Par bob pockrass
Richard Petty Motorsports owner Andrew Murstein is making his boldest move to keep Bubba Wallace in the No.43 car beyond 2020, offering a share of the team as part of negotiations with the future agent free from 26 years old.
“Ownership is the next evolution in the way Bubba is changing NASCAR and the world of sports,” Murstein told me in an email. “I would love to see other team owners in all sports give ownership to their athletes as well.
“It would help build their future and their net worth long after their athletic career is over.”
At 20th place in the standings, Wallace is eight places better and 120 points better than he was at this point last year. It’s a sign both of his maturity as a driver and of the progress of the team.
Along with his leadership and advocacy as the only black driver in the NASCAR Cup Series, Wallace’s value as a sponsor has grown off the track as well.
So the question he’s faced with is, if he can get additional sponsorship, is it better to continue in a one-car team like RPM or go to a more in-depth organization?
Wallace openly said last year that the team was under-funded, although Murstein said potential sponsorship deals will allow for more funding next season.
“We have new sponsors and are about to announce another new sponsor shortly, which will give us the opportunity to spend even more money next year and have a car that will be competitive with n ‘ doesn’t matter who, ”Murstein said.
Along with the better performance on the track, RPM also looks better to would-be free agents, and it’s no surprise that Murstein has started getting calls about whether the car is available. Murstein said he offered Wallace a “huge” pay raise for next year.
“We were approached recently by three other pilots to inquire about the route of 43, one of which is currently a star,” said Murstein. “However, we are focusing on Bubba.”
Murstein hopes the loyalty goes a long way. The team took part in an unfunded race in Martinsville and worked with Wallace to put the Black Lives Matter hashtag on the car along with other messages of love and compassion that Wallace wanted.
“He’s got the perfect mentor in Richard Petty, who has embraced him and supported him in every way he can,” Murstein said. “I don’t think Bubba would be the type of person to ignore all of this and turn his back on the king. After all, he has a tattoo of Richard Petty’s signature on his leg.
This is all true, but Wallace would have other things to consider besides loyalty when it comes to staying at RPM, even with a stake:
- While the team is competitive, they still lack the engineering depth of some of the top teams, nor do they have the ability to work with a range of teammates that multi-car teams offer.
- Beyond a charter’s value – charters have been sold for less than $ 2 million to $ 6 million, depending on past performance of the team, increasing the amount of future payments – the team doesn’t have a lot of assets as she works in a boutique on the Richard Childress Racing campus. Their sponsorships are not large, long-term deals that would add value.
- With ownership participation comes the opportunity to have a greater voice in the leadership of the team. While it sounds appealing, there could be an additional liability that would fall on a driver trying to focus on the racing gear rather than the results. ”
- Staying at RPM would allow Wallace to play the role of an underdog, rather than having the pressure where anything outside the top 10 is seen as a bad day and potentially not good enough to keep his run. if he does not compete for victories nor progress in depth. the playoffs.
Give credit to Murstein, however, for thinking outside the box in a move first reported Sunday morning by Forbes. Sure, Rick Hendrick gave Jeff Gordon a piece of Hendrick Motorsports, but they had already won a few titles together.
“We see Bubba as much more than just an employee or driver,” Murstien said. “We see him as a partner. From my perspective, there is now no reason why Bubba should not sign with us again.