December 09, 2010
These are tough times. You know it, I know it. People lose their jobs in times like this, good people and bad alike. Sometimes, they've failed in their job, and sometimes circumstances just conspire against them. But whatever the reason, when you let someone go, you don't do it by freaking fax.
That's the heart of Scott Speed's complaint against Red Bull. The driver, who admittedly didn't exactly perform up to expectations in finishing 30th this year, was relieved of his duties as a Red Bull driver via a fax on Nov. 24. (Aside: faxes? In 2010? Huh.)
"I’m obviously stupid disappointed that I didn’t even get a phone call, not a conversation, not anything from anyone from Austria," Speed told Scene on Wednesday. "They all showed up at Miami. None of them spoke a word to me. I got a fax."
Look, nobody would contend that Speed deserves a spot at Red Bull over the two guys they've got running next year in Kasey Kahne and Brian Vickers. Both are recent Chase veterans, and the only thing Speed has chased of late has been a top-20 finish. Certainly, not having a reliable teammate may have had an effect; five different drivers replaced Vickers after he left the series for the year because of medical issues. But in the end, Speed didn't have enough, well, speed.
All of which is fine. Even Speed agreed with their decision: "They had the opportunity to get Kasey Kahne, which is a no-brainer," he told Scene. "I would do the same thing. Then it’s ‘OK, do you want Scott Speed or Brian Vickers next year after that?’ Even though I think I’m probably performing at a similar level to Brian, I’d still take Brian over myself even because of his experience level ... It makes sense what they’re doing. I just think they did it all wrong. They didn’t treat me fairly over the whole deal."
Speed has an attorney involved in the matter, but has not commented on whether he'll pursue any further action against Red Bull. His 2011 contract, and the provisions contained within, are the key, and Speed did not comment on those terms.
Finding a new job for Speed will be tricky in this environment, given his Sprint Cup record. Still, he's a marketable guy and ought to be able to find a gig somewhere. Regardless of where he ends up, we'll always have one Hall of Fame moment from him. Ladies and gentlemen, sing it loud, sing it proud, one last time ...
I'm gonna miss that little goofball.
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