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NAPA, 5-Hour Energy express concern over Waltrip actions

Sep 11, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT

IRWIN Tools Night Race - Qualifying Getty Images

Two of Michael Waltrip‘s sponsors have issued statements expressing their concern regarding the team’s actions at Richmond last Saturday, the regular season finale to the 2013 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series season.

NAPA Auto Parts, sponsor of Martin Truex Jr., has released a statement on its Facebook page regarding Truex’s removal from the 2013 NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup.

It reads:


“Dear Facebook Fans and the NAPA community,

The actions taken by Michael Waltrip’s Racing team this past weekend leading to the penalties assessed by NASCAR, are very concerning. 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.


This isn’t the first time NAPA has been dragged through the mud, as they have been Waltrip’s longtime sponsor dating back to his two Daytona 500 wins as a driver. In 2007, Waltrip’s first race as a team owner with MWR, a jet fuel controversy emerged at Daytona and also led to penalties, but not to the same degree.

Meanwhile 5-Hour Energy, sponsor of Clint Bowyer‘s No. 15 Toyota, released its own statement through parent company Living Essentials:

“Living Essentials, the makers of 5-hour ENERGY® shots, understands the disappointment NASCAR fans feel in regards to the actions taken by Michael Waltrip Racing at Richmond. Living Essentials does not condone practices that violate NASCAR rules or the spirit of fair play. Living Essentials respects NASCAR’s penalties against Michael Waltrip Racing, and is addressing its sponsorship relations internally. We appreciate your understanding and patience in this matter.”

While Waltrip has appeared on FOX Sports’ RaceHub and Bowyer made the rounds on ESPN’s SportsCenter yesterday, Truex has been noticeably silent since NASCAR dropped the hammer on the team.

  1. noring4youstill - Sep 11, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Looks like Kurt Busch may not only be sponsored by Hass next year

  2. roselle24 - Sep 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM

    I realize NAPA, and 5 -Hour Energy this was not an easy decision for you. What Michael Waltrip and Clint
    Boyer did has changed my view about NASCAR forever. The biggest problem I have is they have audio tape
    which clearly is a message to Clint Boyer to turn and he does. Clint Boyer goes on interviews and lies. If he
    would have just told us the truth maybe just maybe in time he could be forgiven. As for Mike Waltrip wow he
    really had me fooled. I thought he was honest and a man of integrity. I am hearing he is a snake in the grass.
    He claims he had no knowledge of anything that occurred. Does he think we are stupid? He is the Owner of
    the team nothing will happen without his approval.I would not want to represent them. There are other drivers
    with integrity who are more deserving.

    • bigdicktater - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      I thought MW was a stand-up guy too. Since Sunday I’ve been hearing how wrong I was from folks who ought to know. A DUI coverup is one example.

  3. kitnamania13 - Sep 11, 2013 at 4:52 PM

    A lot of people are getting pretty sick of Michael Waltrip’s act. Yes, he’s a great pitchman for his sponsors, but part of what makes him such a great pitchman is that he’s completely full of crap. It’s going to be a lot tougher for him now to get people to see past that.

  4. bmcgrath2 - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:39 PM

    I made a post about this right after the hammer was dropped on Monday night. No way NAPA and 5 Hour Energy can be pleased with this.

  5. 48abjj - Sep 11, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Unfortunately, the victim in all of this is NAPA and Martin Truex, Jr. However, I think that NAPA should pull sponsorship from MWR. I’m sure Clint Bowyer was just following orders from his boss but for him to go on ESPN and try to cover his actions with more lies was the wrong thing to do. No one needs a “crystal ball”, Clint. It is the crew chief’s job to know where the other drivers are in relation to you. They knew the significance of telling you to “scratch it”. You should have gone on TV and admitted what you did. Fans across the country would have respected you and supported you. In the long run, your sponsors would have supported you. Any money you feel you may lose by being honest about the situation would certainly back to you by sponsors and teams who honor and respect integrity.

    • art75070 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:39 PM

      Couldn’t agree more. I think there is more than enough evidence that the spin was intentional – should have been good for disqualification for the balance of the season and the chase field reset

  6. art75070 - Sep 11, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Losing sponsors would be more severe than any penalty NASCAR could impose – I hope both of them pull out. I also hope all networks have the gumption to cut any ties with Michael Waltrip as an analyst/commentator. It will also be interesting to see if Jaws attempts to defend his brother. Hopefully, he will have the good sense to button up.

  7. 89seminole - Sep 11, 2013 at 10:28 PM

    Way to go Clint, you’re now no different than Barry Bonds, Lance Armstrong or Ryan Braun. Once a liar, always a liar.

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