Jeff Hammond believes Rob Kauffman's moves mark a shift in NASCAR
I think we are seeing a beginning of a changing racing landscape with the announcement Thursday that Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman has bought an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. We've been so accustomed to Michael Waltrip Racing being there in its current form since they were literally the original Toyota team, but now there's going to be a dramatic change.
Let's face the facts, why would Rob Kauffman enter into an ownership agreement with an established Chevrolet team unless it's his desire to break from Toyota? I know there has been a lot of effort put into making a stronger relationship between Joe Gibbs Racing and Michael Waltrip Racing, but the results simply aren't there. So, maybe Rob's decided to stop the bleeding and go another direction.
It's clear to me when you read all the statements that have been put out by all the parties involved, the bottom line is Rob Kauffman is ready to move on. How that affects the rest of Michael Waltrip Racing remains to be seen. There are a lot of rumors flying around out there that Clint Bowyer is going to be driving a third Ganassi Chevrolet before event the end of this season.
There are also rumors flying around that sponsorship of the No. 55 Toyota, the second MWR car, is very questionable for 2016, so that puts the future of MWR and all its employees in a very precarious situation. One thing is definitely clear; it won't be the same rundown on the lineup when we roll into Daytona for 2016 Speedweeks. Right now, I think there are very few people who really know what the end result is going to be for the future of Michael Waltrip Racing.