Aaron's, sponsor of Brian Vickers for MWR, said it remains dedicated to the organization, but Clint Bowyer sponsor 5-Hour Energy said Thursday it was still evaluating its relationship with the team. Waltrip said Friday he expected 5-Hour Energy to remain with MWR and had a meeting set this weekend with the president of the energy shot company.
MWR co-owner Rob Kauffman pumped in much-needed cash and brought stability and accountability to the organization. Waltrip said Kauffman could help fund Truex in 2014. Kauffman wrote on Twitter that Waltrip did ask him if it was possible RK Motors could sponsor Truex.
NAPA's decision will end a relationship with Waltrip that dates to 2001. This is the second scandal NAPA has been through with Waltrip, who was found to have a fuel additive in his engine in his debut race, the 2007 Daytona 500.
"They just felt like the events of the last 10 days had spiraled out of control a bit," Waltrip said. "They felt like what we were involved with and NASCAR penalized us for was more than they were comfortable dealing with, more than they were comfortable with accepting. They worked hard to try to figure out a way to hang around."
Track owner Bruton Smith, who helped bring NAPA into the sport, was disappointed the auto parts retailer bailed on MWR.
"They should have swallowed and moved on," Smith said. "They're going to lose more picking up and running than they would have had they stayed right there."
The loss of a primary sponsor is a significant blow. Waltrip will be scrambling to quickly replace the money because NAPA is a rare sponsor that covers the entire 36-race Sprint Cup schedule. MWR employs around 100 people, and Waltrip now faces the possibility of running a two-team operation in 2014
"We're going to race ahead," Waltrip said. "We're going to try to find funding for the 56 and have three cars in the competition for the Chase next year."
Furniture Row Racing could be in the mix for Truex after losing Kurt Busch to Stewart-Haas Racing. General manager Joe Garone said the organization had not yet reached out to NAPA or Truex.
"He'd certainly be on the radar," Garone said. "He's more than qualified."
Furniture Row will continue its arrangement with Chevrolet team Richard Childress Racing in 2014. Garone said there is no deal with FRR and Chevrolet.