Published June 21, 2011
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The general manager of Red Bull Racing said Tuesday he's optimistic he can find investors to keep the team going after the energy drink maker leaves NASCAR at the end of the season.
"We're very enthused and excited about things going on," Jay Frye said a day after The Associated Press reported that Red Bull will leave NASCAR at the end of 2011.
"There were a lot of inquiries already based on (Monday's) news. We're very keen and encouraged about the future. Red Bull's No. 1 goal is that team continues on the path that it started on."
Red Bull is a two-car team that entered NASCAR in 2007. The Austrian-based energy drink company both owns and sponsors the team, which presently fields cars for Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers.
Frye said Red Bull could remain involved in some capacity, but "it's still unclear" how. He said Red Bull's departure was a business decision based on a "change in strategy" but did not elaborate.
However, employees were told in a meeting on Tuesday morning that NASCAR does not attract the same demographic that Red Bull markets its product.
If no long-term investors are found quickly, Frye said he could try to cobble together enough funding to get the team through the 2012 season while working on a longer plan.
"It is late," he said. "It is doable. If you have the right investors, that could be the conduit to getting it done."
Kahne is moving to Hendrick Motorsports next sesaon, and Vickers is in the final year of his contract.