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NASCAR's Steve O'Donnell addresses Kauffman, MWR

RELATED: Kauffman speaks out on MWR decision

The landscape in NASCAR shifted last week when Michael Waltrip Racing announced that it would end full-time competition in the Sprint Cup Series following the 2015 season. MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman, the former investment banker who gave MWR an influx of finanical support in 2007, was at the forefront of the decision.

On Monday, NASCAR Executive Vice President and Chief Racing Development Officer Steve O'Donnell addressed the moves made by Kauffman and MWR that included Clint Bowyer being freed to pursue other deals for 2016 and Kauffman buying into Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates in late July.

"I think in Rob's case we're pleased that he believes in the sport and is willing to make a continued investment in NASCAR, which is a great time for us," O'Donnell said during his weekly interview with NASCAR.com. "As well as Clint Bowyer who is certainly a talented driver who will find a home with a top team. You never like to see anything happen with a race team like this in this case, but again we'll see some things we believe through the manufacturer's support where some other teams may become stronger through all this as well.

"So a lot still to play out. We're working closely with all our race teams right now to do everything we can to put everyone in an even better position as we head into the 2016 season."

Michael Waltrip Racing was Toyota's flagship team when the manufacturer entered the Sprint Cup Series in 2007 and has produced seven victories.

"Terrific partner for Toyota," O'Donnell said of MWR's involvement with the manufacturer. "When someone comes into the sport, especially the likes of Toyota, you want to partner with race teams who have either had a solid foundation or can build together. And ultimately the goal is to win races and Michael Waltrip was able to do that, which is a great testament to building up the Toyota brand within NASCAR.

"You're seeing (Toyota) grow, and look to grow their partnership in the sport as well, as we head into '16, and that's a great sign for the sport."


MORE: MWR won't field full-time entries in 2016

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