Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Red Bull To Close Its Doors Tomorrow

Red Bull Racing's five-year run as a NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team will come to an end tomorrow, when the last of approximately 150 employees will be laid off and the competition shop shut down, presumably for good.

After 284 Sprint Cup starts, over 106,000 competitive laps and two victories, the team informed its remaining employees this week that Thursday will be the final day of operation. A memo was distributed by the team's Human Resources Manager outlining severance procedures and establishing a schedule for exit interviews.

After a brief team meeting tomorrow morning, the team will raffle off sheet metal, mementos and photos that have hung at the Red Bull shop and distribute cases of Red Bull to departing employees. "We know it will be a difficult day for everyone," said the memo, "as a large number of employees will be exiting the facility."

Red Bull entered the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in February of 2007 with drivers AJ Allmendinger and Brian Vickers. Vickers qualified for all 36 races in that inaugural season, posting three Top-5 and six Top-10 finishes en route to a 19th place finish in championship points. The inexperienced Allmendinger struggled mightily, failing to qualify for the first eight races before being pulled in favor of veteran Mike Skinner for seven events. Scott Speed also ran the final five races that season in a Red Bull Toyota.

Speed and Vickers steered the twin Red Bull entries in 2008, with seven different drivers sharing time for the team the following year. Vickers, Speed, Casey Mears, Kasey Kahne, Reed Sorenson, Boris Said and Mattias Ekstrom all spent time behind the wheel of Red Bull Toyotas that season, managing just seven Top-10 finishes among them.

Kahne and Vickers anchored a more stable Red Bull effort this season, qualifying for all 36 races and finishing 14th and 25th in point, respectively. Truck Series regular Cole Whitt also made a pair of starts in a third Red Bull entry in late-season events at Phoenix and Homestead Miami Speedway.

The team announced in June of the year that owner Dietrich Mateschitz was seeking outside investors or a buyer for the team. With a reported asking price of $40 million, however, no serious bidders were found. In September, the team filed documents with the state of North Carolina warning that its 152-person roster of employees would be permanently laid off, on or before December 17.


  1. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Why do lay offs always have to happen just before Christmas. So sad for all the employees.

  2. Anonymous10:26 PM

    Sad day for the Red Bull employees - glad to hear most of them have been able to secure another job already.

  3. Anonymous10:45 PM

    Still "cant wait" to hear which "exciting" Cup opportunity Vickers has signed on to.

  4. Are you sure about Kasey Khane driving for Red Bull in 2008? I think that was his first year with Budweiser as sponsor. That is also the year he was voted into the All Star race by fan vote and won, and then went on to win the Coke 600. He also won, IIRC, one of the Pocono races in 2008.

  5. Anonymous10:51 PM

    A win is a win...but their first race win was on fuel mileage. They have never been a week after week frontliner until Kahne came on board. The only driver worth his salt was Skinner.

  6. The employees at Red Bull Racing Team have been ideal partners to outreach with community initatives. They provided invaluable support to empower and educate Charlotte area youth about the importance of post secondary education and STEM related careers. They extended themselves to invite youth into their shop, as well as, to engage in grassroots efforts to direct teens to maximize their service is what they provided. Best blessings to the Red Bull Racing Team family. You will be missed.

  7. Anonymous11:04 AM

    Hi Honey how was your day ?

    Well DEAR I was FIRED from RB RACING but I won the raffle on 2 bent up Toyota fenders and got 2 cases of RED BULL on the way out the door.

  8. Anonymous11:41 AM

    Great minds think alike, I was going to say "I got a great severance package, some rusty sheet metal and a case of Red Bull".

    Doug from NJ

  9. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Never could get behind any team that fields Toyotas. I'm old school and believe in America.

  10. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Overall TOYOTA employs something like 170,000 people in North America so "OLD SCHOOL" that and realize the $ they put into the AMERICAN economy.

  11. Anonymous6:42 PM

    This was bound to happen after Jay Frye took over.

  12. Anonymous9:16 PM

    Sorry. I knew these guys werent going to be in NASCAR that long. Not their demographic. How many 40 yr olds do you see slammin an energy drink w/huge sunglasses on and ball cap on crooked. Never made sense to me from year one.

    Jay Frye was a good GM. The problem was he probably couldnt use the men's room without approval from a VP
    In Europe.

  13. Anonymous9:20 PM

    Yea they were involved with the community to help place their product.

  14. Anonymous9:34 PM

    red bull got discouraged racing in NASCAR because were they race and win ingenuity works but NASCAR does not allow ingenuity in their racing

  15. Anonymous9:39 PM

    You win in F1 if you have the thickest wallet. Doesnt work like that in NASCAR. You cant throw money at everything and expect breathtaking results.

  16. in f1, the best car wins every week, IE, Vettel winning the championship 2 years in a row, not to mention the redbull cars get podiums every other week.

  17. thing is, it's not like that in NASCAR, and that's what the execs in austria couldn't seem to understand, when redbull started as an actual team in 06, or 07...somthing, they expected to win every other week, like they do in f1 and other motorsports they are involved in

    (which is everything with an engine and more than 1 wheel)

  18. Anonymous7:03 PM

    How many dollars does Toyota take OUT of America? Bye-bye, Red Bull, we won't miss you or those Toyota's at all.....

  19. Anonymous2:16 PM

    Likely as much as GM , FORD and DODGE ( Fiat )