December 2nd, 2010
Scott Speed will not drive for Red Bull Racing during the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season. (HHP/Gregg Ellman Photo)
HARRISBURG, N.C. — For the first time in his professional career, Scott Speed is a free agent after being released by the Red Bull Racing NASCAR Sprint Cup operation to make room for the returning Brian Vickers.
“We have exercised our rights to end the relationship at the end of 2010,” Red Bull officials said in a statement. “We wish Scott the best of luck in his career.”
Vickers missed most of the 2010 season with a blood clotting disorder and surgery to repair a hole in his heart. Red Bull Racing signed Kasey Kahne to a one-year contract earlier this year, which led to speculation about Speed’s future with the team should Vickers be healthy enough to return in 2011.
Speed has spent his entire career associated with Red Bull. He began his career in the open-wheel ranks, eventually advancing to Formula One with the Scuderia Toro Rosso operation in 2006.
After a best finish of ninth in 28 Formula One races Speed was removed from the seat of the Toro Rosso entry midway through the 2007 season. After that he shifted his focus to stock cars, winning four ARCA Racing Series races and a NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race in 2008.
In 76 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series starts, Speed has one top five and three top 10s, with a best finish of fifth at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway in 2009. He was 30th in the Sprint Cup standings this season.