Team has high hopes for Whitt

Team has high hopes for Whitt

Published May. 15, 2011 1:00 a.m. ET

Red Bull Racing is looking at different Nationwide Series options to expedite Cole Whitt’s learning curve.

RBR general manager Jay Frye said the 19-year-old phenom from Alpine, Calif., could run in two to 10 races this season, “depending on timing.” Frye added that Red Bull could run a third Cup car for Whitt, but it would be "very late in the season."

“We’re trying to accelerate his schedule,” Frye said. “We want to do it right to give him every opportunity to succeed. Every time we give him a new challenge, he meets it. He has a very refreshing approach.”

Whitt ran the final two Nationwide Series races for Red Bull last year and finished 15th and 17th at Phoenix and Homestead, respectively.

After six races this season in the Camping World Truck Series, Whitt is third in the points standings with an eighth-place average finish. His best showing this season was second on Friday at Dover. Whitt also won the pole at Darlington last month.

RBR has an existing relationship with fellow Toyota organization Michael Waltrip Racing. MWR supplied Nationwide cars for Scott Speed.

Frye is expected to meet with MWR to see what possibilities exist for Whitt.


“MWR did an unbelievable job with Scott,” Frye said. “We should know something next week. We’ve been very pleased with Cole. He’s exceeded our expectations. When Cole raced Kyle (Busch) to the finish in the truck race on Friday, Kyle was very complimentary of him.“

Busch described Whitt’s performance at Dover as “an excellent job and did a really nice job at being able to work around this place.”

“The (No.) 60 (car) really gave us a run for our money there at the end,” Busch said. “He seemed like a veteran out there. I give him props when due.”

Despite Kasey Kahne’s scheduled departure from Red Bull Racing at the end of the year, Frye said the organization is “in no hurry” to find a replacement. Whitt's name has been mentioned as a possibility, however.

“We’re watching; we’re engaged," Frye said. "There’s still a few pieces of the puzzle that have to be worked out.”


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