MWR about to lose billionaires backing

Meanwhile the sport continues to await some word from Rob Kauffman about the Michael Waltrip Richmond controversy.

Kauffman, 49, is Waltrip's business partner, joining in late 2007. Kauffman's primary business is as a private equity investment manager, with his Fortress Investment Group, with some $17 billion (B) under management. Kauffman himself is listed by Forbes as one of the world's top billionaires.

Now comes word from people close to the situation that Kauffman may be planning to separate himself officially from Waltrip's racing operations and establish his own NASCAR team. Kauffman's pick for his driver, again, according to people familiar with it all, is Jeff Burton.

Burton says he's got a driving deal for 2014 but says he can't say anything more than that right now.

Burton currently drives for Richard Childress' Chevy team; if Kauffman does do his own team, it would most like be with Toyota.

A spokesman for Waltrip and Kauffman says he is unfamiliar with such a Kauffman-Burton scenario. MikeMulhern.net

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