NASCAR & Auto Racing

Red Bull staying with Toyota, official says, while detailing Scott Speed's post-F1 plans

DOVER, Del. – Juan Pablo Montoya may soon be joined by another former competitor in Formula One.

Former F1 driver Scott Speed, who drove for Team Red Bull, is scheduled to begin testing in an Automobile Racing Club of America car next week and plans to the enter the Oct. 5 race at Talladega, Ala., with Eddie Sharp Racing.

Guenther Steiner, technical director for Red Bull, said Friday that Speed is interested in making a move to NASCAR and will prepare himself by running a full ARCA season in 2008.

“I learned coming from F1, not only the car is different, but the whole surroundings are different. These young kids have to learn that it’s a different culture here. The car is different to drive. He’s never driven a stock car; he’s never driven on oval (tracks),” Steiner said.

“We want to see how much he likes it. We developed this kid now for five years here at Red Bull and we didn’t want to dissolve ourselves of the investment.”

Steiner said depending on how quickly Speed develops, he may enter some NASCAR Craftsman Truck or Busch series races next season.

Speed won the Red Bull Driver Search in 2002, which was designed to find an American driver to compete in Formula One. Speed got his opportunity last season with Scuderia Toro Rosso, Red Bull’s sister team. He was fired from that ride earlier this year.

Steiner also denied several reports that Red Bull’s NASCAR operation was leaving Toyota after this season for another manufacturer.

“We are staying with Toyota for the future. It’s quite annoying because we are trying to concentrate on more important things,” he said. “We made a commitment to Toyota in 2005 and we are going to stick with it.”