By AMANDA VINCENT
Clint Bowyer’s not going to Chip Ganassi Racing to drive a third car there in 2016, after all.
Officials from CGR Racing confirmed at Bristol (Ten.) Motor Speedway on Friday that Chip Ganassi Racing would not be expanding to three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams in 2016, despite previous statements made by CGR minority owner Felix Sabates. The organization will continue its NASCAR operation as a two-car program next year with Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson as drivers.
Michael Waltrip Racing announced earlier this week that it would not field a full-time entry next season, shuttering its two full-time efforts, the No. 15 currently driven by Bowyer and the No. 55 currently driven by David Ragan. Bowyer was in his first year of a three-year contract extension. After finishing out the 2015 season behind the wheel of the No. 15 he, along with Ragan, will search for a ride elsewhere.
MWR majority owner Rob Kauffman is pulling out of MWR at season’s end to become a minority owner a Chip Ganassi Racing. Previous speculation had CGR expanding to three teams next year and Bowyer following Kauffman there. Bowyer confirmed on Friday that he was still uncertain for what team he’d be racing next season.
A press release from MWR earlier in the week contained a quote from Kauffman referring to a parting of ways between himself and Bowyer, but that was thought by some to be a legal maneuver to release Bowyer from his Michael Waltrip Racing contract and was only referring to Kauffman and Bowyer’s relationship at MWR.
Here’s a portion of Bowyer’s press conference from Friday at Bristol: