NASCAR Red Bull team rumors

Toyota's Marty Gaunt has turned the lights on over at Roger Penske's old shop, hired about 40 people for NASCAR's newest team, and is now looking for a couple of good men to run Dietrich Mateschitz's Red Bull Toyota] Camrys on the Cup tour next season. #42-Casey Mears may be signing with Red Bull for 2007, leaving Chip Ganassi. Mears, in the final year of his Ganassi contract, was courted by car owner Richard Childress, either to fill Kevin Harvick's ride if Harvick had decided to leave, or to run a fourth Childress car. #38-Elliott Sadler may also be signing with Red Bull, leaving Robert Yates, who is already dealing with the defection of Dale Jarrett to Toyota's Michael Waltrip for 2007. #48-Crew chief Chad Knaus, who has put Jimmie Johnson in the thick of the Nextel Cup championship race for four years now, may also be getting a major offer from the Red Bull team, though his current contract with car owner Rick Hendrick runs through 2007. Hendrick just extended Johnson's contract through 2010, but Knaus said that no one has talked with him about a contract extension. And mum's the word with Gaunt. When will he name drivers? "We haven't put a timetable on it, though obviously we'd rather do it sooner than later. When the time is right, we'll do it," Gaunt said. "We're going to run three races near the end of the year; hopefully we can clarify which three soon. And we'll be doing some testing throughout the year. Winston Salem Journal

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