- Associated Press - Friday, September 6, 2013

RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Michael Waltrip Racing made a business decision to bench Rodney Childers when he decided he wasn’t going to return as crew chief next year.

According to Waltrip, the organization just couldn’t risk Childers being part of the 2014 preparations knowing he’s moving to Stewart-Haas Racing next season to crew chief Kevin Harvick.

Rodney and I are buddies and he has been a tremendous asset at Michael Waltrip Racing, but we are going to have meetings and build cars and put processes into place that we think will help us win a championship in 2014,” Waltrip said Friday. “When he said he was going to leave MWR, that is just business. It’s our information to protect, and we felt like that was a smart way to protect it. I know he understands.”

Childers informed his crew he was not returning next year Aug. 23 at Bristol. He called the race the next night for Brian Vickers, and MWR said it didn’t want him working the rest of the season.

SHR co-owner Tony Stewart confirmed this week the organization finally has a deal with Childers for him to join them in 2014. But Childers is still under contract to MWR, and thus he’s currently in limbo. He can’t work for SHR, and MWR doesn’t want him working for them.

He’s not been at the track the last two weeks, and said he spent eight hours over two days this week pressure washing his house. He’s also been active on Twitter, but clearly is itching to get back to work.

Waltrip said there’s no hard feelings.

“In this world we live in, we’ve had some very pleasant texts over the last couple weeks about where he is and where we are and how that situation was handled,” Waltrip said. “No one did anything mean, it’s just business.”

Waltrip also said MWR does not have any solid candidates yet to replace Childers as crew chief for Vickers.

“We’re taking a look at all of our options. We’re working on it. We’ll figure it out,” he said.

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