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Red Bull ride for Speed unlikely in '08

Former Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Scott Speed is unlikely to race for Team Red Bull in the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series next year, according to the team's director of competition, Elton Sawyer.

Speed has been linked to a switch to NASCAR ever since Red Bull boss Dietrich Matezchitz was quoted as saying that the American would be an asset for them in the US-based stock car series.

Earlier this month Helmut Marko said that Red Bull would help Speed make the transition to NASCAR and work with him towards making some Busch Series racing aimed at getting him up to speed for a drive in the Nextel Cup, where Red Bull has its own team.

However, Sawyer said he expects his current driver pairing of Brian Vickers and AJ Allmendinger to be back in the No. 83 and 84 cars next season, leaving no room for Speed.

"Our two drivers will be back," he told Autoweek magazine. "Scott Speed is a Red Bull athlete, which means we'll do whatever we can to introduce him to this form of racing. But I don't think you'll see him over here in a Cup car with our team next year."

If Speed finally decides to pursue a career in NASCAR, he would probably need a longer period to adapt, given that he lacks oval experience, something Juan Pablo Montoya, Jacques Villeneuve and even Allmendinger had before embarking into their stock car careers.

At 24 years of age, Speed still would have time on his side to make a more progressive switch to NASCAR than those seen on by other former open-wheel drivers.

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