Michael Waltrip Racing will stop running cars full time in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at the end of the 2015 season leaving drivers Clint Bowyer, David Ragan and 200 employees scrambling for jobs.
The announcement came Wednesday morning after weeks of speculation following co-owner Rob Kaufman’s purchase into Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I want to thank Michael, Rob and everyone at Michael Waltrip Racing that made these past four years special. After extensive discussions with Rob and MWR, we came to the point that we mutually agreed our paths in the future just didn’t align but I think we all agreed on the next steps in a very professional manner” said Bower in a team released statement.
“I am looking forward to what future opportunities may come but for now we have a championship to pursue in 2015 and we owe it to every one of our sponsors, partners, employees and fans to deliver on and off the track.”
MWR was on the verge of a championship during the 2012 season but things fell apart during the 2013 season. At the fall Richmond race the team attempted to earn a Chase spot for Martin Truex Jr by having Bowyer intentionally bring out a caution. Upon review NASCAR removed Truex from the Chase and NAPA bolted the team. Things have went down hill since.
“Rob joined MWR in 2007 and has helped give us the resources to build a competitive race team, and in 2012, Clint Bowyer took us to the doorstep of a championship. From where MWR started behind my house in Sherrill’s Ford to winning Sprint Cup races, poles and earning Chase berths, I am proud of what we accomplished” said Michael Waltrip. “My family has been a part of NASCAR for almost five decades and I plan on being a part of it for years to come. I would not have had the opportunity to start this journey without so many great partners, sponsors and employees and I want to thank each of them for making Michael Waltrip Racing a reality.”