Thursday, December 15, 2011
Norris Denies Talk Of Pastrana Waltrip Shutdown
Former Pastrana Waltrip Racing crewchief Jerry Baxter left the team recently to accept a new position as Cale Gale’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series crew chief at Eddie Sharp Racing. Since then, rumors have circulated that MWR will shutter its Nationwide and K&N Pro Series East operations and lay off a number of employees. Norris denied those reports today, saying, “I know where they came from, and they are absolutely untrue.”
Norris revealed that PWR is contractually committed to run seven NASCAR Nationwide Series races in 2012 with Pastrana and sponsor Boost Mobile, saying the team “will absolutely honor that commitment. The plan was to run the full K&N Pro Series East schedule with Travis, then use the personnel from the K&N team to support our Nationwide effort,” said Norris. “But we simply don’t have the funding to do the K&N East Series right now. We’ve been hanging onto those (employees) since September because we don’t want to break up a championship team. The question is, how long do we wait when the funding is not there?
“We’re actually looking at doing some additional things with Travis next season; things I hope to be able to talk about more in January,” said Norris, who doubles as MWR’s Executive Vice President of Business Development. “There are three companies talking to us about doing more, and we absolutely want to. But right now, seven Nationwide races are all we have sold.”
MWR’s K&N Pro Series East team has dominated the circuit in recent years, claiming the 2009 and 2010 series championships with Truex at the wheel. MWR won three of 12 series races this year with driver Brett Moffitt, en route to third place in the final championship standings.