Executive Vice President of Competition
Scott Miller’s 2014 mission is to put No. 15 5-hour ENERGY Toyota driver Clint Bowyer and No. 55 Aaron’s Dream Machine Toyota driver Brian Vickers in NASCAR’s Chase for the Sprint Cup.
Several trips to victory lane would be at the top of the list as well for Michael Waltrip Racing’s vice president of competition. History is on his side. MWR enjoyed its best seasons in 2012 and 2013 under Miller’s guidance earning five victories and placing cars in the Chase both years.Read Scott's BioClose Scott's Bio
At MWR, Miller is responsible for managing all competition aspects, including design, manufacturing and engineering, as well as the technical relationship between Toyota Racing Development’s resource facilities in Salisbury, N.C., and Costa Mesa Calif.
Miller is a familiar face on the NASCAR circuit enjoying a 19-year career that includes a lengthy stint at Richard Childress Racing where he guided teams into the Chase as both a crew chief and competition director.
His roots in motorsports began on motorcycles where he competed in AMA Motocross beginning in 1969. Two wheels turned to four in 1981 and he promptly won the SCCA Southern Pacific Division’s Championship in Formula Continental. Miller’s first encounter with Toyota was in 1982 when Dan Gurney employed him during the initial phase of the Toyota IMSA project.
Miller made the jump to NASCAR in 1983 as a driver/owner in NASCAR’s Winston West division accumulating two poles, one win and six top-five finishes. After a five-year stint in Indy Car racing where he worked as a chief mechanic, Miller found himself back in NASCAR where he joined Tri-Star Motorsports serving as a suspension specialist.
The move to North Carolina has proven fruitful for Miller culminating with seven victories from the crew chief position during his employment at RCR and PPI Motorsports.
The transition to a more managerial position occurred in 2009 when Richard Childress Racing appointed Miller to the role of Director of Competition. After three successful seasons Miller was offered a similar position with MWR. Always ready to take on a new challenge Miller accepted the offer. He was impressed with commitment owners Rob Kauffmann and Michael Waltrip had shown in turning MWR into a Championship contender.
Executive VP and General Manager
Ty Norris jokes that he feels like he has raised five children in his life - his three sons, Dale Earnhardt Inc. and now Michael Waltrip Racing.
Since its move to full-time Sprint Cup racing in 2005, the 47-year-old Delaware native has been at the center of all decision making at MWR – a company that earned five victories in the last two seasons while placing cars in NASCAR’s Chase for the Championship.Read Ty's BioClose Ty's Bio
MWR’s birth and growth hasn’t always been easy in the ultra-competitive Sprint Cup garage. But that’s where Norris’ nearly 20 years of experience in the sport have helped navigate the on- and off-track challenges that doomed so many previous race teams.
Norris joined others in the 1990s in helping the late Dale Earnhardt create Dale Earnhardt Inc. and guided that company to unprecedented success. When Waltrip began laying the foundation for his 40-employee Nationwide team’s move into a Sprint Cup program in 2005, he selected Norris as one of the cornerstone employees. His experience in the sport with companies like DEI, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. and RJ Reynolds would be a key to his success in the Sprint Cup arena.
After just eight years, Michael Waltrip Racing has a prominent place among the top teams in the sport. MWR Toyotas in 2013 notched two victories, 22 top-five finishes, led 830 laps while Clint Bowyer finished seventh in the standings.
It’s been a success off the track as well. MWR boasts more than 200 employees and long-term relationships with corporate partners like Toyota, Aaron’s, 5-hour ENERGY, AAA and PEAK. MWR under Norris’ leadership has added corporate partners, embarked on digital and social media programs, and elevated sponsor services to new levels.
Running a race team never seemed a career path to Norris who studied journalism at Delaware State University and covered races for the local paper. After taking a media relations job with RJ Reynolds in 1990, Norris caught the attention of Earnhardt as the seven-time champion began building his own organization. In 1996, Earnhardt hired Norris to serve as executive vice president of motorsports for DEI as they prepared for their Sprint Cup entry in 1998. During the next eight years, Norris, Earnhardt and others helped build DEI into a motorsports juggernaut, winning 65 NASCAR races, three Daytona 500s and four truck and Nationwide championships.
Norris left DEI in 2004, and after a stint with SMI decided his passion was on the competition side of the sport. In 2005, Waltrip began making overtures to Norris about growing MWR. Norris jumped at the chance to guide an infant Sprint Cup operation to a force within sport.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
In a challenging economy, it is imperative a chief financial officer keeps a close eye on the entity’s finances while retaining a vision for strategic corporate growth. Fortunately, Michael Waltrip Racing has Larry Johns who enters his sixth season as the team’s executive vice president and chief financial officer.Read Larry's BioClose Larry's Bio
The Wisconsin native is primarily responsible for managing the 260-employee company’s cash flow as well as facilitating the development of the team’s strategic direction and plan of execution from the shop floor to the racetrack.Ã‚
Johns came to MWR after a year as the CFO for PPI Motorsports, LLC. There he was a trusted business advisor and managed operating budgets to achieve positive cash flow and profit improvement. He also participated in sponsorship presentations and worked closely with the team owner and chief marketing officer on sponsor relations and new business development.Ã‚ Ã‚
Joining PPI was Johns' first taste of motorsports. While working in Hickory, N.C. for a furniture manufacturer, Johns came home to find that his wife (Sandra) had circled a job posted in the Hickory Record. PPI was seeking a CFO and Johns immediately called to inquire about the position. After owning his own business for almost a decade, he was looking for a change and once hired he thrived at PPI.
When PPI lost its primary sponsor and successfully liquidated its assets Johns looked for other opportunities within racing to apply his unique skills and joined MWR in October, 2007 as it attempted the herculean task of moving from a Nationwide Series team to three full-time NASCAR Sprint Cup Series teams. Fortunately, MWR enjoyed the support of Fortune 500 sponsors like 5-hour ENERGY, Toyota, Aaron’s, AAA Mid-Atlantic and PEAK.
Johns has played a key role in managing MWR’s growth and not only surviving but prospering in recent years. Johns accepted his role at MWR because he wanted to be a part of a management team that helped bring Michael Waltrip’s dream to reality. Today, Johns continues his due diligence in helping the organization become one of the premier elite race teams in the Sprint Cup Series.
Executive Vice President of Race Operations
Bobby Kennedy’s favorite childhood memories include selling t-shirts with his family at dirt tracks around his Concord, N.C. home and dreaming of joining NASCAR’s top series one day. Those dreams have more than come true as Kennedy oversees the day-to-day operations at Michael Waltrip Racing – one of the NASCAR Sprint Cup series top teams.Read Bobby's BioClose Bobby's Bio
Kennedy began his career in 1987 as a tire technician at Hoosier Racing. Those skills helped him land the role of tire specialist and eventually team manager at Team III Racing, under the tutelage of championship crew chief Barry Dodson. In 1995, Kennedy took over crew chief duties for Kyle Petty at SABCO Racing enjoying success in the No. 42 Pontiac for owner Felix Sabates. When Petty decided to create his own team, Petty Enterprises 2 (pe2) and join the family business, Kennedy followed.
Kennedy’s next step was to manage Jim Smith’s entry at Mattei Motorsports serving as Michael Waltrip’s crew chief. In 2001, when Waltrip needed a crew chief for his NASCAR Nationwide Series team, Kennedy made the move from Mattei to Michael Waltrip Racing. The duo’s longstanding relationship has spanned nearly 13 years.
It was in Waltrip’s backyard race shop where Kennedy impressed. During the 2003 season, with just a handful of full-time employees and minuscule fleet of cars, the Aaron’s Dream Team collected one win, eight top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in just 20 starts. At the end of the 2003 season, Kennedy, with Waltrip’s blessing, left MWR to help Waltrip’s brother Darrell re-establish Darrell Waltrip Motorsports. Kennedy built a highly competitive Truck Series team virtually overnight.
The organization expanded to a second team in 2004. That hard work paid dividends in 2005 when David Reutimann scored his first-ever truck victory in the Toyota Tundra 200 at Nashville Superspeedway. With all the dignitaries from Toyota and Darrell Waltrip on hand, it was a picture perfect day and one of Kennedy’s fondest accomplishments. The following year, Kennedy led Reutimann to third place in the Truck Series standings.
Kennedy rejoined MWR in 2007 as the Competition Director. In September 2008 MWR promoted Kennedy to executive vice president of race operations. In this position the Concord, N.C. native oversees everything that makes a race team successful on and off the racetrack.