Michael Waltrip Racing down to two full-time cars following scandal

Michael Waltrip Racing confirmed that the team will run only two full-time cars next season -- a result of NAPA’s decision to pull its sponsorship in the wake of last month’s attempt to manipulate the outcome of a race. 

MWR racer Martin Truex, who was the beneficiary of some morally questionable racing tactics at Richmond, was told that he’s free to negotiate with other teams as was crew chief Chad Johnston. Fifteen percent of the workforce was also cut, according to team co-owner Rob Kauffman.

Truex’s former car will be used to partially compete throughout the 2014 season, including the Daytona 500.

“Today was about doing what we had to do, not what we wanted to do,” Kauffman said. “It was important to let those whose jobs were affected know as early as possible, and a majority of those will remain with MWR through the end of the season.”

MWR has been fighting for its reputation since the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway on Sept. 7. The team purposely instructed Clint Bowyer to spin out, eventually giving Truex a spot in the 12-car Chase for the Sprint Cup.

Since the incident and the subsequent NASCAR investigation, MWR has faced a heavy fine and various suspensions.

“If you lose a third of your revenue, you are going to have to reorganize your business and that’s what we’ve done,” Kauffman said. “What we are trying to do is using this opportunity to not only survive, but use this reorganization to make us better. We made a mistake, we paid a heavy price and we are adjusting to a new reality.” 

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