Reports surfaced on Sunday that Richard Petty Motorsports is offering driver Bubba Wallace a partial ownership stake in the team as part of ongoing contract negotiations. Now he could see even more perks by sticking with the No. 43 team. According to RPM's owner, this includes more sponsors and a "huge pay raise."
Per Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, team owner Andrew Murstein provided more details about the ongoing contract negotiations. He teased a new sponsorship for the No. 43 Chevrolet and expressed hope that the run of deals "would entice" Wallace to remain with RPM. Additionally, he also explained that some other drivers have expressed interest in joining the team. Although RPM is "still focused" on bringing Wallace back for the 2021 season.
"We have been approached recently by three other drivers inquiring about the No. 43 ride," Murstein said, per Stern. "One of which is a current star. However, our focus is on [trying to renew] Bubba. We also offered Bubba a huge pay raise for next year." Additionally, David Smith of Forbes reports that the ownership stake is "in the 10-20% range."
Wallace previously explained that the No. 43 team had difficulties securing sponsors on a regular basis. They had partners in Victory Junction, McDonald's and the United States Air Force, but the team didn't have as many options as others. The situation changed in recent weeks, however, as Wallace and RPM partnered with Cash App. Wallace also landed a Beats by Dre endorsement deal. Now Murstein says that another is on the way.
While RPM expressed hope that they will reach an extension with Wallace in the coming weeks, the driver pumped the brakes. He told NBC Sports that he has several options on the table and that he will listen to them all. He will then decide his future after examining the different options.
Stern reported on Sunday that one potential option exists in Chip Ganassi Racing. The team has Kurt Busch in the No. 1 Chevrolet Camaro and Matt Kenseth in the No. 42. This is not the same duo that started the season. However, CGR fired Kyle Larson and temporarily replaced him with the retired Kenseth for the remainder of the season. Now the team will likely need a new full-time driver for the upcoming Cup Series season.
Wallace, 26, is currently in his third full-time season with RPM. He has not won a race with the No. 43 Chevrolet but has secured two top-five finishes. This includes second overall during the 2018 Daytona 500. He has seven finishes in the top-10 and a season-best sixth-place finish at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wallace finished Sunday's Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 in 23rd.