Thursday, September 19, 2013

NAPA To Store Owners: "It Was The Right Thing To Do"

NAPA Auto Parts communicated to its dealers today, further explaining its decision to end its relationship with Michael Waltrip Racing’s No. 56 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series team. The text of that letter is reproduced below:

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.”


  1. Anonymous11:59 AM

    HOLY... (can't talk w/ jaw dropped)!!! Def gives credibility to what Kurt Bush said about Truex as a potential driver for the78 nxt yr.

  2. Anonymous12:05 PM

    "and for the lines NASCAR has ruled were crossed". NASCAR didn't rule the big one. STOP Michael, please, just STOP!!

  3. Anonymous12:39 PM

    how sad that when a sponsor who could have shown a real strong support of a team that made an error in judgment in the heat of battle,even privately chastising the owners, gave in to "public pressure" and became disloyal.

  4. Anonymous1:25 PM

    Napa bad move.u pulled out on the 56 that did nothing wrong all they ever did was race hard and u dumped the guys for it for 1 bad move B S

  5. The Debster1:30 PM

    I'm sorry guys but I do believe that MWR has paid enough. NAPA can leave all they want but there is no better spokesman for a vendor than Michael Waltrip.
    A.J. Almindinger paid the price of his mistakes and everyone welcomed him back, the same should be said for MWR.
    (not to mention almost every team has in one way or another done exactly what MRW did)

  6. Anonymous1:35 PM

    "and for the lines NASCAR has ruled were crossed" Michael, please, just man up...your organization did what you are accused of and it wasn't OK, PERIOD.

    Kevin F
    Lewiston, ME

  7. Debbie1:38 PM

    Maybe this will get all of NASCAR's attention and everyone will understand that what happened @ RIR will NEVER happen again.

  8. Anonymous1:39 PM

    Glad to see them go. I was boycotting them. Now I can go back to my favourite auto parts store. Now I am waiting for 5 Hour Energy to follow suit. I'm sick of drinking the competition....but won't buy another bottle of 5 Hour while its sponsoring Clint Boyer or MWR.

  9. I applaud NAPA's decision. Enough is enough. I have called NASCAR more "entertainment" than "sport" for decades. Business decisions like this will bring more of the "sport" back to NASCAR and cause greater change than anything mandated by NASCAR, the teams, drivers, or fans. Bravo NAPA.

  10. Anonymous3:49 PM

    Thank you NAPA for doing the right thing its inspiring to see a compay that doesn't use the "Its just business" excuse. Hopefully 5-hour energy will make the same decision as I will not buy their product until they do.
    As for Michael Waltrip you apology is far to little to late to have anything but a negative effect.

  11. Anonymous9:46 PM

    I just hope NAPA finds a new team and gets Truex to drive the car. They were innocent and were both shown in a bad light because of others. They both need a new start somewhere else where they can show they are not involved in cheating
    in any way.