Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Month in Minutes

Just in case you’ve missed the latest goings on at Red Bull Racing Team, our new video is live on The clip recaps Sprint Cup weekends at Texas, Phoenix and Talladega.

A handful of Red Bull athletes make an appearance, including 10-time national trials riding champion Geoff Aaron, who noted at Texas, “Everyone here is a gear head, so they’re into bikes, motorcycles and cars. It’s been cool to be here and show off the sport.”

Mike Skinner wraps up his stay in the No. 84 at Texas, AJ Allmendinger ushers in the silver No. 84 at Talladega and Brian Vickers, pit road spin and all, sums up Red Bull Racing Team’s first top-five finish of 2008 in the Aaron’s 499.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Be the Ball, Scott

If there’s anything Scott Speed envisions himself doing other than racing, it’s playing golf. “I wouldn’t be great at anything other than racing,” he admitted. “Maybe golf if I really worked at it. I would want to be the best at what I did.”

Scott’s golf game, built on accuracy off the tee and around the greens (Bull Rider can testify to that), got a little bit better after he spent two days with PGA Tour professional and Red Bull athlete Camilo Villegas.

In his third full season on tour, the Colombian-born Camilo, 26, sits 84th on the money list and 85th in the FedEx Cup standings with one top 10 in nine events. He’s tied for 23rd in scoring average (70.10), his all-around ranking is 18th and he uses an unusual low-to-the-ground crouching method to read putts. (To see why they call Camilo “Spider-Man,” click here.)

A July 2006 article in GQ said, “He’s got a closet full of tight trousers, a set of boxer’s biceps and more screaming female fans than Justin Timberlake.” That same year Camilo was one of the “Hottest Bachelors” in People magazine and Golf Digest’s “most ripped player on tour, Tiger Woods included.”

Scott gave Camilo a look into the world of racing Monday at Red Bull Racing Team's shop. Roles reversed Tuesday, as Scott shadowed Camilo during his practice round for this weekend’s Wachovia Championship in Charlotte.

Scott’s first ARCA victory Friday at Kansas moved him to fourth in the driver standings, 90 points behind leader Matt Carter heading into Sunday’s Carolina 500 at Rockingham Speedway. The Eddie Sharp Racing No. 2 Red Bull Toyota was fastest during testing there in March.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Plate Race Serves Up a Top Five

Brian Vickers spun all by lonesome leaving pit road early in the Aaron’s 499. When he tested the high line in the closing laps, nobody followed. And he finished with a naked rear end!

But in typical Talladega fashion, it all added up to Red Bull Racing Team’s first top-five finish of the season. Brian, whose No. 83 Red Bull Toyota led four laps Sunday, climbed three spots to 16th in the driver standings. He’s 35 points out of the top 12.

On a lap 62 pit stop, Brian looped the No. 83 “trying to dodge an official and not hit the 20 (Tony Stewart).” He restarted deep in the pack, and during his ascent the car lost its rear-end cover in a close encounter.

“As soon as a caution finally fell and the field tightened up again, we immediately got after it,” Brian said. “The caution at the end of the race hurt us. I really think we would have had a chance at the win.”

Teammate AJ Allmendinger, showing off the silver No. 84 in his return race, played it safe in the back after a career-best starting position of fourth. He cracked the top 15 midway through the race and led a lap before a last-lap tractor beam of spinning cars sucked AJ in and sent the No. 84 home in 30th.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

One Down, Many to Go

A self-described methodical and patient race car driver, Scott Speed pushed, pushed and pushed some more to win his first ARCA RE/MAX race Saturday at Kansas Speedway.

Speed’s No. 2 Red Bull Toyota led the first 16 laps, but the window net fell down and forced Speed to pit under green. He lost a lap and dropped to rear of the 40-car field, but that’s when the aggression came out. He raced hard to earn the free pass, and, “Once we got that, I pushed real hard to make up a lot of positions.”

He blew past fellow rookie Jason Smith on a restart with six laps remaining and held off Ricky Stenhouse Jr. for the right to celebrate victory in only his fifth ARCA start.

“It’s certainly great to win a race — it’s been a while — but at the end of the day the most important thing is that we learned something because the goal is to be successful in (Sprint) Cup and this is a step toward that,” Scott said. “Every lap I make on the track right now is beneficial. That’s why we’re doing so many races, why we’re pushing so hard because this is where I’m learning the most.”

Scott moved to fourth in the driver standings, 90 points behind leader Matt Carter heading into Sunday’s race in Rockingham, N.C. But he isn’t done driving at Kansas. Scott’s in the No. 22 Toyota for Bill Davis Racing for today’s Craftsman Truck race (6 p.m. ET, Speed).

Today in Talladega, Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger qualify for the Aaron’s 499 (11:15 a.m. ET, Speed). BV’s 83 goes out 21st. AJ’s 84 is 41st in line.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Secret Side of AJ

Scratch the surface of AJ Allmendinger just a little, and it’s revealed that he may have been secretly watching “Divine Design” or “Trading Spaces” while he and wife Lynne house hunted in suburban Charlotte.

Every homeowner has a “must have” list. At the top of AJ’s are granite countertops. Believe it!

“I don’t know why, but I’m big on granite countertops,” he said. “If you would have asked me when I was buying my house what are the things you’re looking for … big this and that. No, it was granite countertops. We looked at houses, and I was like, ‘Nice house, but no granite countertops.’”

Downstairs is the “man cave.”

“Had to have a basement. I wouldn’t even look at a house without a basement. It’s the man cave,” he joked. “It’s sweet. Got the sliding glass doors. Step outside and you’re basically in the water. Lynne’s office is down there. I let her use the man cave when she needs to for her work stuff. But it’s not hers. She doesn’t get to touch anything.”

After today’s two practice sessions at Talladega, AJ and the No. 84 attempt to qualify for the Aaron’s 499 at 11:15 a.m. ET Saturday.

And don’t forget to check out Brian Vickers’ appearance tonight on Speed’s “Trackside.” While the show begins at 7:30 p.m. ET, Brian, a former Talladega winner, comes on at 8:05.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tim’s Trained Eye

AJ Allmendinger’s spotter, former driver Tim Fedewa, admitted he sometimes got lost in the blur of Red Bull blue.

Being AJ’s second set of eyes requires that Fedewa be perched high atop something, usually a press box or corporate suites, and from there it’s tough to tell who’s who when both cars are blue. And it’s not like every track is the size of tiny Martinsville.

“At times, you had to really stay on top of it,” Fedewa said. “You couldn’t take your focus away from your respective car. I just couldn’t take my eyes off AJ, especially when Brian was around. When you go back, your focal point is a blue car with some yellow trim. You couldn’t tell. There’s two of them.”

Not anymore. AJ’s No. 84 will be silver the rest of the way.

“Fedewa will finally be able to see,” AJ joked. “He’s getting old. He’s getting up there in age and his eyes are starting to go.”

Listen to Tim talk about it in our audio section at

Monday, April 21, 2008

Same Ride, New Color

The silver No. 84 that’s been shining in Red Bull Racing Team’s shop unloads for the first time Friday at Talladega, and AJ Allmendinger, who returns after a five-race layoff, can’t wait to show off his car’s new look.

“I think it’s sweet,” Allmendinger said. “Our blue has been good, but it’s one of those things that says, ‘I’m back!’ It’s silver. It’s going to stand out. It’s going to look fast, and it’s going to be fast.”

In 2007, Red Bull’s motorsports branding featured dynamic bulls, suns and custom deep blue color. More than a year later, the design is expanding with the silver No. 84. The car maintains the same styling cues as the No. 83 to ensure close affiliation but carries a metallic silver pearl base and blue number to create its own identity and personality.

“Some would call it a mirrored aluminum silver. Some would call it a titanium finish,” said Marty Briggs, the paint shop manager. “We would just have to call it bad ass.”

For more silver shots, visit our photo gallery at

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Cornfields to the Coast

One Red Bull driver spent Saturday circling a short track in Iowa. Another raced for charity on the streets of Long Beach. Either way, it was a productive day.

NEWTON, Iowa — Scott Speed, in the third race of the ARCA season, finished sixth at Iowa Speedway. Solid? Certainly. Disappointing? Probably. But there are greater things at stake for driver No. 2. Like the championship race, where he now sits eighth — a mere 70 points out of fifth and 215 behind leader Justin Allgaier.

Rain ruined Friday’s qualifying, and Speed started second based on owner points. He led laps 79 through 106 (28), and Eddie Sharp Racing’s Red Bull Toyota was fixture at the front all day. But it wasn’t quite fast enough for rookie winner Matt Hawkins, Allgaier and a few others. ESR teammate Ken Butler III finished seventh.

Speed’s off to Kansas for his first double-duty weekend. Friday he’s in the ARCA car. Saturday it’s a Bill Davis Racing truck.

LONG BEACH, Calif. — He could have been “that guy,” but Mike Skinner opted not to force the issue on the final lap of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race on the streets on Long Beach. The overall victory went to ESPN pit reporter Jamie Little, while Skinner was the best of the pros.

Celebrities started 30 seconds ahead of the professional class, but Skinner quickly caught the tail end and worked his way through traffic before reaching Little’s Scion tC.

“I had a couple of opportunities to try to pass Jamie Little for the overall lead on the last lap, but it wasn’t worth the risk of taking us both out,” Skinner said. “I really give her credit, she really did an awesome job.”

The event, part of Long Beach Grand Prix weekend, raised more than $100,000 for Racing For Kids, a national organization that benefits children’s hospitals in southern California.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Skinner Hits the Streets

Mike Skinner’s involvement in Saturday’s Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race is threefold.

1. The obvious. The race that features film, TV and sports celebrities competing against professional drivers is expected to raise more than $100,000 for Racing For Kids, a national organization that benefits children’s hospitals in southern California. “The race is almost immaterial compared to the cause,” Skinner said. “The cause is much bigger than the race.”

2. The circuit. Skinner, a part-time Sprint Cup driver with Red Bull Racing Team and Craftsman Truck regular, loves to race on road — or in this case, street — courses. For 10 laps, identically prepared Scion tCs will snake through the 1.97-mile circuit on the streets of downtown Long Beach, Calif.

“I really miss the road courses. That’s what kind of got me into racing to start with, driving those windy roads and just enjoying going fast,” Skinner said. “If I had a wish for the truck series, it’d be that we go back and do some road-course racing.”

Skinner’s last road race in NASCAR? The 2002 Cup race at Watkins Glen.

3. The bragging rights. Skinner is the defending Pro/Celebrity champion. “I don’t know how well we’ll do this year,” he said, “but it’d be neat to win it two years in a row.”

Pro/Celebrity qualifying is scheduled for 6:15 p.m. ET Friday, with the race set for 2:40 p.m. ET Saturday.

Headlining the celebrity entries is “Dancing with the Stars” winner Drew Lachey, ESPN’s Jamie Little, NFL great Eric Dickerson and William Fichtner from “Prison Break.” The Pro class includes NHRA drivers Whit Bazemore and Tony Pedregon and Olympic gold medal cyclist Marty Nothstein.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

BV's Speedy (and Smoky) Salute

Certainly what Brian Vickers does for a living is dangerous, but he knows it’s nothing compared to “bullets whizzing past you.”

Red Bull Racing Team’s No. 83 driver spent Monday at Camp Atterbury in Indiana, giving five National Guard soldiers who have bigger things at stake a chance to sit back and relax. Well, not really.

“I thought we were just gonna cruise around, and he put his foot to the gas. I thought I was going to lose my hat and my mind all at the same time,” guardswoman Jessica Reid said after sitting shotgun in a two-seat show car. Reid is soon off to Kosovo.

Down country roads, Vickers topped out at about 130 mph and wore out plenty of rubber on the base.

To watch video, click here.

As for Camp Atterbury, you name the branch of military service, and it supports it — training the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. It’s also a major mobilization site for the National Guard.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Crash Course Continues

Now this is why Scott Speed is racing in ARCA — lots of laps in a short amount of time.

The 2008 opener came Feb. 9 in Daytona. It took 63 days for ARCA cars to compete again, with the most recent race coming Sunday in soggy Salem, Ind. After starting fifth, Speed finished fifth in the rain-delayed race. Not bad for a driver who’s seen only one other short track (the NASCAR Craftsman Truck event when he finished 10th at Martinsville).

But the ARCA season is getting set for a long green-flag run. Speed’s No. 2 Eddie Sharp Racing Red Bull Toyota races the next five weeks, beginning with 250 laps around Iowa Speedway on Saturday. He pulls double duty for the first time during the ARCA-Craftsman Truck weekend April 25-26 at Kansas.

In Speed’s first full season in his return stateside, he’ll compete at 25 different ovals. The full ARCA season takes Speed to 17 different tracks spanning 21 races — including two on dirt. And now that he’s the driver of the No. 24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota Tundra, he’ll visit Kansas, Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Bristol, Talladega, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Homestead.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Ahh ... a Week of Rest (Sort Of)

Want to get away?

Red Bull Racing Team sure does, especially after the flat performance at the flat track in Phoenix on Saturday night.

Most Sprint Cup drivers fall off the grid during an off week, so don’t expect to hear much out of Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger this week because things will be quiet until the two crank up their Red Bull Toyotas on April 25 at Talladega. Mike Skinner, however, will be racing. After spending a few days in NoCal’s wine country, Skinner will attempt to defend his title in the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race in Long Beach, Calif.

As for the Subway Fresh Fit 500, Vickers’ No. 83 improved eight positions from 33rd to 25th. Skinner, in his last run in the No. 84, lost three spots from 25th to 28th.

Vickers sits 19th in points — only 81 points out of the top 12. After five races out of the No. 84, the driver standings are lost on Allmendinger, but owner points aren’t. The No. 84 is 111 points out of the top 35 as Allmendinger returns to his ride at Talladega.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Off to a Flying Start

He was fastest in all training sessions earlier in the week. He was fastest in Thursday’s qualifying. And (you guessed it), Britain’s Paul Bonhomme was the fastest pilot in the Super Eights, crushing Austria’s Hannes Arch by more than seven seconds to claim Friday’s opening round of the Red Bull Air World Series in Abu Dhabi.

Some 250,000 spectators sat through sweltering heat on the windswept course above the Arabian Gulf to watch the 43-year-old Bonhomme, in his new Edge 540, demoralize the other 11 pilots throughout training, qualifying and the race.

Arch earned second place, his highest finish ever after upsetting former teammate Mike Mangold in the semifinal. Mangold, the defending Air Race champion, won the third-place flyoff against Hungary’s Peter Besenyei.

Up next for the Red Bull Air Race World Series is the North American swing — May 3-4 in San Diego and May 31-June 1 in Detroit.


Thursday, April 10, 2008

On The Road Again...

Somewhere, heading west to Phoenix is the motorcoach of Mike and Angie Skinner. They don’t bother with private aircraft to get from place to place. Rather the Skinners do travel the old-fashioned way. "When we did Cup full time, there are so many demands on your time … sponsor, team and media," Mike Skinner said. "You cherish every day that you’re sleeping in your own bed." The bed, in the case, is on wheels. "While we’re going down the highway, she’s on the Internet finding cool places to go," Skinner said. "We’ve seen a lot of the country. I’ve played great golf courses, gone to great restaurants." Some of the Skinners’ favorite stops along the way include Coopers Rock, W.Va., Nashville, Tenn., and Tombstone, Ariz.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Save Made by Haaland

Red Bull Racing Team looks for the elite, the supremely skilled when it comes to servicing a stock car under extreme conditions. Brian Haaland is one of the elite and the skilled, partly because he was goaltender for the University of Nebraska-Omaha’s ice hockey team.

Haaland changes the front tires on the No. 83 driven by Brian Vickers, and he’s well aware that asphalt can be just as slick — and intense — as the ice between the pipes. He tended goal from 1999 to 2004 in Omaha.

“As a goalie, you have to be square to the puck to stop it,” Haaland said. “As a tire changer, you have to be square to the wheel to hit the lug nuts. Hand-eye coordination is big and being able to catch a 100-mph slap shot probably helps in reacting to certain situations on pit road.”

Haaland is one of the many athletes on Red Bull Racing Team’s pit squad, but no other athlete can say they’ve taken frozen pucks on the chin. “It’s such a team environment,” Haaland said of the No. 83 Bull Crew. “It reminds me of playing on a hockey team, where the guys are really close, training and pushing in the weight room and practice — and then on pit road.”

This week is special for Haaland. Two of his buddies and former teammates at UN-Omaha — Nashville Predators forward Jed Ortmeyer and defenseman Greg Zanon — are prepping for a first-round series against the Detroit Red Wings.

“I’ve got the NHL package,” Haaland said, “so I can check those guys out.”

Haaland’s prediction for the upcoming NHL playoffs? “I always go for the goalie. If Dominik Hasek is healthy, Detroit will be real strong. In the East, Marty Brodeur with the (New Jersey) Devils is tough.”

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Rebeaud Rocks Mexico City

The five-stop Red Bull X-Fighters tour opened Friday at the Plaza de Toros in Mexico City, with Swiss rider Mat Rebeaud fighting his way through qualification rounds to the championship.

After defeating American Jeremy Stenberg in the semis, Rebeaud (pictured above) risked everything in the final against Spain’s Dany Torres. He delivered a perfect combination of show, acrobatics and more than just daredevil jumps in front of 43,000 fans shoehorned into a bullfighting arena.

“That was just incredible, I’m over the moon. Here in Mexico everyone really lived the emotions, including me,” said the KTM rider.

Rebeaud, 26, has the early lead in the first classification of Red Bull X-Fighters. Riders will return to action May 3 at the Sambadromo in Rio de Janeiro. Stop No. 3 on June 14 takes the X-Fighters to the Fort Worth Stockyards, where the Wild West will unite with the modern spectacle of freestyle moto X.

On the Red Bull Racing Team front, the Nos. 83 and 84 have two practice sessions today (noon and 1:20 p.m. ET) before Brian Vickers straps into Braun Racing’s No. 32 for the O’Reilly 300. In three Nationwide starts, the 2003 series champion owns a pole (Las Vegas) and best finish of fourth (Daytona).

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Red Bull Charges into France

In 2007, some 3.5 billion cans of Red Bull were sold in more than 140 countries. France was not one of those countries — until Tuesday when Red Bull prend la bastille. The English translation is “Red Bull takes the castle.”

The castle in this case is France, which lightened up a little and finally opened its borders to Red Bull. And Red Bull made a grand entrance with Wings for Paris day.

Swiss BASE jumper Ueli Geganschatz started with a leap off the top of the 1,036-foot Eiffel Tower. A French police officer saw the Red Bull chute and was quickly at the landing spot 650 yards away. He even briefly detained Gegenschatz. Two hours later, rush-hour commuters in Paris’ La Defense business district witnessed French trials rider Julien Dupont defy gravity with a motorcycle ride up, over and down the 164-foot arched roof of the CNIT center building.

The best, however, was the Minis. The blue and silver Minis, 150 of them carrying 300 sampling girls, flooded and circled the Arc de Triomphe, the tricky roundabout at the end of the Champs-Elysees. They parked and surprised curious Parisians with samples of Red Bull. Reportedly, all 300 sampling girls were arrested.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Speed Does More NASCAR Truckin'

Red Bull Racing Team development driver Scott Speed is going NASCAR trucking in the No. 24 Bill Davis Racing Toyota. Speed will take his direction from veteran NASCAR crew chief Richard “Slugger” Labbe, who coached the careers of Dale Jarrett, Michael Waltrip, and most recently, Jacques Villeneuve.

Speed’s part-time run in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series starts with Kansas Speedway on April 26, followed by Charlotte, Dover, Michigan, Bristol, Talladega, Martinsville, Atlanta, Texas, Phoenix and Miami. Speed’s Truck credentials include two previous races at Atlanta and Martinsville.

The rookie scored big in his ‘08 teammate lineup pairing with former NCTS champion Mike Skinner and veteran Johnny Benson. Skinner’s relationship with Red Bull Racing Team dates back to 2006 as a test driver for the startup Cup team, and includes his current status as an interim driver in the No. 84 Red Bull Toyota, and mentor to AJ Allmendinger.