5-Hour Energy Staying with MWR
By: Dustin Long - @dustinlong on September 27, 2013 | 10:09 A.M. EST
5-hour Energy announced it will stay with Michael Waltirp Racing and Clint Bowyer after questions about its status. (Photo: Getty Images)
DOVER, Del. - 5-hour Energy will remain with Michael Waltrip Racing and driver Clint Bowyer next season, the company announced Friday.
Melissa Skabich, a spokesperson for 5-hour Energy, said the decision was made “after several internal discussions and meetings with MWR.’’
There had been questions about the company’s sponsorship after NASCAR penalized Michael Waltrip Racing and Bowyer for their actions in manipulating the finish of the Richmond race.
A statement from 5-hour Energy shortly after those penalties stated that the company would not determine if it would return until after the season.
Scott Henderson, president of 5-hour Energy, raised more questions about the company’s status as a sponsor last week at New Hampshire. He reiterated that a decision would not be made until after the season and questioned NASCAR’s leadership.
“There's been a lot of talk about integrity,’’ Henderson told The Associated Press and Sporting News last week. “When the guy who is in charge can say, 'I can do whatever I want, I'm going to do it and I just did it,' I wonder about integrity. I've got to make sure we can win in this sport."
His comments were in reference to NASCAR Chairman Brian France’s decision to add Jeff Gordon to the Chase. France stated in announcing the move: “We believe in looking at all of it that there were too many things that altered the event and gave an unfair disadvantage to Jeff and his team, who would have qualified, and I have the authority to do that. We are going to do that.’’
Bowyer said he wasn't worried about 5-hour Energy's commitment.
"There had been a lot of talk, but I've always known 5-hour Energy was behind me 100 percent, and I've been behind them 100 percent,'' he said. "We've had a lot of success in the two years we've been together. It's nice to know they spoke up ... these sponsors aren't just decals on a racecar. They're relationships. And we've had a great relationship from day one, adn it's going to continue to be that way.''
Skabich said 5-hour Energy decided to announce its plans because of the interest in its decision.
“While our original plan was to announce the status of our sponsorship at the end of the year, this timeframe left many concerned about their future,’’ Skabich said. “There are scores of passionate fans, numerous charitable organizations, and hundreds of hard-working MWR employees and their families who are directly impacted by 5-hour Energy’s NASCAR sponsorship.’’