Owner - Dietrich Mateschitz
Manufacturer - Toyota
Cars and Drivers
No. 83 Red Bull
Brian Vickers returns this season to drive the No. 83 car. Last season, the No. 83 car did not qualify for several races because it was too slow to make the field. However, Vickers found some success in the races he did participate in. He finished in the top 10 in four races and in the top 15 in seven races. He had some difficulties with keeping the car out of trouble, though. He was involved in four accidents during his 23 races last season. Vickers finished 38th in the Nextel (now Sprint) Cup standings last season. The No. 83 car finished out of the top 35 in owner points, too, so it will have to qualify for the first five races in 2008.
The No. 83 car will be getting a new crew chief this season. Kevin Hamlin was hired in January 2008 to help find more success for the car. Prior to his hiring, Hamlin worked in the same capacity for Bill Davis Racing. Last season, Vickers had to work with two separate crew chiefs because his original crew chief decided to leave the company.
No. 84 Red Bull
A.J. Allmendinger will again drive the No. 84 car this season. Last season, Allmendinger only raced in 17 races because he was not guaranteed a spot in any race. He failed to finish in the top 10 in any race and only finished in the top 20 three times. He finished 43rd in the Nextel Cup standings. Like the No. 83 car, the No. 84 car did not finish in the top 35 in owner points last season, so it will have to qualify for at least the first five races this season.
Rick Viers will return to be the crew chief for the No. 84 car for this season. He and Allmendinger worked together in 2006 in the Craftsman Truck Series, too. The two work very well together. Allmendinger believes Viers has a calming influence on him during racing because he has a temper.
Equipment and Resources
Like the other Toyota teams last season, Team Red Bull also had its problems. The No. 84 car was taken out of a race because of engine troubles, and the No. 83 car had transmission problems during one of its races. Both drivers had some problems qualifying, too. Vickers and Allmendinger both did not qualify for at least 13 races, which did not help the Toyota brand name in NASCAR. Team Red Bull creates the engines for its cars, unlike other teams that use other company's engines.
Team Red Bull does not have to worry about sponsorship. Both of the team's cars are emblazoned with the Red Bull logo, which seems a logical choice. Team Red Bull also has cars in other racing series, including Formula One, in which they also sponsor their own car.
About Tim Piotrowski
Piotrowski has been a Hot Off the Wire analyst since 2007.
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