RICHMOND, Va.--It wasn’t personal. It was strictly business.
After crew chief Rodney Childers confirmed two weeks ago he was leaving Michael Waltrip Racing for Stewart-Haas next year, team owner Michael opted to relieve Childers of his duties on the No. 55 Toyota driven by Brian Vickers, rather than allowing him to finish out the season.
"Rodney and I are buddies, and he has been a tremendous asset at Michael Waltrip Racing, but we are going to have meetings and build cars and put processes in place that we think will help us win a championship in 2014," Waltrip told the NASCAR Wire Service on Friday at Richmond International Raceway.
"When he said he was going to leave MWR… that is just business. It’s our information to protect, and we felt like that was a smart way to protect it. I know he understands. In this world we live in… we’ve had some very pleasant texts over the last couple weeks about where he is and where we are and how that situation was handled.
"No one did anything mean--it’s just business."
Director of competition Scott Miller is serving as interim crew chief for Vickers as MWR searches for Childers’ replacement. Waltrip said MWR has made progress toward that end but didn’t have anything specific to report.
By Reid Spencer - NASCAR Wire Service