To: All NAPA AUTO PARTS Stores
RE: NAPA Racing NASCAR Update
NAPA announced today that, after due consideration, it has decided to end its sponsorship arrangement with Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) effective December 31, 2013. As many of you are aware, NASCAR determined that MWR attempted to manipulate race results at Richmond, Virginia, on September 7, 2013. NASCAR assessed a large fine, deducted 50 points from each of the three MWR drivers in the race and suspended or banned other members of the MWR team.
NAPA believes in fair play and we are very disappointed in the actions that led to the NASCAR penalties. We have made NAPA’s decision known to MWR and posted a statement on our Facebook page. There has already been significant media coverage and discussion among racing fans and we expect that our decision to terminate our sponsorship will generate additional attention. We believe it is the right thing to do.
Many of our dealer customers are motorsports fans and may have strong feelings about this issue – one way or another. They have a right to their opinions and we will continue to treat all customers courteously. If asked about NAPA’s decision, we would suggest you refer to the company’s statement and its belief in fair play. If a customer wants to make their feelings known to the company, they may visit our Facebook page to post a comment.
We wanted to let you know about this situation and NAPA’s decision as soon as possible. Thank you for your business and your overall support of the NAPA brand.
Team owner Michael Waltrip also issued a statement today, saying, “NAPA has been with me from winning two Daytona 500s, to missing races with a new start-up team, and back to victory lane again. The relationship grew far past that of just a sponsor, but more of a partner and a friend. We will not be racing a NAPA car in 2014, but I have friendships that will last a lifetime.
“To the fans and those who made their voice heard through social media, as the owner, I am responsible for all actions of MWR. I sincerely apologize for the role our team played and for the lines NASCAR has ruled were crossed by our actions at Richmond. NASCAR met with the competitors in Chicago and we all know how we are expected to race forward.”