Some more drama and major change has been revealed for Michael Waltrip Racing at the conclusion of 2015. This morning MWR announced that Bowyer and MWR will cut ties after the 2015 season.
But it does not sound good for MWR in 2016. Their web site’s press release noted that the team will continue to field the No. 15 and No. 55 Toyotas for the remainder of the 2015 season. It then goes on to say that owner Rob Kauffman has said MWR will not field a full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup entry in 2016.
Rumors have been flying that MWR and Toyota are cutting ties and that Toyota has all but cut off MWR already, only still providing the two car team with engines.
“Clint Bowyer has done a lot for MWR since joining us in 2012 and we appreciate the energy and effort he has given the organization. After many discussions, Clint and I agreed we would go our separate ways at the end of the season and I wish him well in whatever direction he pursues,” Kauffman said.
Originally, it was rumored that Bowyer would be joining Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates as a third car as Kaufman is buying an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. But after the statement by Kaufman, it sounds like Bowyer is heading elsewhere.
Two rumors are that he would join Furniture Row Racing as a second entry, or possibly join Richard Petty Motorsports, replacing one and likely done Sam Hornish, Jr.
The former rumor seems the most likely as Bowyer and Truex were previous teammates. It’s rumored that FRR is going to Toyota, which Bowyer already has a relationship with his stint at MWR. Furniture Row Racing has also said they would field a second car if sponsorship dollars fell in place. Bowyer brings with him 5-Hour Energy sponsorship. Would that be enough for FRR to field a second full-time team for Bowyer?
Regardless, it sounds like it’s a sad day at Michael Waltrip Racing. Whatever is in the cards for 2016, MWR has now said they’re not fielding a full-time Cup ride next year, meaning a lot of people are looking for jobs — both the No. 15 and 55 teams.