NASCAR & Auto Racing

New Yorker now living in Europe buys 50 percent share of Waltrip's team

CONCORD, N.C. - Robert Kauffman, who describes himself as a "car guy" who has spent his career working in finance, has purchased 50 percent of Michael Waltrip Racing.

Michael Waltrip announced the deal Friday at Lowe's Motor Speedway. He credited his wife, Buffy, for providing the introduction to Kauffman through Charlotte businessman Johnny Harris.

Kauffman was born in New York and lives in Europe. He is a founding partner in the multibillion-dollar Fortress Investment Group, but his investment in Waltrip's team is a personal investment and not part of that company's business.

Waltrip also announced that former Nextel Cup team owner Cal Wells will now serve as executive vice president of operations for the team. Larry Johns has also been named chief financial officer.