5-Hour Energy returning to Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip Racing

Kevin C. Cox

5-Hour Energy will return as the sponsor for Clint Bowyer and remain with Michael Waltrip Racing for 2014.

Immersed in scandal that led to the eventual departure of long-time sponsor NAPA, Michael Waltrip received some good news Friday.

After deliberation 5-Hour Energy announced it would honor the final year of its contract with MWR and remain as Clint Bowyer's sponsor in 2014. The company was uncertain it would continue its support following the team conspiring to manipulate the finishing order of the Sept. 7 race at Richmond International Raceway.

The news 5-Hour Energy would return to MWR was released via a statement on the company's Facebook page.

"This week the 5-hour ENERGY® team met after the New Hampshire race to discuss our future with Michael Waltrip Racing. 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. 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.

"After several internal discussions and meetings with MWR, we are prepared to announce our decision ahead of schedule. 5-hour ENERGY® will be back as a sponsor of MWR and Clint Bowyer for 2014. We look forward to another great year of competitive racing. Go 15!"

A week ago, 5-Hour Energy president Scott Henderson questioned the integrity of NASCAR, and in particular CEO Brian France, and said it would determine its involvement at the end of the season.

If 5-Hour Energy followed NAPA and left MWR, it would have been a devastating blow to the future of the organization, which was already hard-pressed to find one replacement sponsor, let alone two.

"They've been there from Day 1 and they're a big reason I came to MWR in the first place," Bowyer told Fox Sports 1 Friday. "I love my sponsor and what they do."

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