Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Sponsor Fallout Possible For MWR

Waltrip: "We're not immoral..."
The fallout from Saturday night’s controversial events at Richmond International Raceway may not be limited to NASCAR sanctions. A statement issued today by NAPA Auto Parts, sponsors of Martin Truex, Jr.’s No. 56 Toyota, indicates that the auto parts chain is re-evaluating its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing as a result of what it calls “a significant error in judgment.”

“The actions taken by Michael Waltrip’s Racing team this past weekend leading to the penalties assessed by NASCAR, are very concerning,” said a written statement on the company's Facebook page. “We are disappointed that a partner associated with our organization would make such a significant error in judgment. In addition, we have launched our own review to determine the future of our partnership with Michael Waltrip’s Racing team. The NAPA AUTO PARTS organization is proud of its long-standing NASCAR relationship. We share a passion with our customers for high quality racing and seek to determine the best course of action for our customers, NASCAR fans, and the NAPA organization.

5 Hour Energy, sponsors of Clint Bowyer’s No. 15 Toyota, has also commented on the situation, saying, We respect NASCAR's penalties against MWR and are addressing our sponsorship relations internally. We appreciate your understanding and patience."

Team owner Michael Waltrip defended the actions of his team, telling FOX Sports 1’s NASCAR Race Hub,We're not immoral, we're not irresponsible. The decisions were made just based on circumstances. As we look back, obviously, we would have been smarter and done things differently, had we had that option.”

Commenting on the decision by MWR Executive Vice President/General Manager Ty Norris to call driver Brian Vickers to pit road in the closing laps of the race, Waltrip said, “It was impossible to defend, because we did it. I don't know if I would have done it any differently. We've seen people give up positions all the time in this sport to give a teammate a point. It happens. We've seen the leader pull over so another guy can lead. I would have screwed that one up, too."

41 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:54 AM

    This whole thing has gotten way out of hand. I think we all need to realize that running MWR out of business is not going to help the sport!

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    1. Anonymous9:53 PM

      Sponsors should run to another team that is worthy of their millions of dollars in sponsorship fees.

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    2. Anonymous10:49 PM

      They made a big mistake with telling Boyer to spin out they payed the price now let's all get over it and move on. I buy a lot of parts at napa every year and it's. Not because I am a MWR fan it's because I support the people who support racing. If napa cuts there contract over thi then they can kiss my business good by aswell. This is childish and just an excuse to take there money some where else. Get over it NAPA

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    3. @Anonymous, I am SURE that NAPA will not miss the business of ONE CUSTOMER!! MOST PEOPLE, LIKE MYSELF, SUPPORT NAPA'S DECISION!!

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  2. Anonymous11:54 AM

    Dave, what happened to being a journalist? anyone could of written this column.

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    1. As a journalist, I feel it necessary to remind you that it's "could have," not "could of." Just doing my job.

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    2. Anonymous4:39 PM

      Hey, But the big chucklehead got most of the big words spelled right so give him a break

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  3. Anonymous11:57 AM

    I feel its a mistake that they want to pull out of the #56 team, Martin didn't do anything wrong !! BUT 5 hour energy has plenty of reason to be having conversation with Mr. Waltrip !!

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  4. Anonymous12:05 PM

    Need more people mad about the 24. 22 was trapped 2 laps and 24 was 2 pts to the good. Boyer caution gave the 22 the waiver around and then the 15 and 55 slowed and came the pits allowing the 22 to gain that spots. 15 and 55 finsihed RIR right behind the 22. Need more people mad about the 24 and not satisfied that they fixed it for the 39.

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    1. All of you posting about Clint, PLEASE, spell his name correctly!!!

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    2. All of you posting about Clint, PLEASE have the courtesy to spell his name correctly!!!!

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    3. Michael in SoCal10:51 AM

      Gordon didn't play the strategy right. He should not have pit when Bowyer spun. Gordon stays out, no wave around, Logano stays two laps down. Dumb strategy move by Gustafson (Lord I hope I spelled his name right).

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  5. MW offering a REAL apology would go along way. Trying to be a victim and calling people "mean", offering stupid excuses (I don't buy for a minute the Bowyers CC decided in the last 10 laps of a race, UNDER GREEN,to ask about his arm out of concern!)...not helping his case at ALL. Fans are not idiots. We saw what we saw. Nascar may not have had "conclusive evidence...but, we know EXACTLY what was going on.
    In the court of public opinion...MWR is guilty. Now they need to make amends.

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    1. In my opinion, Waltrip AND Roger Penske on that spotter's stand were both a part of this, as Jeff was +2 to the good in 10th when the alleged "SPIN" occurred. If Newman had won that race, Logano would have been OUT of the Chase had it not been for the efforts of Captain Roger working on the spotter's stand asking spotters of certain drivers to just let the 22 pass. But Roger Penske: No PUNISHMENT!! Had Kyle Busch done this, EVERYONE knows that fans would have called for his banishment from the sport. How many chances does Michael Waltrip get before he gets a lifetime ban?

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  6. We're not immoral, yet we tried to sneak a foreign substance into Michael's motor to get him into the 500 a few years back and kept a chase contender from winning his way into the chase this year...

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    1. I think he confused immortal with infallible, it happens when the lies outnumber the truths.

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  7. I think this is the last year for MW raceing. They have cheated to many times. NAPA is a great company.

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  8. Anonymous12:14 PM

    So very sad for the employees of MWR. From the receptionist as the shop to the team engineers, and everyone in between. It wad a terrible error in judgment at the track, that could ultimately cost a lot of innocent people their jobs. NASCAR has assessed fines and punishment. True race fans will stop calling for these companies to pull sponsorship. It is not good for NASCAR. Period.

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    1. This statement I 100% agree with!!

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    2. Anonymous10:54 PM

      If it all goes that way and his company goes down in flames then yes, good people who never see the race track stand to lose their job. That of course is the doomsday scenario but the sad part is if that does happen, Micheal will continue to be a multi millionaire and someone will be trying to put food on his families table.

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    3. @Anonymous, would YOU do business with a company who gives sponsorship dollars to a corrupt team? All NAPA was trying to do was protect THEIR reputation; they DO have competitors!! YOU obviously don't get it!! They have to protect their brand as well!! MWR certainly did NOT protect his by pulling this stunt!!

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  9. Anonymous12:15 PM

    Sad day in Nascar. MWR should be penalized and my opinion is Clint Bowyer should of been taken out of the Chase for his actions but I am sad that sponsors are taking about leaving. This could put 3 drivers and many many more out of jobs. I would say MWR should fire the ones who made there decisions and move on. Hopefully we learn lessons and don't repeat them. I feel sad for the sport, this is a economy that did not need this at this time. I know I love the sport and wont let it bring me down or cast stones at others. We all make mistakes.

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    1. DID YOU SEE THIS RACE? IF NOT, PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT, AS YOU LOOK STUPID!! MICHAEL WALTRIP RACING WERE THE RINGLEADERS IN THIS MELEE (NORRIS IS THE G.M., AND I KNOW WALTRIP WAS IN ON THIS, NO QUESTION ABOUT IT)!!

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  10. Carol Jameson South Jersey12:19 PM

    If any of MWR's sponsors leave, who stands to benefit? Many teams will be making contact with them. On the other hand, what other sponsor would want to be connected with MWR? The fallout is enormous. Time will tell.

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  11. Anonymous12:37 PM

    I just hope the good people at NAPA and 5 Hour Energy do not leave NASCAR. I am sure many other teams would benefit from their sponsorship, and would represent those brands well.

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  12. Sherry Howard12:56 PM

    I feel so bad for Truex. I believe his emotions were very real in his interviews right after the race. He is the one suffering the most in all of this. I hope if NAPA decides to leave MWR that they take Truex with them to another owner and Truex will have success with another team that doesn't make bad choices. Truex didn't make the choices, Ty Norris and probably a few others did. I will still be a Truex fan no matter what.

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  13. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Personally, I have absolutely NO respect for Michael Waltrip. Absolutely none. If I were his sponsors I'd run as fast as I could to any available team.

    Waltrip has placed a huge black eye on the sport with this lack in judgement and it's not his first. His personal lack of good sportsmanship reared its ugly head several years ago with the mystery fuel during speedweeks and it appears as though they learned nothing. Way to go Mikey!

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  14. Brandon in TN1:15 PM

    Key suspenseful music...

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  15. Anonymous1:27 PM

    DAVE,
    I knew NASCAR fans would be pretty upset by the late Race spin by the 15 car and the pit call made by Ty Norris and the 55 team. After NASCAR reviewed the incidents after the race was over, they did the best they could to penalize MWR. We know the 24 team is not happy, but the 22 is and that is how its going to be. The real losers here are the sponsors that support MWR, the feedback their getting is a nightmare for them and rightfully so. It won't surprise anyone if the sponsors demand some money back or pull out entirely from MWR. So maybe you'll see NAPA, 5 Hour Energy and Arrons on different teams next year. If that were to happen them MWR is gone, it would be too much to finance out of pocket.

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  16. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Napa and 5 hour will be gone. Truly believe they should. Mwr not only gave there brands a lot of bad press. But lets call a spade a spade. Mwr plan was to steal extra money from Napa, from there contract for falsely making the chase. As a long time Nascar fan. I truly hope Napa will stay in the sport! It would be awsome for Napa to move there sponsorship to Furniture Row. I would think there would be a loop hole in a drivers contract to allow a driver out of there contract in this situation.Martin Truex is a very good driver and deserves an honest company to drive for. Would be an awesome fit for Furniture Row.

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  17. Anonymous4:19 PM

    I think back to when Dale Earnhardt gave Michael Waltrip opportunity when nobody else would and the sponsorship involved! Chances are there would be no MWR had that not come to fruition! As a NASCAR fan since the early 1980's it is so disappointing this has happened the way it's happened.

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  18. Anonymous5:56 PM

    MWR did what a lot of teams do in ALL forms of racing we see it over and over again. Why no outrage over Carl jumping the restart and not getting a penalty, his was far worse then what Jimmy did earlier in the year... Oh ya that's right everyone hates Jimmy and loves Carl and NASCAR is scared of Jack R. Like others have said, we see it in letting other team mate(s) lead a lap to get the points and on and on. Get over it it happens every week and you just don't know about it. What is not fair is Jeff may have been in and Joey would have been out, NASCAR did nothing to fix that. What would have been fair is to add 2 cars to the championship chase(24 & 39) and have been done with it. People calling for sponsers to dump MWR and to ban them better think twice about what you wish for, pretty soon we will have either no teams or only a few sponsers or worse, no NASCAR at all. When you have big multi car teams and teams with ties to other teams this is going to happen.

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    Replies
    1. spoken like a true MWR Fan, is that you Mikey?

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  19. Anonymous6:08 PM

    Well here we go again..... http://msn.foxsports.com/nascar/story/david-gilliland-joey-logano-improper-communications-richmond-chase-for-the-sprint-cup-091113#!i2wvV Appears another team took a dive to help Logano.

    NASCAR is so deep in trouble.

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  20. nascarfan3206:28 PM

    read between the lines of Clients interview right after race he looks guilty uncomfortable with what he was told to do for team if you are not good enough to put your team in chase without cheating do you your owner and team expect to win champion oh cheat more also in his interview looks like hes looking around for someone to rescue him from being interviewed ... my question is for all the interviewers why haven't y'all asked Clint about JR's comments how he seen Clint jerk his wheel and JR DID NOT TOUCH HIM where is JR's in car footage

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    1. I heard Jr's in car radio!! He said that it was the strangest thing he had ever seen and that it looked to be intentional!! This was his radio communication to crew chief Steve LeTarte!!

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  21. nascarfan3206:33 PM

    with news of 22 team they should receive same punishment who cares if the 22 team wasn't heard on radio its obvious with 38 communications who was the committee next to their spotter 22 owner stays rooftop not pits he was just little smarter than the MWR communications

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  22. Anonymous8:00 PM

    Well why now? Hendrick trying to get Nascar to find a way to get the 24 in the chase?? Come on... its politics. Wake up people this is not the first time this has been done. This has been going on for years and now they want to bring it into the light and just using the Waltrip team to try to eliminate down..one by one to get wonder boy in the chase. NASCAR shouldn't punish one. They should either drop the punishments or punish them all. The 2 teams in question are not the first and won't be the last either. They all trade favors for spots. And if the sponsors pull out for something like this, then they should be ready for their own repercussions. They aren't the only ones who sell parts and you can get energy drinks on every corner.They need not be stupid.

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  23. Anonymous12:11 AM

    OMG let it go ppl

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  24. Anonymous11:10 AM

    I would like to see NAPA & 5 hour cut their sponsorship in half. Stay in the sport but spend some money with other teams as a co-sponsor. Really tired of people at MWR treating the fans like we are a bunch of idiots!!!Notice how Waltrip never takes responsibility for anything? Reminds me of their first season at Daytona with the fuel issue. What a bunch of cheaters! Glad I'm not doing business with them. I wonder how 5 hour energy feels about spending millions of dollars to support a driver that lays down for others. People say Jimmie Johnson is such a corporate guy, looks like Clint has no problem under performing to help out others.

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