While many people focus on the championship battle Sunday, the race also will mark the end of Michael Waltrip Racing.
The team had previously announced that it would cease operations after this season with co-owner Rob Kauffman purchasing a stake in Chip Ganassi Racing for next season.
MWR first competed in a Cup race in 2002 and became a full-time team in 2007 when it was one of three organizations Toyota partnered with in its move to NASCAR’s top series. The other two teams – Red Bull Racing and Bill Davis Racing – no longer exist.
MWR won seven races – including a Coca-Cola 600 – and had Clint Bowyer finish second in the points in 2012, but the team also is known for two cheating scandals. NASCAR penalized the team after it was found to have used a fuel additive in the days leading up to Toyota’s debut in the 2007 Daytona 500. In 2013, NASCAR penalized the team for attempting to manipulate the Sept. Richmond race. The result was that Martin Truex Jr. lost his spot in the Chase.
Thursday night, Waltrip took to Twitter as he looked ahead to this final weekend for his team.