NAPA Ends Longtime Sponsorship With Michael Waltrip Over NASCAR Cheating Scandal

TTAC Staff
by TTAC Staff
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Following punishments by NASCAR to the Michael Waltrip Racing team after MWR drivers, crew chiefs and spotters tried to game the system for getting into NASCAR’s playoff-like Chase for the Sprint Cup championship with an intentional spin and deliberately slow driving, on Thursday Michael Waltrip’s longtime sponsor, the NAPA auto parts store chain, announced that they will end their relationship with Waltrip’s race team at the end of this year.

In a statement posted on the company’s Facebook page NAPA said,

After thorough consideration, NAPA has made the difficult decision to end its sponsorship arrangement with Michael Waltrip Racing effective December 31, 2013. 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.


In addition to the team sponsorship, Michael Waltrip has appeared in numerous NAPA commercials. No word yet if that relationship will continue.

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  • Land Ark Land Ark on Sep 23, 2013

    Oddly enough, Aaron's Rent-To-Own furniture/electronics chain doesn't follow suit. Almost as if they have no problem screwing people over for their own gain.

    • Waterview Waterview on Sep 23, 2013

      +1 You only need to have a slight understanding of the Aaron's business model to be scared out of your mind. I think driver's need to be just as careful about perception. I'm a bit of a Jack Beckman fan (NHRA), but I was disappointed when he had Aaron's sponsorship a few years ago. Sponsors want good, wholesome drivers, but the reverse should be true as well.

  • Waterview Waterview on Sep 23, 2013

    There's plenty of room for Napa's sponsorship money over in the NHRA (in addition to Ron Capps). Admittedly, there are "team orders" in other motorsports (where they are accepted and understood), but there's no place for them in NASCAR. The entire "formula" for NASCAR has been lost on me in the past few years. I long for the days when I recognized the cars (most important)and the drivers weren't either a) petulant whiners, or b) glossy cover models. I'd love to see a new series formed that races with almost stock cars (e.g. Camaro, Mustang, Challenger) with basic safety mods (rollbar, fuel cell) by guys who trailer their own cars to the track. Stop with the "Points to the Chase" nonsense and start racing again.

    • See 4 previous
    • Flatout05 Flatout05 on Sep 24, 2013

      @Jacob While it's true that Grand-Am Continental Tire Series cars are WAY closer to stock than tube-frame NASCAR beasts, they are not "effectively stock" at all. Everything that can be legally tweaked (and then some) is. Tub seams are welded; the cages stiffen the tubs beyond belief; engines in top cars are, in the best racing tradition, built to grenade 50 feet after the checkered flag; etc. And Grand-Am's system of adding or subtracting weight to level performance does a good job of keeping the racing close, but also makes it impossible to correlate on- and off-track performance.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Sep 23, 2013

    This is nothing new in racing. This time just seems to be more blatant. I can't stand Michael Waltrip, so no upset on my end. I guess Michael forgot that his bro says "Boogity Boogity Boogity, lets go RACING, not lets go throwing races. As an aside, Aarons business model is to take advantage of those who are economically at a disadvantage but are painted a rosy picture that they, too can have it all. Sure they can, at a staggering price. It is expensive to be poor, and Aarons is a good example of that. I was saddend to see the great Mark Martin drive the "Dream Machine"...

  • Misterbrister Misterbrister on Sep 24, 2013

    I have to admit I don't get it. The goal is to advance in the Chase/playoffs. Everyone knows the teams have common ownership. Personally I applauded the strategy that the teams use and don't consider this cheating. I really don't understand the schadenfreude of the common NASCAR fan over this.

    • Land Ark Land Ark on Sep 24, 2013

      Intentionally bringing out a caution is to NASCAR what flopping is to soccer/NBA or faking an injury to stop the clock in the NFL. There's nothing to be proud of.