48.570
AJ was the 14th best overall at a 48.900

6:09 AM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

Either way, neither one of them qualified in on speed anyway, which is all that fast lap is good for. This is a lame argument, they both raced very well in the 150's Daytona qualifying is just a screwed up thing.

9:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"you are an idiot if you believe that. AJ has been approached by other Cup organizations but has loyalty to Red Bull because of his long affiliation with being on the "red bull roster"

I bet they won't be wanting him now. The Sheriff needs an experienced driver as a teamate and since Skinner doesn't want the full time gig, Ward would be the perfect guy for the job. He was able to out qualify Allmendinger on numerous occations last year with a very subpar ride. Ward could do wonders in the 84 car.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This really wouldn’t be an issue if TRB would have purchased another team with points like others did. There are so many sub par drivers out there who don’t have to qualify into races like RBRT. If everything was on equal ground and the fastest 43 were in the field each week, AJ wouldn’t have been replaced.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

name a team in the top 35 that was 4 sale.

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ginn was for sale last year. Look at the #15 out of the top 35 then DEI buys Ginn and now a sub par driver is making races.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Spinner sucks. He may get them in the show, but will wreck during the race? And Ward? Come on! He and Mike are the main reasons why the 4 car is no more. They were not a sub par team they just had sub par drivers.

4the4

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Jason Lyman said...

I am quite frustrated to see that AJ is not in a Nationwide or Craftsman race this weekend? The idea of this garbage move was to get the kid some seat time-What gives? Liek I have repeadedly said, If RBR wants to contend in the Sprint series, they need to use thier own cash and let AJ and Scott Speed share a nationwide car... You have to develop your investment!

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Jason 100%. What is AJ going to learn watching Speed drive around in the truck and Mike racing his car? Then if it rains there is no chance that the 84 team will get any points because they go home again.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we all exspect to much from A.J because of his impressive past. He needs a steady Nationwide ride and also some truck stuff. It's hard to be patient with the top 35 thing, but we got to remember that TRB is new at this.
As for Skinner, he will let TRB know if the equipment and crew are on the same page. Skinner has tons of laps in Cup, and as for the new car, the COT drives alot like Skinner's Tundra that he put in victory lane 5 times last year.

4:06 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

"Ginn was for sale last year. Look at the #15 out of the top 35 then DEI buys Ginn and now a sub par driver is making races."

Dude. DEI didn't just buy Ginn's points. They bought the whole freaking race team.

6:49 PM  
Anonymous cjj1259 said...

I agree with all of you that said AJ needs seat time and should be racing this weekend and every weekend in something.

Come on Red Bull, you put Scott Speed in a Truck this weekend, you should have done the same for AJ!!!!

4:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skinner gets it in the show!! I'll drink a BULL to that! Two TRB cars in Atlanta!!

7:10 PM  
Anonymous cjj1259 said...

Quote from an article at NASCAR.com He should be racing something!

Q: Is there anything you wish you could have done different as far as learning and adapting to these cars?

Allmendinger: There is nothing to me that I would have done any different personally, but oh yeah I would have loved to have been in the racecar more and more whether it is the [new car] or a Nationwide car or a truck. That is something that I wish I could have been in. I remember talking to Juan after like the first four weeks last year and I'm said 'hey, how are you doing?' And he said 'Man, I'm tired. I've been in a racecar everyday of my life.' I'm like 'Cool, I've been sitting at home.' We didn't do a lot of testing. I didn't run any of those races really except for a few Truck races. Then the Nationwide races I ran at the end of the year, which obviously helped me a ton. It is what happens. Situations and deals fall through and it's nobody's fault. If I could do it all over again I'd be in a racecar every day of my life. It is what it is and this is where we are now.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike is a great race car driver and Jay made a great move. Please keep Skinner is the #84 Red Bull Toyota he will take the team to the winners circle.

Go Red Bull Racing.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Skinner should run the #84 team and have some consistency.AJ is a nice guy however he needs to run in the truck or nationwide car.
Skinner's da man!

12:13 AM  

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