September 19, 2013 – By RaceChaser Online Senior Editor Tom Baker – The “silly season” in NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series just got even sillier. ABC News and other sources are reporting that long-time Michael Waltrip marketing partner NAPA Auto Parts announced that they will end their relationship with Waltrip and his Michael Waltrip Racing (MWR) team effective on December 31st of this year.
Currently, NAPA is the primary sponsor on the No. 56 for Martin Truex and the company was in the first year of a three-year contract extension in that role. In a statement, NAPA pointed directly to the incidents at Richmond a couple of weeks ago as the reason for their decision to change course and leave MWR.
“NAPA believes in fair play and does not condone actions such as those that led to the penalties assessed by NASCAR. We remain supportive of the millions of NASCAR fans and will evaluate our future position in motorsports.”
MWR will now be forced to search for a replacement for NAPA on the Truex car. With the remaining 9 weeks of this season and only about a two-month “offseason” to work with, you can be sure that all hands will be on deck as the organization attempts to overcome the ongoing fallout from their attempt to manipulate the outcome of the race in order to make sure Truex qualified for the series’ championship “Chase”.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images / NASCAR