MWR Allowing Employees To “Explore” All Their Options

Martin Truex, Jr.

(WOMR file photo)

Michael Waltrip Racing majority owner Rob Kauffman told on Sunday he hopes to unveil the company’s reorganizational plan “relatively soon.”

The moves will come following MWR’s penalties for attempts to manipulate the outcome of the Richmond International Raceway race on Sept. 7, and the subsequent announcement from NAPA to pull its sponsorship from the #56 Toyota team.

Two weeks later, Waltrip offered driver Martin Truex Jr. the opportunity to test the market – but hoped there would be time to attract a new sponsor. Crew chief Chad Johnston has requested his release and it appears that some of the pieces are already coming together for the next stage of MWR.

“We’re working on an announcement,” Kauffman said. “I think it’s been a week since we last spoke, so we’re trying to get it all together. But we have a couple of good options. I think rather than use the word ‘release’, I’d prefer to say allow guys to explore all their options – just as we’re exploring all of our options. Is that exactly negative? I think it’s the right thing to allow people to investigate all their options.”

“A lot of these contracts have provisions that say ‘you can’t speak to anyone.’ So, technically, it’s a release, but it’s really more correct saying, ‘Look, there’s a challenge here. We want you to investigate all your options. Of course, we’re one and let’s stay in close communication.’ I don’t think there’s anything negative around it at all. It’s just letting people figure it out”, Kauffman continued.

Kauffman said that he has been in touch with Truex and “it’s fine with us for them to continue to explore their options as well.”

Kauffman is concentrating on structuring the company in the best possible position to move forward. With Clint Bowyer still battling for the title, and a reaffirmed commitment from 5-hour Energy, as well as long-time support of Aaron’s with the #55 team and Brian Vickers, Kauffman remains optimistic.

“We have a lot of positive stuff with the team,” Kauffman said. “We have a great group, great partners. We’ve suffered a challenge. We’ll dust ourselves off and move forward.

“I think I used the quote, ‘Ready, aim, fire.’ We’re still aiming, the target is a little clearer. Given the uncertainty — and people don’t like uncertainty — we’d like to have something sooner than later.”

It  appears that Michael Waltrip Racing is facing a cataclysmic time for that organization.  With the money man, Rob Kauffman, now offering the employees the idea of “exploring all their options”, could this be signaling to all that this organization could either fail entirely, or have a very seismic reconstruction?

Additionally, the face of , and the front man for MWR, Michael Waltrip, has been somewhat absent from the media, with the exception of his role as a TV commentator for FOX Sports 1.

The clock is ticking for MWR!



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