Just last week, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. noted that he’s exploring other options beyond Richard Petty Motorsports for 2018.
Now, RPM majority owner Andrew Murstein, in remarks to Speedway Media, understands he could lose his top target.
“I just watched (Bubba’s) Domino’s Pizza video and thought it was terrific,” Murstein said. “I would love to sign him in the near future and only can hope that no one does it before we do. It’s only a matter of time until a sponsor decides to go with him as it would be truly great for their brand, their image, NASCAR, and all of sports for that matter.”
There seems to be a full-court press on to get the popular, 23-year-old driver signed. NASCAR is trying to help him and it’s other main marketable driver, Danica Patrick, sponsors and rides for next season. With Dale Earnhardt Jr. retiring, NASCAR needs all the popular drivers it can get.
It’s been rumored for months that Wallace would take Aric Almirola’s seat with RPM. Seemed natural. Wallace had filled in when Almirola was injured. And Richard Petty has made no secret he likes Wallace.
But Wallace knows what his future holds.
In an interview with ESPN, Wallace said, “We’re working hard, trying to do everything I can to make sure that I have the best possible scenario for next year.”
When asked how many irons he has in the fire, he said, “We’ve got a couple. We’re working on some things. ”
He noted that he’s still working on joining Richard Petty Motorsports and taking the No. 43, “But obviously with the sponsorship deal they got going on it puts things in a different light, so we’re trying to work through a lot of things to figure out what is next for me and my … team.”
The Petty/Smithfield Foods divorce seems to have become the sticking point for Wallace. Without a regular Cup or XFINITY Series ride for 2017 because of a lack of a sponsor, Wallace seems to be looking for something stable — hence, the “more irons in the fire”.
We reported a couple weeks back that Front Row Motorsports possibly has interest in Wallace, either as a third ride or bumping another driver. Wallace doesn’t tell ESPN if FRM is the team he’s considering.