After Bubba Wallace announced his departure from Richard Petty Motorsports last week, NASCAR fans are eager to learn where Wallace will end up. Guesses have already been made about who RPM will take on as their 2021 driver. Now, it looks like Bubba Wallace’s future team will most likely be Gaunt Brothers Racing. Neither Wallace nor GBR have made comments on the potential deal, but fans are filling in the blanks.
Daniel Suarez Leaves GBR
Gaunt Brothers Racing’s and their current #96 announced earlier this week that they plan on parting ways as the 2020 NASCAR season concludes. Motorsport.com reports the 2021 season will come with a lot of changes for GBR, including “acquisition of a charter, influx of new investors, new sponsors and expanded manufacturing support from Toyota,” though no deals are officially complete yet. The parting of Suarez and Gaunt Brothers opens the team for a new driver, potentially Bubba Wallace.
As GBR is searching for new sponsors, a driver like Bubba Wallace may be very appealing. He has accumulated many sponsors this summer including Beats by Dr. Dre, Doordash, and CashApp.
Some even believe the two drivers may do a team switch, with Suarez potentially moving over to Richard Petty Motorsports. Forbes writes, “RPM provides an equipment upgrade, but it’ll still be an uphill battle for both parties.”
Fans Reactions To Wallace’s Possible Move To GBR
NASCAR fans are both excited and confused with the potential move. Some think Bubba Wallace driving a Toyota for Gaunt Brothers may be a downgrade. Others, think the RPM and GBR are on equivalent tiers and don’t understand the need to move. While others are eager for the transfer and upcoming confirmations of where NASCAR’s free-agents will end up in 2021.
One user uses a funny GIF to illustrate their disbelief and confusion with the potential move.
Another user replied their confidence that this is bound to happen.
The user @TravisCopeland mentions another possible upcoming deal: Denny Hamlin joining GBR with part team ownership. Motorsport.com mentions the coming year’s additional investor support may be from Cup series star and Toyota driver Hamlin. The site also says, “multiple reports had connected his potential investment to a team that would include Wallace as the driver,” garnering more suspicions that the two may be joining forces with Gaunt Brothers Racing in 2021.
One creative Twitter user went so far as to edit concepts reflecting what Wallace’s car may end up looking like in 2021.
Another Potential for Wallace: Chip Ganassi Racing
As seen in the Twitter user’s mock-up, many other fans think Wallace could end up with Chip Ganassi next season. This assumption has been around since before Wallace announced his departure, as it was revealed in early August that he had been offered a contract by Chip Ganassi Racing for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series. The teams #42 Chevrolet has an open seat this upcoming year and some fans want to see Wallace fill that role. Kyle Larson was fired by CGR in the spring for using a racial slur. Bubba Wallace is continuously vocal on racial injustice via social media and is the only full-time Black driver in the Cup Series reports, Motorsports. Because of polar opposites of the drivers, a move to Chip Ganassi Racing could also be an interesting, appealing decision.
Both RPM and CGR drive Chevrolets, so the transfer would most likely be pretty smooth for the driver. One user writes that this move makes sense especially due to the ‘McDonalds relationship.”
Another user says similarly, “I really think he goes to Chip Ganassi and drives the 42. Looking at it from a sponsor standpoint CGR has worked with Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, 2 of Bubba’s sponsors. I don’t see him going to the 48 because he is a Coca-Cola driver and HMS is sponsored by PepsiCo.”
Either way, NASCAR fans are sure to see some team movement and changes coming as the 2020 season closes and announcements are made on the 2021 Cup Series season.