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Team Red Bull To Operate Differently From Other NASCAR Teams

Just over a month ago I wrote about Ray Evernham's New Team Formula and how he adopted more of a F1 approach to team management. I ended my post with this,

"NASCAR has steadily become more and more like F1 in the last decade, I just hope that in continuing to do so they don't lose their roots and sense of competition. Ray Evernham is a smart guy and I don't think he would let that happen to his teams, but deep pocketed Toyota is entering the picture next year and things could forever change. Could it be that Evernham saw the writing on the wall with the entrance of Toyota next year, and started to get ready for them now, instead of trying to play catch-up after next season when Toyota introduces its similar F1 style of team management?"

Well it seems that I now have an answer to the question I ended that entry with. The answer comes my way compliments of Mark Ashenfelter, Associate Editor of NASCAR Scene in his article found in the August 3rd edition of the weekly racing newspaper. The article, titled "Taking the Bull by the horns", talks about how Red Bull is going to use a different approach to managing its teams next year in NASCAR. "Red Bull's NASCAR operation will be patterned after the company's F1 program".

The man in charge of the two Red Bull teams once they are at the track on race weekends will be former Busch Series driver Elton Sawyer. The significance here is that he was hired by Red Bull in April from Evernham Motorsports, who (as mentioned earlier) are now also following an F1 approach to fielding their NASCAR teams. It is interesting that Red Bull would hire someone from the last multicar team to enter NASCAR Cup from scratch (in 2001) and is already using an F1 approach to team management. I think it shows a lot of respect for Evernham's operation. Also, Evernham's team is the official Dodge team of the series and it also appears that since Red Bull is heavily involved with Toyota with its F1 teams, that Red Bull's NASCAR effort will become the flagship for Toyota in the Cup Series.

Again, Toyota has deep pockets and they don't like to lose, could this be the start of huge team organization changes for all Cup teams in the following years? I'm thinking it might be, but we'll have to see. This could be a good thing for some teams, like Robert Yates Racing, who are in the midst of huge organizational changes right now. If there are changes needed within the team right now, why not make the wholesale changes that you might have to make in 8 months any way? Makes sense. My biggest fear is that all this will eventually lead to the type of product that F1 is putting out right now where the only pass for the lead happens on the first lap of the race, or during pit stops.