By AMANDA VINCENT
A press release from Michael Waltrip Racing on Wednesday morning shed significant light on the future of MWR, answering questions regarding the future of the organization after majority team owner Rob Kauffman’s departure to become a minority owner in Chip Ganassi Racing.
The release revealed that MWR and driver Clint Bowyer will part ways at the end of 2015 and that Michael Waltrip Racing will not field cars full-time in 2016.
“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,” Michael Waltrip said. “From where MWR started behind my mouse in Sherrill’s Ford (N.C.) to winning Sprint Cup races, poles and earning Chase berths, I am proud of what we accomplished.
“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.”
While the release stated that Bowyer and Michael Waltrip Racing were parting ways at the end of the season, the release didn’t mention any specific plans for Bowyer beyond 2015. Previous speculation had Bowyer heading to Chip Ganassi Racing with Kauffman. CGR minority owner Felix Sabates has said multiple times that his race team would be expanding to three teams in 2016, but a quote from Kauffman included in Wednesday’s press release seems to indirectly say that Bowyer won’t be the third driver there. Or at least if Bowyer does end up at CGR, it’s not a done deal yet, and that would be left in the hands of team majority owner Chip Ganassi and Bowyer.
Here is a portion of Kauffman’s quote, relating to Boywer:
“Clint and I agreed we would go our separate ways at the end of the season, and I wish him well in whatever direction he pursues.”
David Ragan is MWR’s other current full-time driver, but he was not mentioned in the press release. Ragan joined the team earlier this season after former driver Brian Vickers was forced to the sidelines by a health issue.
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