Waltrip Outlines Future Plans

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CONCORD. N.C. - There will be a a new look for Michael Waltrip Racing next season.

As expected, veteran Dale Jarrett will retire after the season's first six races plus the All-Star Race at Lowe's Motor Speedway, handing the reigns of the UPS Toyota to current MWR pilot David Reutimann.

"It’s been a difficult decision, but we knew this time was coming," Jarrett said. "With the things that transpired this year, it showed me we are ready to do this."

Jarrett has struggled this season since joining the fledgling team, missing ten of 30 races including Saturday night's Bank of America 500 at Charlotte.

"When we knew Dale was coming, I just thought it brought us instant credibility," Waltrip said. "I want to thank Dale for putting us on the map. And I want to apologize to him and David for not having the team that they needed at the start of the season."

Reutimann moves over from the team's No. 00 Toyota, which will continue to run in 2008 with the driver coming from a pair of the team's development pilots - Josh Wise or Michael McDowell.

No sponsorship arrangements for the No. 00 were announced and it is not yet known whether Domino's or Burger King, the team's current backers, will return.

Waltrip introduced Robert Kauffman as an equal ownership partner in the team. Kauffman, a founder and managing partner of Fortress Investment Group, will lend financial and business strategy support to the operation.

"In the past 18 months, it is amazing what our small group has been able to accomplish," Waltrip said. "We did what no one else has ever tried, forming three Cup teams with a new manufacturer, and we've made it through the toughest time.

"Now I have a business partner in Rob Kauffman who is as passionate as I am to make this team successful."

Waltrip also announced the addition of former team owner Cal Wells as executive vice president of operations.

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