Rob Kauffman elaborated on his decision to take his investments elsewhere, which will lead to the collapse of Michael Waltrip Racing.
Rob Kauffman said his decision to leave Michael Waltrip Racing at season’s end and invest in Chip Ganassi Racing with Felix Sabates was strictly a financial one.
“I think what people are probably missing is the financial side of the picture. Michael Waltrip Racing wouldn’t really exist today without substantial continued financial support from me. From that standpoint, that didn’t make sense any longer,” Kauffman said Friday at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway.
Underperformance a factor
“You can’t have a top 10 budget and top 10 resources and not run in the top 10. It’s a performance-related business and it’s all about performance. It’s a great sport and a very cyclical business model and it from a business decision, it just made sense to not go forward with that organization.”
I had a pretty high expectation of their performance in 2015 and that has fallen short of expectations, not for lack of trying
Rob Kauffman on Michael Waltrip Racing
Kauffman, who joined the MWR organization as a 50-50 partner in 2007, has seen his stake in the organization grow substantially over recent seasons.
Although he is leaving MWR, Kauffman said he still enjoys NASCAR and that is why he will continue to invest in the sport but with Ganassi.
Why Ganassi is appealing
“I looked at a variety of options,” Kauffman said. “Chip is involved in a lot of different activities. I think the NASCAR exposure is interesting. I like the other motorsports parts he’s involved in – the IndyCar program, the sports car stuff, which many people know is near and dear to my heart.
“It’s potentially a much bigger platform.”
Asked how much of MWR’s financial problems have stemmed from its involvement in a cheating scandal in 2013, Kauffman called the incident a “pretty hefty body blow.”
“After we restructured the company in 2014, I had a pretty high expectation of their performance in 2015 and that has fallen short of expectations, not for lack of trying,” he said. “Results are results.”
Kauffman said he would his work as chairman of the Racing Teams Alliance, a coalition of the top Cup series teams in a business association intended to increase revenues and streamline budgets.
“I think the Race Team Alliance has been a great development over the last year or so. It’s gone from almost nowhere to a real counterpart,” he said. “I’m honored and privileged to be chairman of that organization.
“I will continue to work in that role and may have more time in my new role (with Ganassi) to focus on that.”