Michael Waltrip Racing reports more than 200 employees will lose their jobs

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Michael Waltrip Racing has filed paperwork with the state of North Carolina stating that 217 employees  will lose their jobs with the team “ceasing operations.”

Employers with at least 100 full-time workers and planning a closure or mass layoffs are required to file a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification form with the state of North Carolina. Employers must provide 60 days advance notice of either a plant closing or mass layoffs.

In a letter to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Michael Waltrip Racing’s layoffs will begin Nov. 1 and continue until April 15, 2016. The letter also states that MWR is “moving forward with an orderly liquidation of its assets, which is contemplated to be completed as of April 15, 2016.  All employees have been notified of the reduction in force and ultimate closure.”

Michael Waltrip Racing announced last month that it will cease to field full-time entries in the Sprint Cup Series next season with news that co-owner Rob Kauffman has agreed to purchase minority interest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates. Michael Waltrip Racing will continue to compete though the rest of this season. Twelve races remain.

Kauffman said at Bristol Motor Speedway that the team’s equipment will be sold after this season and that the shop’s “best use is as a housing development … instead of a race shop.

“Michael Waltrip Racing really wouldn’t have existed through today without substantial and continued financial support from me. I think just from a business standpoint that didn’t make sense any longer. You can’t have a top-10 budget and top-10 resources and not be in the top 10 for a sustained period of time.

“It’s a performance-related business. It’s a great sport, but a very difficult business model. From a business decision it just made sense to not go forward with that organization because it isn’t really commercially viable.’’

Clint Bowyer and David Ragan drive for Michael Waltrip Racing, while Brian Vickers is out indefinitely due to medical reasons. Bowyer is in the final spot to transfer to the Chase for the Sprint Cup with two races left before the 16-team field is set.