Two of Michael Waltrip Racing's sponsors are reviewing their relationships with the race team following the organization's attempt to manipulate the finish at Richmond.
NAPA Auto Parts posted on its Facebook page Wednesday it is disappointed a partner would make "such a significant error in judgment." NAPA is the sponsor for Martin Truex Jr., who was kicked out of the Chase for the Sprint Car championship when NASCAR sanctioned MWR for its actions in Saturday night's race.
NAPA says it has launched a review of its future partnership with MWR.
Also, Clint Bowyer sponsor 5-Hour Energy tweeted it is reviewing its sponsorship relations internally.
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NASCAR penalized MWR for attempting to manipulate the finish to get Truex into the 12-driver Chase field. Truex was replaced in the Chase by Ryan Newman.
Johnson denies wrongdoing
Five-time NASCAR champion Jimmie Johnson denied any wrongdoing in the Chase field-deciding race at Richmond last weekend.
Johnson defended himself one day after fellow driver Clint Bowyer said his spinout at Richmond was no different than when a Johnson mishap brought out a caution earlier in the race.
"Clint brought it up from what I've been able to see and read," Johnson said Wednesday at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway. "I think he was just having a bad day. And as things kept piling on, he just tried to suck someone else into the mix with him."
The implication by Bowyer was that Johnson spun intentionally with 55 laps remaining to assist the Chase chances of Jeff Gordon, Johnson's teammate at Hendrick Motorsports.
Johnson blamed a flat tire for his caution and pointed out correctly that Gordon already was on pit road when it occurred.
"If anyone has any questions, just go back and look at the race and you'll see that our tire blowing was bad for the 24 (of driver Jeff Gordon), bad for the 5 (of driver Kasey Kahne, another Hendrick teammate) — bad for a lot of guys who were coming to pit road," Johnson said.
Johnson said NASCAR needs to use more officials and more technology resources, such as television replays and even in-car audio, to make better calls during the races.