Michael Waltrip Racing Forced to Cut Back after Scandal
Next year Michael Waltrip Racing will be cutting back to two full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup entries after the sponsorship blow it suffered following the Richmond race-fixing scandal.The team was fined and driver Martin Truex Jr was removed from the Chase as punishment for its manipulation of the Richmond event that decided the final places in the title shootout. The lead sponsor for Truex’s car, NAPA, reacted by ending its long-term deal with the team.
Now co-owners Michael Waltrip and Rob Kauffman have announced that they have not managed to find a replacement.
The team’s #56 car will become a part-time entry and test car and Truex is free to leave the team.
Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers will be retained to drive Waltrip’s remaining full-time Toyotas. According to a team statement over 85% of personnel will be retained and the rest released at the end of the year.
Waltrip said, “We are confident that with two teams and a very active test team, our competitiveness will take a step forward. We will also continue to do a great job for our partners off the track, which has always been a cultural staple for our organisation.”