Richard Petty Motorsports has lost a sponsor and it’s placed the team’s plans in turmoil.
Motorsports is reporting that RPM and Smithfield Foods had a handshake agreement to continue as a sponsor for the No. 43, but talks blew up RPM wanted to put Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. in the car. There’s no word on whether Smithfield has objections to Wallace or whether it simply wanted to stay with a driver it clearly likes.
Smithfield has been with another RPM driver, Aric Almirola, since 2012.
Where RPM goes after this is anyone’s guess. The team has long been linked to Wallace, even going as far as saying it could dump Almirola for the rising star. RPM needs a new building because it didn’t renew its lease in North Carolina. It now has to scramble if it wants to field two cars next year, or decide which driver will ride with the team.
With shaky sponsorship landscape, this is nothing but bad news for RPM.