MWR optimistic about 2014 despite having to downsize

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WVLT) -- With just two full time teams, there's a notion Michael Waltrip Racing doesn't have the goods to race for championships.

Team owner Michael Waltrip quickly points out that Tony Stewart was part of a two car shop when he won in 2011, the same for Brad Keselowski in 2012.

So bigger isn't always better and Waltrip points out with two cars his organization is able to be more fluid.

"We're using more engineering resources for less cars, so we're just getting stuff to the track faster," Waltrip said.

"This is an arms war. Basically, what can you build better than you got now and how quickly can you get it to the track? The goal is to get faster, faster. Everybody is gonna get faster. We just gotta get faster than they get faster, sooner."

Cars aren't the only things getting worked on at MWR. So is it's reputation. When NASCAR ruled the team was a part of a fix last year at Richmond, it left MWR with a black eye.

One of its drivers was kicked out of the playoffs. NAPA left as a sponsor and that trimmed MWR's workforce by 15 percent.

If the remains of that negative traction are still around, MWR driver Clint Bowyer can't see it.

"Everyone thinks we backed up." Bowyer said. "I'm telling you... it's the first time in my career I walked into the shop at this time of year and everybody is working on just finessing things, and massaging things to get ready for the season and not just wholesale thrashing literally. Just to get the car to the race track, so that excites me and tells me that we're ready as a race team."

A team racing for wins, racing to rebuild its reputation.

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