Friday, July 31, 2015

Pocono “News” and Notes: Special Business Edition

Here’s a quick rundown of everything that’s happened this week on the business-side of things, with a few predictions on what could happen

—Rob Kauffman, the majority owner of Michael Waltrip Racing, announced that he had bought a minority share of Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates.  To make things completely correct, next year that team will be known as Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates, Rob Kauffman, Mimi Fitz, Eddie Bierschwale, and one of Kyle Petty’s Old Hair Ties.

—You might be wondering how someone else could be the majority owner of Michael Waltrip Racing.  Well, Kauffman is a multi-millionaire who has spent most of his free time uniting the sport’s owners.  Michael Waltrip has spent most of his free time annoying people on TV.  There you go.

—What this likely means is that the #15 team (driver Clint Bowyer, sponsor 5-Hour Energy, the 2015 owners points, and possibly the crew) will come over to Ganassi in 2016, switching to Chevy in the process.  Yeah, change can be hard to adapt to, but look what it’s done for Martin Truex Jr.

—Where does this leave Michael Waltrip and the #55 team?  Well, longtime sponsor Aaron’s has NOT re-upped yet beyond this season, leaving things in a huge state of flux.  If Aaron’s stays, that could complicate a possible merger with Furniture Row Racing (since the two companies are essentially competitors).  If Aaron’s leaves, there’s really no reason to retain Michael Waltrip, though that’s also true of Fox Sports.