Following Sunday's Consumers Energy 400, only four races remain in the 2020 NASCAR regular season. This means that driver Bubba Wallace is one week closer to becoming a free agent and making a decision about his racing future. He reportedly has plenty of options on the table, but Wallace still hasn't made up his mind about returning to Richard Petty Motorsports or joining another team.
Speaking with Dustin Albino of Frontstretch, Wallace provided some details about the ongoing contract decisions. As he explained, he doesn't make decisions until "about an hour" prior to climbing into his car for the season-opening Daytona 500. This is not an option, however, due to the timeline and becoming a free agent at the season's end. Yet, he still hasn't determined where he will head in 2021.
"No, everything is still up in the air," Wallace said. "At the end of the day, you've got to figure out what's best for yourself and move forward with that option. There's still a lot of things to be ironed out and hopefully, soon we'll have a decision to make."
In terms of factors, Wallace has a list of requirements for his upcoming decision. Having a competitive car is among the list, which RPM has struggled to achieve at times. However, he also looks for much more from the race team. Wallace wants a group that will become closer to him than teammates.
"It's a mixture. Being a part of a team that is like family, I'm very vocal about that," Wallace continued. "Not just an asset or liability to a team and just a driver and showing up to the racetrack, being a part of the family, being a part of the shop employees and having that relationship is very important. Also, we have to have winning racecars and the capability of winning. We've got half the puzzle there. We've got the great family at RPM, we just have to get our cars better and more competitive to seal that deal. There's a lot of work on that side of things to really solidify the future."
According to Adam Stern of the Sports Business Journal, RPM has offered Wallace ownership stake in the company, along with a "huge pay raise." The ownership stake is reportedly 10-20%. However, Stern also reported that one potential option for Wallace outside of RPM is Chip Ganassi Racing, a team that will need to find a driver for the No. 42 Chevrolet Camaro in 2021.
Wallace still has four more races before he officially becomes a free agent, so he can continue to weigh his options. This is likely a difficult decision for the 26-year-old, and it will dominate conversations until he reveals his choice. Once he does, Twitter users will continue to weigh in with praise and criticism alike.