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Should NAPA Auto Parts Pull Their Sponsorship of Michael Waltrip Racing?

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

Michael Waltrip Racing was slapped with the biggest fine in the history of NASCAR, and the drivers and team were docked points for manipulating the results of last Saturday’s race at Richmond International Raceway.

Those that have read my posts over the years, know of my love for NASCAR. Although I only met Michael Waltrip once, I found him most amiable, however Michael does have a problem. Trouble seems to follow him around. This isn’t the first time MWR has gotten in trouble with NASCAR, and NAPA Auto Parts isn’t  too happy about it.

In light of last Saturday’s events, I’m of the opinion NAPA should pull their sponsorship of MWR. With thousands of stores nationwide, and millions of loyal customers, it’s imperative that their image be one of trustworthiness and honesty. Many Napa customers are avid Nascar followers, and by continuing to sponsor MWR, that image will be tarnished, and naturally affect their business. I feel bad for the hundreds of employees of MWR who will be unemployed should NAPA pull out, however from a business standpoint, it would be far better to drop sponsorship now, rather than linger on. It’s guilty by association if you will.

According to an article in USA Today, the auto parts supplier, which sponsors the No. 56 Toyota of Martin Truex Jr., posted a statement Wednesday morning on its Facebook page that said:

“The actions taken by Michael Waltrip’s Racing team this past weekend leading to the penalties assessed by NASCAR, are very concerning. We are disappointed that a partner associated with our organization would make such a significant error in judgment. In addition, we have launched our own review to determine the future of our partnership with Michael Waltrip’s Racing team. The NAPA AUTO PARTS organization is proud of its long-standing NASCAR relationship. We share a passion with our customers for high quality racing and seek to determine the best course of action for our customers, NASCAR fans, and the NAPA organization.”

The team said it would have no comment on NAPA’s statement.

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