Spending the Day with Red Bull
Random observations from Red Bull Racing Team’s first Fan & Family Appreciation Day on a glorious Friday afternoon in Race City U.S.A.:
+ Via an informal, off-the-top-of-your-head poll, attendance came in at 500-600. More would have showed had it not been for a dump truck pulling up lame on I-77 north during lunch hour traffic.
+ Reportedly, the first fans arrived before 6 a.m., armed as if Hannah Montana tickets were going on sale sometime soon. But our autograph tickets weren’t being distributed for two more hours.
+ Raffle items included framed artwork, autographed diecasts of the Nos. 83 and 84, hats, T-shirts and, perhaps most unique, crew shirts. Each crew shirt donned the John Hancocks of the two Bull Crews.
+ The on-site Bull Shop was bustling long after Fan Appreciation Day ended at 2 p.m. Should be a nice score!
+ Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger arrived in the two-seat Red Bull show car. Both are like Jedi Knights with a Sharpie and accommodated everyone and their items in an efficient 60 minutes.
+ Deliver fuel or rip through some lug nuts on the No. 83 … whatever the choice, the experts were there to help. Since the Pit Crew Challenge, our crewmen have become celebrities within the industry.
+ Fans could enter the main shop and view Red Bull Toyotas in various stages of construction.
+ The Red Bull Albatross seaplane made an appearance in the skies overhead and touched down safely in the Lake Norman waters to the south.
+ The frozen cups filled with a Red Bull sorbet-type thing hit the spot on a hot day.
+ Proudly on display were AJ’s Sprint Showdown trophy and the No. 83 team’s $70,675 check for winning the Pit Crew Challenge.
+ Front parking lot cleared by 3:48 p.m.
600 blurb: On Thursday night, Brian qualified third and AJ 27th. Saturday holds two practice sessions (2:45 and 6 p.m. ET) before Sunday’s green flag.