Michael Waltrip Racing Reduces To Two Teams For 2014

Clint Bowyer

(WOMR file photo)

This from a Michael Waltrip Racing press release:

Michael Waltrip Racing announced today its reorganization for the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup season, highlighted by two full-time championship contending teams, as well as a third entry which will run a limited schedule and a strengthened research and development group. MWR will field the #55 Aarons Toyota and the #15 5-hour ENERGY/PEAK Toyota in its pursuit of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup championship. To enhance performance for its two full-time teams, MWR has bolstered its R&D effort, and will run a third car in select races, including Michael Waltrip in the 2014 Daytona 500. Martin Truex Jr., driver of the #56 NAPA Auto Parts Toyota and his crew chief, Chad Johnston, each have been notified they are free to negotiate with other teams. Scott Miller, the teams executive vice president of competition, will continue his role as crew chief of the #55 team into the 2014 season.

Our goals for the reorganization were twofold, firstly to improve the competitiveness of our race teams and, secondly maintain a stable organizational structure, said co-owner Rob Kauffman. The teams focus has been to find that last one percent needed to move from Chase participant to Cup champion. This realignment will get us closer to that last one percent.
The reorganization enabled MWR to retain more than 85% of its current workforce. Those whose positions were affected by the moves were notified Monday morning. Today was about doing what we had to do not what we wanted to do, Kauffman added. It was important to let those whose jobs were affected know as early as possible, and a majority of those will remain with MWR through the end of the season.

We have very strong support from Toyota, Toyota Racing Development, 5-hour ENERGY, PEAK, Aarons, AAA Mid-Atlantic and other partners who enable us to compete at the highest level, said MWR founder and co-owner Michael Waltrip. We are confident that with two teams and a very active test team, our competiveness 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 organization. Rob and I deeply appreciate everyone who has helped build MWR into a race winning team and we are dedicated to continuing our pursuit of excellence on and off the track.(MWR)

It was evident that after the news that NAPA was leaving MWR, it was just a matter of time before MWR would be forced to contract its operations.  It will be very interesting to see where Martin Truex, Jr. lands for the 2014 season.  The one seat that is open at this point in time is the Furniture Row Racing #78.  It would appear the Truex may very well end up at this RCR satellite organization in 2014.

Just when you thought that the Silly Season was over, the possible financial collapse of  MWR is having a major impact on a number of people in that organization.



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