Speculation has swirled for some time that Bubba Wallace would be headed to a new NASCAR team next year, and his announcement Thursday that he will be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at the end of this season only confirmed what many already suspected.
That’s not to say it made the picture any clearer.
Wallace’s next stop in his NASCAR Cup Series career remained unclear, with multiple insiders reporting that none of their sources would confirm — on or off the record — where the sport’s only Black driver would be headed for 2021.
“The Chip Ganassi Racing No. 42 is a possible destination,” FOX Sports’ Bob Pockrass reported, citing the most common rumor, “but not a definite as of yet.”
Jenna Fryer of The Associated Press refuted this rumor somewhat, tweeting that she’d been told Ganassi had rescinded its offer to Wallace weeks ago. She also reported there is “no present offer from Hendrick Motorsports,” where seven-time champion Jimmie Johnson is due to retire from the No. 48 at season’s. end.
Many fans expressed dismay on social media that Wallace, who drew in a new audience following his vocal stance on racial injustice and the Black Lives Matter movement this summer, would no longer pilot the No. 43 Chevrolet beyond this season. Despite the No. 43’s connection to Petty, the sport’s all-time wins leader, however, both CGR and HMS would provide substantial upgrades in equipment and perhaps give Wallace the first real chance of winning in his Cup career.
Thumbnail photo via Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports Images