Kauffman presser raises more questions

Rob Kauffman  (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

Rob Kauffman (Photo by John Harrelson/Getty Images)

LONG POND, Pa. – A brief statement by Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman raised more questions than it provided answers about the future of MWR.

Earlier in the week, a statement released by MWR indicated Kaufmann was buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, fueling speculation that driver Clint Bowyer and sponsor 5-Hour Energy would move to Ganassi.

Standing behind the hauler of the No. 55 MWR Toyota driven by David Ragan, however, Kauffman gave the impression that co-owner Michael Waltrip was somehow involved in the process and that there might be synergy between the two NASCAR Sprint Cup Series organizations.

“First and foremost, the thing that’s important to realize is that Michael Waltrip and I co-own Michael Waltrip Racing together,” Kauffman said. “We’re business partners and great personal friends, so any idea that I’m leaving or taking anything is actually misplaced.

“What we’re actually doing is integrating the businesses, trying to get the most competitive product on track, do the best for all of our partners—that’s really our focus. It’s a competitive business, as everybody knows. It’s competitive on track as well as off track.”

Kauffman indicated there are many details still to be determined.

“In terms of our plans, whether we have three cars, four cars, two roofs, one roof—that’s all yet to be determined, and how we do in the 2015 season will help determine whether that happens,” Kauffman said. “If we do a great job, that’ll be one outcome. If we do a less great job, probably another.”

Kauffman stepped into the hauler without taking questions from the throng of reporters clustered outside.

SHORT STROKES

Roughly 20 minutes into Saturday’s second NASCAR Sprint Cup Series practice session, Jeb Burton’s No. 26 Toyota got loose off Turn 3 and spun toward pit road. Burton missed the outside pit road wall but slid across pit lane into the interior barrier, destroying his car. Burton will use a backup for Sunday’s Windows 10 400…

Coors Light polesitter Kyle Busch brushed the outside wall during Happy Hour, and his team went to work repairing the cosmetic damage. The incident wasn’t severe enough to jeopardize Busch No. 1 starting spot. Six-time champion Jimmie Johnson also clipped the wall slightly, leaving a mark on the right rear of the No. 48 Chevrolet but doing no real damage.

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