Red Bull Racing Team general manager Jay Frye struck a hopeful and optimistic tone Tuesday during his first public comments about sponsor/team owner Red Bull pulling out of NASCAR.
Frye used words like "enthusiastic," "excited" and "confident" when discussing the possibility that the team could attract an investor or partner to help keep it alive once Red Bull's millions of dollars in support is gone after this season.
The GM even said he was hopeful a serious investor would emerge in the next 30-45 days.
"Red Bull's No. 1 goal in this whole situation is that the team continues on the path it's currently on," Frye told reporters via conference call. "We're very encouraged by what's going on."
Whether Frye is just putting on a positive face for the sake of gaining an investor is up for debate, but he also delivered a message to Red Bull's 150-plus team employees that their success and hard work for the remainder of the season would help the situation "take care of itself."
"People want to be associated with winners," he said. "We think we're winners, and this is a great opportunity for a partner to come in."
Frye said he's already received interest from several prospects since Monday's announcement – all of them outside the sport. He added Red Bull could remain with the team in some capacity, though offered few details.
"We have every expectation to be a two-car team as we are now, going into next year," he said.
A longtime friend of Mark Martin, Frye said the veteran driver is not currently involved in any discussions about investing or owning part of the team. Frye also called it "doubtful" Martin would give up his seat in the No. 5 car early to allow current Red Bull driver Kasey Kahne to get a head start with Hendrick Motorsports.
Frye said Red Bull officials had made him aware several weeks ago of the potential for the sponsor to pull its support from NASCAR. He hoped the situation would change, he said, "but it didn't."
"Part of what's going on is also sad," he acknowledged. "... We're part of Red Bull and part of the Red Bull company. Having said that, that's also really good because their No. 1 goal is to see this thing through and continue what they started."