Monday, September 01, 2008

Sunday Night Was the Pits


First, the bad news …

Neither of Red Bull Racing Team’s drivers was particularly pleased with their finishing positions Sunday night at Auto Club Speedway.

After the No. 83 Red Bull Toyota charged to the front, Brian Vickers spent most of the first 180 laps in the top five as the backstretch glare went away and day turned to night. But during a pit stop on lap 182, an errant tire and ensuing penalty (listed officially as “outside half of the pit box tire violation — not in contact”) sent Brian to the tail end of the longest line. He restarted 21st and could climb no higher than 12th over the remaining 68 laps.

“The penalty absolutely killed us,” Brian said. “It was at the end of the race. No matter how good of a car you have, when you get in traffic like that it’s just hard. You can only do so much.”

Late-race pit stops also doomed teammate AJ Allmendinger, who qualified his No. 84 Red Bull Toyota on the front row.

He was running as high as fourth with 70 laps to go, but a slow stop on lap 182 and then another 37 laps later left him 19th on the final restart. He made up five spots at the checkered flag and found himself in an entertaining back-and-forth battle with David Ragan for 13th.

“With this competitive field and the way these cars are you can’t get back there,” AJ said. “You’re basically restarting 38th at that point. The lapped cars have just as much right to race as we do. You’re in so much dirty air, and that’s killing the tires and there’s just a lot going on. We stayed clean and did what we had to do.”

And now, the good news …

AJ’s 14th-place finish moved the No. 84 up five positions to 31st in car owner points. It was his fifth top-20 finish in the past seven races. Brian climbed one spot in driver points to 15th.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Gangsta said...

One more good thing is that AJ is in the Budwieser Shootout! He is the sixth toyota in the owner standings. YAY!!!!!!! :)

8:13 AM  
Anonymous tracy said...

I think one of the most disappointing things is because it was so unlike the Red Bull teams. They have been on it all year and to have both of them blow it all race long was very discouraging. I noticed that AJ usually gives his team a pat on the back at the end of the race, but last night it was silence.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was not just the last two stops. AJ lost over 20 positions in the pit over the course of the race....and yet still finished 14th. Pathetic performance by the 84 pit crew. Simply awful.

11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Note to RB Management. You have a top level drive on your hand with AJ. Hurry up an resign him you fools:

http://www.nascar.com/kyn/nbtn/cup/data/last_six.html

This is getting the point where I hope you don't resign him soon, he gets a better offer from a better team, and kicks your ass all over the place in 09.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Formula Mazda said...

watching red bull run 2nd and 3rd for the majority of the race was worth watching every friday qualifying seesion last year, hoping they would make the show... Red Bull fan for life baby!

11:15 AM  
Blogger Chris said...

Longtime Sprint Cup Series team executive Jay Frye [currently with Red Bull Racing] has been offered a contract by Stewart Haas Racing, and is mulling a departure from Team Red Bull before season's end to accept a management position at SHR, ESPN.com has learned. Sources close to Stewart Haas confirmed Monday that Frye is the man they've targeted to run the organization's day-to-day operations. He is expected to accept, sources said, and would be titled vice president/general manager.

11:53 AM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

If he leaves, I'll be mad. Red Bull, step it up!

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If he leaves, that would be a bunch of crap!! Red Bull better offer him more money because he is one of the main reasons for the turn a round this season!!!

12:24 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

I'd be very surprised if Jay Frye leaves Red Bull for Stewart Haas. I don't see how it benefits Jay Frye.

12:25 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

The money would be the only reason, Curt.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't see Stewart having more money than Red Bull would be able to offer him.

12:44 PM  
Blogger theonlynick said...

Please pick a name, anonymous. We have too many of you running around. I can't call everyone 'anon'. If not, i'll pick one for you. And it will stick. Like glue. Not the cheap glue that falls off after a few days, but the extra strength industrial crap. Ya know, like on the commercials.

12:58 PM  
Anonymous tracy said...

Wow, I had completely blocked out that Richmond was an impound race. What a great weekend for AJ to be in the top 35.

And boy is that points race ever tight back there. 5 points between 31st and 34th. Bet AJ is glad he fought to lead that first lap. Hope he puts a little more distance between himself and 36th again this weekend.

As far as Jay Frye goes, I hope he stays since he has been a good leader there at Red Bull, but I'm sure having to deal with Red Bull in Austria isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Just look at what they are doing to AJ - it shows their total lack of commitment to NASCAR. I'm sure that wouldn't be the case at SHR.

1:03 PM  
Blogger Curt said...

Yeah money might be it but I agree with the anonymous that replied to your post. Red Bull has deeper pockets. I hope he doesn't leave. To be honest I think he's having fun leading Red Bull Racing Team to the top. After the performance out of both cars last night, it would be very unwise to leave. That's why I said I'd be surprised.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous 83fanatic said...

3 GM's in 3 years would look bad for RBRT. Hopefully they can keep him...

2:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:48 PM  
Anonymous Natalie said...

For the last post, he is either in or on his way to Austria right now according to the article on espn.com. So I guess we will have to wait and see what happens when he gets back.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After watching NASCAR Now it seems Frye is gone. We can only hope his replacement is as strong and good for RBR as he was!

5:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

problem here is that if Jay is a mere puppet for the europeans, you can bet he'll be gone. my bet is that he'll have final decision making power at haas. obviously here, case in point w/AJ...he doesn't make the final choice. sux to lose him.

5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Red Bull Mgmt- Remember Carl Russo....dont' be like him.

I watched AJ kick butt in Portland as a Walkon for Forsythe. The kids got talent. Sign him (and for god's sake, kick that Pit crew in the butt...if you need an old Marine Corps Gunny to shape them up, I am available)

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit this is very upseting news to hear Frye could be leaving. That should have been posted as the bad news, just the possibility of it. I sure hope DM and the powers that be in Austria figure this out real quick and make a resounding decision in favor of Frye, the guys,and the team. Otherwise why did they even get involved in this sport to begin with. It's really not nice to toy with peoples' lives and careers this way.

6:45 AM  
Anonymous Jason from PA said...

LoL Maybe Frye will go to Stewart-Haas and get them to sign AJ to drive a 3rd SHR Cheverolet.

I know Smoke already said they wouldn't run a 3rd car, but with a talent like Allmendinger just chilling out waiting for a ride, they'd be smart to snatch him up. I bet there are teams salivating at the chance to sign him, and I wouldn't be too sad if someone signed him away while Red Bull Austria sits on thier hands.

I just pray he doesn't end up with the Petty's... I'd rather he end up with Bill Davis or Ganassi, or Hell even MWR...

I agree with the one Anon who says he'd love to see Allmendinger kick Speed and Vickers ass on a weekly basis should he go elsewhere- I look forward to that also...

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forget about Frye for now. What about the Red Bull pit crews? Shameful this weekend! How can two pit crews who get paid for a living just to make pit stops, screw up so bad? Red Bull is always bragging that their pit crew doesnt have shop jobs like other teams and that all the do is train. What are they training for? It certainly isnt pit stops.

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, so the 83 pit crew made mistakes this weekend, but thats VERY unlike them. The 84 pit crew on the other hand. They make mistakes EVERY weekend. That pit crew is a joke. AJ deserves better than that. He's finally racing like he should be and he doesnt have a pit crew who can keep up!

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red Bull needs to get their head out of their a&&. Lose a great driver AND the man who brought this team together? I truly dont understand what they are doing - I believe they are totally out of touch with the Nascar program. What are they in this for if they are going to commit to what it takes??

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Formula mazda said...

anybody know what there plans for the dinger and scott speed are? i know speed is signed to run a full bill davis cup ride next year... but then what?

4:02 PM  

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