Red Bull could replace Allmendinger - done deal




 
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March 4th, 2008  
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Topic: Red Bull could replace Allmendinger - done deal


Red Bull could replace Allmendinger UPDATE Skinner in: Red Bull Racing is considering temporarily pulling #84-A.J. Allmendinger from his Toyota as it reevaluates that struggling program. Allmendinger failed to qualify for Sunday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, making him 0-for-3 on the season. In contrast, teammate #83-Brian Vickers has made all three races in the other Red Bull car. "We can't keep missing races. It's just not an option," said general manager Jay Frye, hired in January to turn around the second-year Red Bull program. We're looking at several different ideas, all aimed at figuring out what's wrong with that program, how we can fix it and how we can get that car into races. But it can't continue the way it is. It just can't." One of the options being considered is pulling Allmendinger from the seat and replacing him with a veteran who can help assess the program and get the car into races. Among the available drivers are Mike Skinner and Johnny Benson, who are currently both pitching in to fill an open seat at Bill Davis Racing, and Sterling Marlin and David Stremme. "We love A.J. and we're 100 percent committed to him and want to develop him," Frye said. "This is not at all giving up on A.J. But we just can't do nothing and risk having a season like that team had last year." Red Bull is also working on securing seat time for Allmendinger in Nationwide Series and Truck Series races to help his adaptation to NASCAR. Options in the Nationwide Series are rides in a Joe Gibbs Racing or Chip Ganassi car, and there could be some seat time available in a truck owned by Billy Ballew.(Associated Press/Sports Illustrated)(3-3-2008)

UPDATE: Red Bull Racing Team has confirmed that veteran NASCAR driver Mike Skinner will temporarily replace AJ Allmendinger in the #84 Red Bull Camry in the Sprint Cup Series effective this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Skinner, a Craftsman Truck Series champion, currently races full-time in the #5 Toyota Tundra. "We’re at a crossroads where we need to make a change that will elevate the #84 team to success,” said VP and General Manager Jay Frye. “AJ’s our guy and he’s a talented driver, but there’s a lot being asked of him. In order for him to be successful, we have to get this team pointed in the right direction. We hope we can do that with the help of a veteran driver.” Skinner’s history with Red Bull Racing Team dates back to 2006 when he served as a test driver for the team. Skinner’s history with Allmendinger also dates back to 2006, when he mentored teammate Allmendinger during the rookie’s part-time ride with Bill Davis Racing NCTS team. Frye hopes with the help of Skinner, that RBRT will have the program turned around and the ride returned to Allmendinger in no time. AJ Allmendinger, #84 Red Bull Driver said: “Let’s not kid ourselves; I’m a racer and I want to be racing, but I get the big picture here and obviously we need to improve our program. Do I want to be out of the car? No. But, I know Skinner can help both me and my team. All I can say is he better be prepared for me to eat, drink, and sleep with him. Ok, well maybe not the sleeping part, but I’m ready to attach myself to him and learn everything I can.” Mike Skinner, Substitute #84 Driver: “The first time I ever met AJ, I took an immediate liking to him. He’s not just a great personality; he also has a remarkable amount of talent. He took on a huge challenge jumping into stock cars last year, and I’m glad I can be the one to help him and his team figure out where the glitches are in their program. This is a positive thing for AJ as a learning experience, for the Red Bull Racing Team to get back on track, and for me to have the opportunity to help another Toyota team that has great equipment and potential.”(Red Bull Racing PR)(
 


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