While the Red Bull Racing drama plays out on the Cup level, including the juggling of drivers Brian Vickers, Scott Speed, and Kasey Kahne set for the 2011 season, a new Red Bull Racing driver, Cole Whitt, has quietly joined the fray.
Whitt, Red Bull's newest up and comer, is currently racing in the K&N Pro Series East, one of NASCAR's developmental leagues. And he has indeed been making his own Red Bull mark, most recently scoring a runner up finish at Gresham Motorsports Park this past weekend and a top five finish at Lee USA Speedway in the prior East Series race.
With his most recent runner up finish, Whitt has also garnered himself a place in the top five in the championship standings in the K&N Pro Series, currently sitting in the third spot. He is next scheduled to race his No. 84 Red Bull Toyota in the New Hampshire 125 on September 17th at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
Whitt definitely was looking forward to racing at Gresham Park Motorsports. In fact, Whitt boldly predicted that his team had a chance for a win there in spite of a rocky test session.
"I think we will be fine at Gresham," Whitt said. "We got a test in there but unfortunately had a tire go down and had a little more work to do. But all in all the test weekend went well and our car was fast."
"Going into this race, everyone here seems to be more excited than going to any other track," Whitt continued prior to the race. "I think we will have a good chance to win it."
Whitt almost fulfilled that prophecy, coming in second behind first-ever race winner Ty Dillon, grandson of Richard Childress.
"Our car seemed to get better and better and then those reds just kind of killed us," Whitt said of the red flags during the race run. "It was horrible just sitting there and it was hot but we come home second and we're happy with it and we will take what we got."
Whitt was especially looking forward to getting back into race mode this weekend. The K&N Pro Series East had been idle for the past few weeks since they last raced on July 30th at Lee USA Speedway.
"I've been trying to keep busy at the shop," Whitt said. "It takes forever in between races and I just chomp at the bit to go racing for sure."
"Sometimes I don't get to sleep because I'm so excited to go racing," Whitt continued. "It sucks that we don't get to go every weekend. You try to keep yourself busy and find some type of fix for how bad you just want to race."
One way that Whitt does manage to keep busy is indulging in his favorite hobby, video games. The young driver's favorite is "Call of Duty". "That's pretty much the only one I play," Whitt said.
The Red Bull racer's only other sports passion is football, especially college football, another past time that now keeps him occupied in between races.
"I like college football more than I like the NFL," Whitt said. "I'm a big fan of the San Diego Chargers, but they don't give you much to cheer about."
The video game and the football fandom may come in handy as the driver awaits his next turn behind the wheel in a few weeks. However, the hiatus in between races has given the young Red Bull driver a chance to reflect a bit on his season to date.
"We've done pretty good this year," Whitt said. "The whole DNF deal killed us at Iowa in the third race. And New Hampshire killed a little bit of the momentum we had."
But Whitt is now focused solely on race wins, especially since his place in the points standings, third at present, seems to be fairly secure.
"I don't really look at the points right now," Whitt said. "I'm not even worried about the championship. Going into the season, that was our first goal but reaching that right now probably isn't realistic."
"We will keep going for wins and we will do everything we can to collect some wins," Whitt said emphatically. "We want to go to every race and be first in practice and on the pole for qualifying and win the race."
"That's our goal going to each track," Whitt said. "If we can do that then the points will take care of itself."
So, Red Bull Cup aces, Brian Vickers and Scott Speed and future Red Bull racer Kasey Kahne beware. Cole Whitt has announced his Red Bull presence and is joining the fray as he makes his way through the ranks in NASCAR.