Longtime Sprint Cup Series team executive Jay Frye has been offered a contract by Stewart-Haas Racing, and is mulling a departure from Team Red Bull before season's end to accept a management position at SHR, ESPN.com has learned.
Sources close to Stewart-Haas confirmed Monday that Frye is the man they've targeted to run the organization's day-to-day operations. He is expected to accept, sources said, and would be titled vice president/general manager.
"He is a huge hire for Stewart-Haas," one source close to SHR said on condition of anonymity. The source is not at liberty to discuss organizational matters.
Frye was unavailable for comment Monday, as he was flying to Austria to meet with Red Bull executives regarding the team's performance, his future, and the futures of drivers AJ Allmendinger and Scott Speed.
By moving to SHR, Frye would add yet another key Hendrick Motorsports wrinkle to Stewart-Haas, a trend that began last month with the hiring of HMS engineer Darian Grubb.
Grubb will be announced as crew chief for team owner/driver Tony Stewart this weekend in Richmond, Va.
Frye has a long-standing relationship with HMS owner Rick Hendrick that began in the early 1990s when Frye worked as program manager for Valvoline, then HMS' oil supplier.
It continued when Frye moved to MB2 Motorsports as CEO/GM in 1996. MB2, and later Ginn Racing, leased chassis and engines from Hendrick, so Frye worked closely with HMS throughout his 12-year tenure there.
Frye is widely respected throughout NASCAR for his ability to do a lot with a little, and has been integral in the Red Bull transformation into a formidable force in 2008.
Marty Smith is a contributor to ESPN's NASCAR coverage. He can be reached at ESPNsider@aol.com.