Vickers Hopeful Red Bull Will Stay In NASCAR As Sponsor Despite Leaving As A Team
NASCAR driver Brian Vickers Saturday confirmed that Red Bull “could stay on as a NASCAR Sprint Cup sponsor, even if it no longer owns a team,” according to Tom Jensen of SPEEDTV.com. Vickers, who drives the No. 83 Red Bull Sprint Cup car, said, “They’re looking for investors, someone to buy the team out from an ownership standpoint. They haven’t decided from a sponsorship standpoint. Red Bull being in the sport has been incredible asset to not only myself, this team in the past five years, but I think the NASCAR community as a whole. We all hope they decide to stay, but that’s an internal decision.” He added, “They haven’t decided yet whether or not they’re going to be in this sport next year, they’re still looking at all that. Honestly, I think they will. This is a huge market for them. I don’t necessarily think the two decisions are always connected” (SPEEDTV.com, 6/25). Red Bull Racing VP & GM Jay Frye said that officials are “currently in talks that could produce an announcement in 30 to 45 days, though he made no guarantees” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/26). TNT’s Larry McReynolds said, “The value of a race team for an investor is if a sponsor is in place. If Red Bull is leaving, that’s where it gets very convoluted.” TNT’s Kyle Petty said the “only reason I want to go buy a team if I’m an owner is because you’ve got drivers in your stable -- good drivers, winning drivers -- and you’ve got sponsors." Frye right now “fights an uphill battle.” Petty: “I said this when Kasey Kahne went over there, I thought Red Bull Racing was a cluster … because they took a driver for one year. But Kasey Kahne has established that that can be a competitive team” (“Countdown to Green,” TNT, 6/26).
A FITTING TRIBUTE: In Charlotte, Ron Green Jr. noted UPS will honor Ned Jarrett’s recent introduction into the NASCAR HOF by putting a "commemorative paint scheme on David Ragan’s No. 6 Ford” for the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway July 31. The car “will be painted bright blue -- Jarrett’s primary color -- and have Jarrett’s ‘Gentleman Ned’ nickname on the rear quarter panel” (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 6/25).