Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Waltrip Negotiating To Purchase Red Bull Racing

Sirius XM NASCAR Radio’s Sirius Speedway with Dave Moody has learned that Michael Waltrip Racing is negotiating to purchase the assets of the former Red Bull Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team.

A spokesperson for the team declined to comment on the story today, but multiple sources say Michael Waltrip Racing and Red Bull are close to an agreement on the sale, awaiting NASCAR approval for an owner point swap that would allow MWR to field a third Toyota Camry in the 2012 Daytona 500.

MWR finished 18th and 28th in Sprint Cup owner points with drivers Martin Truex, Jr. and David Reutimann last season, and holds two guaranteed starting spots for the upcoming Daytona 500. MWR is expected to field three cars in the Great American Race for Truex, Clint Bowyer and Mark Martin, using one of the guaranteed starting spots held by Red Bull Racing. Those points would transfer to MWR in the event of a sale. Michael Waltrip could also compete in the 2012 Daytona 500, but is believed unlikely to do so in an MWR Toyota.

Sources say MWR is also interested in acquiring cars and equipment from Red Bull, including fabrication equipment and a shaker rig. If included in the sale, the former Red Bull Racing building would likely be used by MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman to house his RK Motors muscle car restoration and performance company, as well as his personal collection of classic and vintage automobiles.

Red Bull Racing closed its doors last month, after failing to find a buyer to continue operations.


  1. Just what we need, another powerhouse team in NASCAR...yes that was sarcasm...

  2. Anonymous12:40 PM

    I guess I don't really understand this. Shouldn't MWR already own all of that equipment? Why would they need to buy used cars from Red Bull? Maybe reverse engineering?
    I would hope that this is a pennies on the dollar kind of deal especially with rumors earlier in the year of financial instability at MWR.

    1. Anonymous12:53 PM

      Instability ? Toyota doesn't want any of their Tech bought by any other manufacturer, MWR is a major player for 2012 if you haven't noticed any NASCAR news they have become the TRD chosen team and every driver is a top tier racer and with the new car identity program Toyota is in a position that they have to detune the Camry race body from the production model because the Camry SE has the same Drag Coefficient as The Corvette, I put my money on the line and have bought one for Daily Driving and the other for Pro-Stock racing and Getting two from Red Bull Stock,

  3. Bentbob12:55 PM

    And the Silly Season scramble for points from the top-35 slots begins! Please Moody - rant on about this today. The top-35 is a joke and should go away. No surprise Mikey is first in line for this one......

  4. anonymous internet genius1:09 PM

    this is one of those times when you remember the old saying...if you cant say anything nice, dont say anything at all.

  5. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Go get 'em MWR glad to see Him trying to buy Red Bull Racing Equipment, somebody has to but it, might just as well be MWR

  6. Anonymous1:45 PM

    Did he not buy his points when he started MWR ?

  7. I am glad to see a team doing well enought to support more cars.

  8. anything ..and I mean anything that shakes the stranglehold of Roush and Hendrick on Nascar is a good thing.. I don't care who it is or what make of car they field.... it would be nice to see somebody new have some success...or at least rattle the cages ...

  9. Anonymous2:28 PM

    Why are we surprised that "ANY" team is trying to pick up Red Bulls crumbs??? If the other powerhouse owners already have their limit in race cars, WHY CAN'T MWR TRY & STAY COMPETITIVE & buy the remnants of this team???? It makes perfect sense..... It's a business people!!!!!!!

  10. 77KJAX2:41 PM

    I have a feeling that Mikey could be that guy that every so often takes a bigger bite than he can handle and spits up all over himself .... I can't stand Michael's ego, but I also don't want to see him fail. Slow down Michael, take smaller bites, it's healthier...

  11. Sadly this is more of a purchase of equipment and points than an creation of new rides.
    Good for MWR for using the same rules the Big Boys use to his advantage.

    The overall math looks kind of grim:
    Fully funded full time teams:
    Hendrick: 4
    RCR: 3
    Stewart/Hass: 2
    EGR: 2
    Phoenix Racing: 1 (fully funded??)
    Rauch: 3
    RPM: 1
    Penskie: 2
    JGR: 3
    MWR: 2

    So.. 23 full time and funded teams.
    Add in Tommy Baldwin: 1
    but that's about it..
    24 full time funded rides..
    That leaves 20 part time/start n park/etc rides.
    Kinda painful.

  12. Anonymous2:48 PM

    You GO Mikey!! Good luck and God bless!!! Let's Go Racin Boys!!

  13. This is far from the first time a team has negotiated a "sale" to acquire owner points in advance of the Daytona 500. Heck, it's not even the first time MWR has done it! Michael is the king of owner point acquisition, and it's all legal whether we like it or not.

  14. Anonymous3:46 PM

    Anonymous said...
    Why are we surprised that "ANY" team is trying to pick up Red Bulls crumbs??? If the other powerhouse owners already have their limit in race cars, WHY CAN'T MWR TRY & STAY COMPETITIVE & buy the remnants of this team???? It makes perfect sense..... It's a business people!!!!!!!

    If per your assumption above that MWR is a "powerhouse" team why would they need to pick the Red Bull remanants? Not sure if I could really picture an associate from HMS, RFR, ot JGR over at the Red Bull firesale putting bids on used equipment. That seems like a TBR, FAS, or NEMCO deal (no offense to any of them). Last time I checked there is no "limit" on how many racecars an organization can have. Unless you mean the limit of 4 full time teams. And i'm sure MWR has atleast a few extra cars floating around the shop that are capable of being thrown in a race without needing to buy used cars from Red Bull.

    Also, based on Red Bull's initial price (I believe $90million) which included a 1 year sponsorship worth $20million (Those numbers are from memory I may be wrong) This deal could quite possibly still be worth 8 figures. Thats about the same if not more than what 5 Hour Energy is anteing up for the Clint Bowywer sponsorship. Per Michael's book it doesn't sound like he has much $ left after investing his whole life in MWR. The only way this purchase seems possible is loans (Remember George Gilette) or RK has put more of his money into MWR. Which if the latter is true MWR is really more like RKR. Because every $ RK puts into that company MW loses a portion of 'his' company.

  15. Red Bull was building GREAT Toyotas at the end of last season, I can't imagine a team like MWR not wanting to make use of some of them. I don't think anyone called MWR a powerhouse. In my view, they're a good team trying to make the jump to great. They need to find more speed, and more consistency. Hopefully, this sale (if it happens) will help them in those departments.

    And finally, the Red Bull asking price was never close to $90 million. It was less than half that, at its peak, and I'm sure it has plummeted substantially since then.

  16. Anonymous3:54 PM

    There are more than 23 full time teams

    You are leaving out:

    Germain - 1

    MWR - +1 you're leaving out the Mark Martin entry that will run the entire year with an assortment of drivers

    FAS Lane - 1 - They did run the whole schedule and did not start and park in 2011. All indications that it will be the same for 2012

    TBR - +1 TBR is fielding 2 cars in 2012

    Front Row Motorosports - 2 full time cars

    RPM - +1 - The 43 car will be on the track for all races in 2012 (no start and park). I'll be my pension on it

    JTG - 1

    Furniture Row - 1

    Thats 31 full time teams when you add up the ones you forgot. Not too shabby when you consider the enormous amount of money require to go Cup racing.

  17. Anonymous4:00 PM

    Thanks for the clarification on the $90million Dave. I think I got it confused with the GEM deal. I believe he owed Wachovia $90million.

    Still a significant investment even if the price has been dropped.

    I hope all works out for MWR. We can't afford to lose anymore teams.

  18. Anonymous5:02 PM

    I've heard another rumor, a Brazilian investment contingent is looking at Red Bull as well.

  19. The Brazilian deal was months ago, and unfortunately, went nowhere fast.

  20. Without the top 35 rule, Red Bull Racing would be worth nothing. Remember the auction of Rudd Performance Motorsports? Back then people were clamoring for a franchise system so owners would have something valuable to sell. Where are those people now?

    Richard Petty wrote an article in Stock Car Racing Magazine about franchising in the mid-90s.

  21. Anonymous11:27 PM

    who cares what any Waltrip does?

  22. To respond on behalf of RK Motors, there are absolutely no plans to move the location of RK Motors at this time. Best regards, Jamie Wiehe - Marketing Director, RK Motors Charlotte

  23. Anonymous2:42 PM

    So if RK motors has no plans on moving or would consider using the Red Bull building, then I guess you can take property out of the equation on why MWR would want to purchase Red Bull.

    Bottom line is MWR wants Red Bull for the owners points! Lets all be honest, its a loop hole in the rules that MWR has perfected, and will probably do so again to assure the #15 is guaranteed in the Daytona 500 and the first 5 races of 2012. NASCAR made it clear that selling just owner points was not going to happen, so the teams have to show they are looking to acquire assets above just the owners points, which is why MWR is considering buying some Red Bull equipment and cars.

    Think about it like this, MWR builds it's own chassis/bodies and chassis/bodies for a few other teams. They are not going to buy Red Bull chassis and integrate them into their fleet knowing they are going to be different then what they are building. In order for all 3 teams to be successful they need to all be on a common chassis, so the teams notes will transfer over to all 3 teams. Now maybe getting 1 or 2 Red Bull chassis to see what they had, could be possible. But MWR does not need the rumored 25+ cars Red Bull had in its stable.

  24. Anonymous9:13 PM

    Buying the points and cars. Then selling the cars to the #66 team, #87 & #97 teams, and whatever other toyota teams. Shop can be sold to another team looking to expand or start a new team.

  25. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Lets give credit were credit is due. MWR was built from nothing! This is not Tony Stewart being handed a team and then outsourcing everything to Hendrick. Toyota has only been in Sprint cup a short time. There isn't decades of data and decades of Toyota knowledge out here. As a new team having to compete with the Hendricks of the world, any knowledge or advantage you can gain on the competition is key. This purchase makes perfect since. We're talking tenths and hundredths of a second determining who goes home and who stays. This is a smart business decision. Remember the sponsors. There is no time to take things slow anymore. Sponsorship dollars are scarce and they expect immediate results!