Fontana II: Red Bull Racing Team preview

With Bristol behind them, the two Red Bull Toyotas head west to the Inland Empire's 2-mile Auto Club Speedway - historically one of the team's better tracks. Brian Vickers owns a pole, two outside poles, one top-five and three top-10 finishes ...

With Bristol behind them, the two Red Bull Toyotas head west to the Inland Empire's 2-mile Auto Club Speedway - historically one of the team's better tracks.

Brian Vickers owns a pole, two outside poles, one top-five and three top-10 finishes there, and since he's driven Red Bull Racing Team's No. 83 he's finished 10th, eighth and 11th in Fontana. Native Californian AJ Allmendinger, in the No. 84, started 18th and ended up 18th in his lone start.

Now, back to Bristol. Brian described his 20th-place finish Saturday night as "decent." He's 16th in the driver standings, with 183 points between him and the top 12. Typical Bristol racing banged up AJ's ride, and he went on to finish 34th. The No. 84 is 14 points from the top 35.

AJ Allmendinger has tackled the streets of Long Beach and the high banks of Talladega, but hardly anything can prepare him for drifting.

"I'm afraid of heights. I'm not a big fan of the water. I don't ski or snowboard. And I don't skateboard," AJ said. "So when Red Bull asked me to go drifting, I was all over it."

AJ will meet with Red Bull athlete, Formula Drift ace and stunt driver Rhys Millen on Thursday for an exhibition-style run at the San Bernardino Sheriff's Training Center. There, Millen will help AJ learn the art of navigating a Pontiac Solstice with little grip and lots of tail whip.

"For me," Millen said, "drifting is more about the personal reward of being able to overcome vehicle dynamics and do things that cars are not supposed to do, to position a car in an out- of-control state yet sustain control. I'm not really into cars. I don't own a lot of cars. I just love to drive."

Millen, a native New Zealander and current San Juan Capistrano, Calif., resident, won the Formula Drift championship in 2005 and followed up with a runner-up finish in 2006. Also an accomplished rally racer, Millen has appeared as a stunt driver in films such as "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," "The Dukes of Hazzard," "Mr. & Mrs. Smith" and "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift."

Any sort of grip was a luxury the first time ARCA tasted dirt in 2008.

"We were way off when we came to Springfield," said Red Bull's Scott Speed, who finished eighth in the Aug. 17 race at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. "We just got through it. We were scratching our heads trying to find grip."

Thanks to ARCA veteran Frank Kimmel, who offered a few tricks of the trade between then and Monday's race at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds, Scott may have a little something for 'em in Eddie Sharp Racing's No. 2. He leads the ARCA RE/MAX Series points standings by 110 over Ricky Stenhouse Jr. After DuQuoin, it's all asphalt for the remaining five events, one of which comes Sept. 28 at the road course in Millville, N.J.

On Aug. 20, Scott returned to the Craftsman Truck Series for the first time in more than a month. He drove Bill Davis Racing's No. 22 Red Bull Toyota to the pole and a third-place finish at Bristol - his initial go around the high-banked short track.

+ MORE WEST COAST CONNECTIONS Like Los Gatos native AJ Allmendinger, two Red Bull Racing Team crewmen call California home. Doug Newell, the No. 83 gas man, hails from Oxnard, and Chad Avrit, the No. 84's rear tire changer, comes from El Centro.

-credit: rbr

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About this article
Series NASCAR Sprint Cup
Drivers Rhys Millen , Frank Kimmel , Scott Speed , Brian Vickers , Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
Teams Red Bull Racing , Bill Davis Racing