Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates has confirmed a Wednesday report by SportsBusinessDaily.com that Michael Waltrip Racing co-owner Rob Kauffman has agreed to buy an interest in its NASCAR team.
The report also had said Kauffman would take the No. 15 of Clint Bowyer with him in the move to CGR, giving it three teams in addition to Jamie McMurray and Kyle Larson.
The team’s statement:
We confirm that Rob Kauffman has agreed to acquire an interest in the team. Further discussions regarding the 2016 season and beyond are underway.
Michael Waltrip Racing quickly followed with its own statement.
Rob Kauffman, co-owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, has agreed to buy an interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. The companies will continue to operate separately and compete against each other for the remainder of the 2015 season. They are also currently evaluating ways to field the most competitive race teams possible to provide an excellent platform for their partners and employees for the 2016 season and beyond. More details will follow in due course.
The team later released a statement from Michael Waltrip.
My focus is on 2015 and fulfilling the commitment we have made to our partners and Toyota which is placing our teams in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup. There are a lot of details yet to be sorted regarding 2016. I will work closely with Rob Kauffman and our sponsors to formulate the best way forward.
Aaron’s, the main sponsor of Michael Waltip Racing’s No. 55, sent NASCAR Talk the following statement:
Right now we are focused on the remainder of the 2015 season and we are looking forward to Aaron’s driver David Ragan and No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota finishing strong. We’ve been in talks with MWR about the 2016 season and we will be evaluating our options.
The confirmation of the report comes after CGR co-owner Felix Sabates told Motorsport.com “I am not going anywhere.” Sabates also released a statement to SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, setting his own exit date from the team.
“This is about making our team stronger, a three-car team is stronger than a two-car (team),” Sabates said. “But the rumors that Rob is buying me out are not true. My last race will be five years from Sept. 9. I will be 75 years old then and will be done.”