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Michael Waltrip Racing Announces 2014 Plans

Aaron's CEO Ronald W. Allen, driver Brian Vickers and Michael Waltrip Racing owner Michael Waltrip unveil the new 2014 No. 55 Toyota Camry Aaron's Dream Machine on August 13, 2013 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, North Carolina. Aaron's and Michael Waltrip Racing announced that Vickers will pilot the car for all 36 Sprint Cup races in 2014. [1]Michael Waltrip Racing will only field two Sprint Cup Series teams in 2014, according to the Associated Press [2]. The team has decided to downsize to two teams after NAPA Auto Parts announced that they will leave the No. 56 team at the end of the season [3].

NAPA is leaving the team in the aftermath [4] of the team’s attempt to manipulate the finish of the Federated Auto Parts 400 at Richmond International Raceway.

MWR will field the No. 55 Aaron’s Toyota and the No. 15 5-Hour Energy/PEAK Toyota. A third team — the No. 56 — will run a limited schedule and will bolster the team’s research and development.

Clint Bowyer and Brian Vickers are slated to be the drivers in 2014. Vickers, however, is out for the remainder of the season [5] because of a blood clot in his leg.

Martin Truex Jr and Chad Johnston have been told that they are free to speak with other teams. Johnston already asked for his release from the team [6].

Kauffman said:

Our goals for the reorganization were twofold, firstly to improve the competitiveness of our race teams and, secondly maintain a stable organizational structure. The team’s focus has been to find that last one percent needed to move from Chase participant to Cup champion. This realignment will get us closer to that last one percent.

Team co-owner Michael Waltrip said:

We are confident that with two teams and a very active test team, our competiveness will take a step forward. We will also continue to do a great job for our partners off the track, which has always been a cultural staple for our organization. Rob and I deeply appreciate everyone who has helped build MWR into a race winning team and we are dedicated to continuing our pursuit of excellence on and off the track.

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