Red Bull to pull plug as NASCAR fizz goes flat

21 June, 2011

Kasey Kahne drives the Red Bull Toyota at Charlotte

Kasey Kahne drives the Red Bull Toyota at Charlotte

Jun.21 (GMM) World Champion Formula 1 team owner Red Bull looks set to pull the plug on its NASCAR project, but could well shift their promo dollars to title sponsor the United States Grand Prix, in Texas, next year.

Dietrich Mateschitz (AUT) CEO and Founder of Red Bull. Formula One World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Budapest, Hungary, Saturday 4 August 2007.  BEST IMAGE

Dietrich Mateschitz not happy with NASCAR project

The failure of the project compared with the energy drink company’s meteoric success in Formula One is being blamed for the decision.

Reports in the American media early this week say staff at the Red Bull Racing Sprint Cup team are being told the operation will close at the end of the season.

“We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations (with investors) are under way,” said the team.

NASCAR insiders say North Carolina based Red Bull Racing, headed technically by ex-F1 figure Gunther Steiner, has struggled since its debut in 2007.

A report in the Toronto Sun said it is “well known” that Red Bull billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz has been “unhappy” with the NASCAR effort.

Circuit Signage. Circuit of the Americas Photo Shoot, Austin, Texas, USA, 14 June 2011.

Red Bull dollars could be diverted to title sponsor of next year's US GP in Auston

“They never really had the level of success (in NASCAR) that I’m sure they were hoping for,” said F1 marketing guru Zak Brown, according to USA Today.

“And on the flip side, you have enormous success around Formula One. I’d probably say it’s a combination of both, and I’m not sure there was ever the same level of excitement and passion (for NASCAR).

“Dietrich is a winner, and he’s not going to go on forever if he doesn’t get the results,” added Just Marketing’s Brown.

He said it is likely Red Bull will chose instead to spend its North American dollars on title sponsoring next year’s United States Grand Prix in Austin.

“Not that the US GP will ever be the size and magnitude of NASCAR,” admitted Brown, “but I’m sure they’re not going to just drop the NASCAR team and not fill the void in another sport or with a title sponsorship. The US is too big a market for them.”


  • Eddystone

    If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! Not so easy to compete in a series with over forty competitors and a level playing field. The cars are inspected for rules violations, infractions are severely fined and points deducted, and the rules don’t change halfway through the season. You can’t just walk in with a pile of money and walk off with a championship. F1 cars and drivers are magnificent, but the people who run F1 and the FIA are an embarrassment. There’s no consistency in F1, and the rules and regulations seem to be purposely designed for arbitrary enforcement, if any. It’s a measure of how far NASCAR has progressed and how far F1 has degenerated that NASCAR is now demonstrably the more serious and professionally run racing series.

  • Tamburello_1994

    Great post Eddy! Totally agree.

  • michaelmacarthur

    I have to disagree with you Eddy. I would imagine that if a Sprint team tried to branch out into the world of F1 open wheel racing that the results would be the same. Same goes with WRC racing as well.

    I think that both series have progressed in their own way. To compare F1 to Nascar in the technical realm just does not hold any water though. No comparison. As far as enforcement goes. Nascar is as guilty as every other form of sports. including F1, when it comes to enforcement and fines/penalties. the top teams almost always get away with certain things. it is always about the dollar.

  • http://yallaF1.com F1 fan

    Maybe the real reason they are pulling ou is because they are just not selling enough cans of Red Bull any longer?.

  • Eddystone

    michaelmacarthur wrote:

    “I have to disagree with you Eddy. I would imagine that if a Sprint team tried to branch out into the world of F1 open wheel racing that the results would be the same. ” No argument there, but that’s because F1 is politically controlled and not an even playing field.

    “To compare F1 to Nascar in the technical realm just does not hold any water though. No comparison.” This is true, but what of the quality of the competition?

    ” As far as enforcement goes. Nascar is as guilty as every other form of sports. including F1, when it comes to enforcement and fines/penalties. the top teams almost always get away with certain things. it is always about the dollar.” This is not an accurate statement. If you have followed NASCAR news, the biggest names in NASCAR have been penalized quite severely in recent years and rule enforcement has been pretty even-handed. Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) was penalized just this week.

  • AlonsoDRiFt

    I’m going to disagree with everyone. If anyone had the chance to watch last week’s “seat switch” with NASCAR 2 time sprint cup champion Tony Stewart and Formula 1 2008 World Champion Lewis Hamilton. The speed channel did a great job in explain the difference between NASCAR/F1 that didn’t resort to name calling or stereotypes of either sport.

    MONEY ALONE DOES NOT equal championships in Formula, NASCAR or any other motorsports. Rather, a combination of great drivers, excellent engineers, pit crews, race strategy experts and Team Principle/manager who knows how to make well oiled machine run.

    If a pile of money is all you needed to win championship, then Toyota and Honda would both have constructor championship…but they don’t. According for Formulamoney.com/financial times in 2007 the top 4 money spending teams were following: McLaren, Ferrari, Toyota and honda each one spending at least 280 Million EUROS! Toyota F1 manufacture backed team spent roughly $2 BILLION from 2002-2009 on Formula1 and only managed 282 points (avg. budget 300 million dollars per year).
    Furthermore, from the inception of Honda F1 (formerly Honda-BAR), the manufacture known as Honda spent roughly $1 billion dollars from 2006-2008, with additional 100 million given to Brawn GP in 2009 who eventually won the championship.

    Hold up? A championship…..wait it was re-branded as BRAWN GP, that’s not Honda. The entire team Honda was sold to Ross Brawn, former technical director at Ferrari during their golden years (2000-2004), fostered the right environment to create a formula1 championship team. He exploited the technological loophole of allowing more faster air to be channeled back the car means of the “Double defuser” to create a maximum downforce. The team was gutted completely, no more HQ from Japan telling the F1 team principle how they “should” run the team and how they wanted things to go down.

    In order for team to work you have to have the right environment. Ross Brawn knew Honda had great setup, but couldn’t because they had to listen to politician how to run a racing team. In order to have success in any racing team, the investors need come up with money, Team Principle or Technical Engineer Director to put the team together. Andrian Newy (Red Bull’s Technical Director) held/helped create 12 constructor championships and 9 Driver Championships in Formula1 before his success in 2010 taking home both championships.

    Ross Brawn took over a failing team and in one year turned it around to make a championship winning team with right know-how and great engineers around him.

    RED BULL NASCAR TEAM:
    From impression of what i’ve read in the forums, news and among other things who runs the team…..it ought to be as clear as day why the team hasn’t produced results = MANAGEMENT.

    “Red Bull Racing, headed technically by ex-F1 figure Gunther Steiner, has struggled since its debut in 2007.”

    Steiner is in the wrong series, was never part of championship winning team or a big enough name to get people engized to want to join Red Bull Sprint Cup team. I know he’s German, RedBull owner is German, but who the cares if it’s not the right fit. Dietrich Mateschitz should have applied the same business for RedBull NASCAR as he did for RedBull F1; which is get a young talented drivers and mix up with experts of NASCAR. Recruit from the best teams like Hendrick, Gibbs, Stewart-Haas Racing, Toyota, Roush Fenway, Earnhardt Ganassi etc. Offer equity/higher salaries for pit-crew, engineers, mechanics, successful/championship material winning people and get them under a guy who knows how to build a team from the ground up. Not some C player from F1 who sucked, accomplished nothing and then you expect him to create championship winning team without having some exposure to it before hand? Red Bull nascar failed because of lack of leadership, insight, know-how and giving horrible management.

  • Eddystone

    AlonsoDRiFt, I don’t see where we disagree, so I’ll restate my original post which simply states that the same TOP MANAGEMENT that has orchestrated success in F1 has been unable to repeat that success in NASCAR where the emphasis is on racing rather than having a technological advantage over the other competitors.

    If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! Not so easy to compete in a series with over forty competitors and a level playing field. The cars are inspected for rules violations, infractions are severely fined and points deducted, and the rules don’t change halfway through the season. You can’t just walk in with a pile of money and walk off with a championship. F1 cars and drivers are magnificent, but the people who run F1 and the FIA are an embarrassment. There’s no consistency in F1, and the rules and regulations seem to be purposely designed for arbitrary enforcement, if any. It’s a measure of how far NASCAR has progressed and how far F1 has degenerated that NASCAR is now demonstrably the more serious and professionally run racing series.

  • Marvel Araya

    NASCAR’s headquarters are located in Daytona Beach, Florida, although it also maintains offices in four North Carolina cities; Charlotte, Mooresville, Concord, and Conover.””.,

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