Sep 11, 2013, 11:30 AM EDT
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.
“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.