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Red Bull move may be opening for Danica

NASCAR is reeling from the news that Red Bull is set to pull the plug on its Sprint Cup team, but some pundits are starting to wonder if this may be the chance Danica's been waiting for.
The Associated Press story that Red Bull had informed NASCAR officials that they were pulling out of the sport at the end of 2011 seems to have been all-but-confirmed by a statement from the Austrian energy drink giant which said that they were "currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series."

Red Bull officials reportedly told team employees that NASCAR no longer hits the company's target market sufficiently to justify the level of investment required in running the team.

In the fall-out since the announcement, Red Bull's management style has been blamed for the disappointing performance of the team - with the company seeking to manage its NASCAR activities remotely from Europe with insufficient understanding of the details and culture of American stock car competition.

But the Red Bull Racing team itself does not accept that this is the end of the road for the operation, and various speculative suggestions flying around on Tuesday included a scenario that would put IndyCar star Danica Patrick at the centre of a rescued and revived RBR.

Team manager and vice president Jay Frye confidently asserted that "We have every expectation to be a two-car team next year," saying that that he is busy lining up investors. Not one to think small, he went on: "One of the values of this team is we have room to expand. We could be a four-car team.

"We have talked to some people who have great enthusiasm about what we're doing," Frye said during a conference call on Tuesday. "We believe we can put something together rather quickly in 30 to 45 days. But the process has just started ... We had a lot of inquiries yesterday [after the news broke.]"

Frye said he learned a few weeks ago that Red Bull might pull out of the sport, but added that "The good news is we have time to react." He pointed out that the news did not necessarily mean that Red Bull was entirely abandoning the sport and that the company could remain as part owner or sponsor of the team. "But we're still unclear about what will happen or in what capacity that might be," he admitted.

The problem Frye faces is where the investment that the team needs to carry on can possibly come from, in a difficult economic climate that has led to many of the far more established and successful teams having to scale back operations in recent months. Former Sprint Cup team owner Ray Evernham had been mentioned among those possibly looking into buying a portion of the team, but an Evernham spokesperson denied he had any interest in returning to team management.

But another possibility that was being raised in some quarters was that one of the biggest commercial sponsors of US motorsports that might be tempted to raise its involvement and step into the breach - in the form of GoDaddy.com, the internet hosting company that is a major personal sponsor of Danica Patrick.




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Danica Patrick prepares for a NASCAR Nationwide Series race. [Picture credit:  John Sommers II/Getty Images for NASCAR]
Kasey Kahne examines the faces of fans who submit their pictures to be displayed on his No. 4 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Red Bull Racing Toyota this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C. [Picture Credit: Jason Smith/Getty Images for NASCAR]
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, poses with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Rainier Ehrhardt/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Jamie McMurray, driver of the #1 Cessna Chevrolet, races Clint Bowyer, driver of the #15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota, and Joe Nemechek, driver of the #66 Friedman Law Firm Toyota, during the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia. (Photo Credit: Brian Lawdermilk/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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Brad Keselowski, driver of the #2 Miller Lite Ford, and Jeff Gordon, driver of the #24 Drive to End Hunger Chevrolet, lead the field to the green flag to start the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on September 6, 2014 in Richmond, Virginia.  (Photo Credit: Chris Graythen/NASCAR via Getty Images)
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pukka - Unregistered

June 22, 2011 12:13 AM

So RB has been successful in nearly every form of motorsports but it's their management style that is the issue... Why talk about narcissitic. Wake up nascrap. And if you think Danica (1 win wonder) is going to change your fortunes then you reaqlly have it wrong, because RB is about winning, not showing up with a poster child for the sport.



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