Red Bull Racing Team's general manager Jay Frye is optimistic about the prospects of keeping the team afloat after the energy drink giant made plans to pull the plug on its Sprint Cup team at the end of the season.
Frye is currently seeking investors that can help secure the future of the 150-plus employee outfit, which will continue to be backed by Red Bull until the end of the 2011 season. Frye pointed at a "business decision" from Red Bull as the cause for the move, without any specific situation prompting it.
He believes the team is currently on the path to achieve its long-term goals and hopes they're able to do so under a new ownership. He stated Red Bull is part of the process of finding the right investors to keep the team moving forward.
"It really comes down to a business decision how this all played out," said Frye. "It's a change of strategy, no specific reason or specific situation. So that's kind of where we're at with that. The team is a very competitive Sprint Cup team that competes at a high level every week.
"It's got a lot of great people, it's got a lot of great assets; there's a lot of enthusiasm from Red Bull for us to continue, so there's a lot of people looking and there's a lot of interest in what we have, what we've been doing and where we're going. We're really encouraged in what could be next.
"Part of what's going on is also somewhat sad. We're part of the Red Bull family – this is not a traditional sponsor possibly leaving the sport, you know. We're part of the Red Bull company.
"Having said that, that's also really good because, again, their number one goal is to see this thing through and see the team continue and see it with the right partner, investor, that type of thing that can help us take the team to the next level and continue what they started."
Despite being already halfway through the season, Frye believes the timing of the announcement leaves enough room to get things set for next year and hopes that within the next two months they are able to have the right partners in place. He also revealed that he has had contact already with possible partners, none of them currently involved with the sport.
When asked if Mark Martin could be part of the new structure of the team he said the veteran, who was admitted at having interest in ownership, is a great friend of his but no talks have been held with him regarding the future of the team.
"The good news now is we've got time to react," said Frye. "It's still June, so that's really halfway through the season, so that part is concerning...
"We're very optimistic that we can put something together relatively quickly. You hate to set a time on it but 30 to 45 days, that type of thing, where we can have some sort of good solution to this.
"So, having been through this before personally, there were some contacts with the people we've dealt with in the past and they've been very helpful up to this point. There's reason to be optimistic that we can get this thing sorted out."
Frye is adamant that despite results probably not showing it, the team has been making good progress over the past few weeks. He praised the addition of Kasey Kahne to the squad's lineup as a "huge help" and believes the team to be now pointing in the right direction.
"Obviously, the team has had its ups and downs," Frye admitted. "Even if you look at this year, there's been a lot of really good things happening and there's been a lot of close calls. There's not that late caution in the [Charlotte] 600 and Kasey wins the race, something that was out of our control but it happened and there you go.
"We think we have a very good team, we think we have it pointing in the right direction. Kasey [Kahne] coming in this year has been a huge help in getting us pointing in the right direction.
"A lot of good things are going on over the last month or six weeks about the future, about this team, that were possible. So now we have to regroup and get the other things sorted out that we didn't necessarily have to get sorted out a month ago."
Frye didn't rule out that Red Bull may still remain involved with the team in some way into next year.