Red Bull to pull plug on Cup team
|By Diego Mejia
||Tuesday, June 21st 2011, 07:42 GMT
Red Bull is set to leave the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the end of the season but the team it owns is looking for investors to keep the outfit afloat.
A story from the Associated Press on Monday stated that an official from Red Bull informed industry leaders of the decision at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. Later a statement from the team all but confirmed the report.
No details have emerged regarding the reasons behind the decision, but the statement says Red Bull will continue to invest in the sport until the end of the season.
"Red Bull Racing Team is currently seeking outside investors as we evaluate next steps in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series," the team's statement read. "We are not at liberty to comment on details while negotiations are under way.
"Red Bull fully supports NASCAR and will continue its investment in America's premier form of motorsports for the remainder of the 2011 season. The team's focus will not waver as we fight for victories and a position in the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup."
Since making its debut in the 2007 Cup season the team has only won once, taking victory at Michigan in August, 2009, with Brian Vickers. The 27-year-old has been a fixture at the outfit despite missing most of last season when he was diagnosed with blood clots.
In nearly five years at NASCAR's top level, the Red Bull Racing Team has only once had a driver in contention for the championship during the Chase - Vickers making it into the top 12 in points ahead of the play-off. But he then endured a tough final 10 races where he was unable to back up his previous form.
Vickers's current team-mate Kasey Kahne, who drives the #4 Red Bull Toyota but will join Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, posted his reaction to the news on his Twitter account.
"Heard the news about REDBULL today. All I can say is the 4 REDBULL team is still going to do all we can to win this year. We know we can!!," wrote Kahne.
Kahne and Vickers currently rank 19th and 24th in the Cup standings, Kahne's third place at Richmond being the team's best result of the season thus far.
After five seasons in Formula 1, Red Bull Racing had already won multiple grands prix and finished runner-up in the constructors' championship to Brawn GP before going to clinch its first title in its sixth season in the sport.
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