Michael Waltrip on the breakup of MWR: ‘It’s a sad day’

On the heels of Wednesday morning’s news that Michael Waltrip Racing is parting ways with Clint Bowyer at season’s end and won’t field Sprint Cup Series teams in 2016, team co-owner and founder Michael Waltrip discussed the situation during FOX Sports 1’s live telecast of Camping World Truck Series practice at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Waltrip, who works as an on-air FOX NASCAR analyst in addition to his role at MWR, founded the organization that bears his name in 2006.

The following year, MWR was introduced as one of three teams to lead Toyota’s entry into the Sprint Cup Series where the organization today fields the full-time entries of Bowyer and David Ragan.

Fielding a question on-air from FOX Sports 1 Truck Series play-by-play announcer Adam Alexander, Waltrip was candid about his emotions with regard to Wednesday’s news.

"It’s a sad day for MWR obviously," Waltrip said on the FOX Sports 1 telecast. "I love the culture we’ve built there. Our sponsors — they’re not sponsors; they’re partners. And our employees are our teammates. We just have the perfect workplace, and unfortunately in 2016, we’re not going to be racing there. My hope is somebody wants to have a really nice shop full of really cool people that work together well and want to have a race team and we can provide that for them."

"Rob is going to be a part of Chip Ganassi Racing going forward," Waltrip said on FS1. "Rob and I are best buddies. He’s done an amazing job of stabilizing MWR in the beginning and then we raced for a championship — finished second (with Bowyer) in 2012. So, my heart goes out to all the employees, all the people that worked at MWR. Hopefully, somebody wants to have a team and they can have it right there at our place."

"Our first race was here (at Bristol) in 1994 with Jeff Green," Waltrip said, in response to a question from FS1 NASCAR analyst Phil Parsons about the company’s lengthy history. "We towed in here with Rodney Silver, a flatbed trailer, unloaded our car and ran third that day. And won Nationwide/XFINITY races behind our house and competed in the Cup Series. We made the Daytona 500 with Kenny Wallace in a car we built in Sherrills Ford (N.C.) behind my house. That grew to Michael Waltrip Racing and we raced for a championship, like I said, Chase berths, race wins.

From the beginning: Look back through the years at the history of MWR

"I’m thankful. I’m happy. It’s a great run that we’ve had. We’ll just see what’s next."