By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Anytime a driver and a team like Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace, Jr. and Richard Petty Motorsports make a new partnership, confidence, momentum, and optimism is boosted. The sponsorship from World Wide Technology (WWT) may be only six races, but the partnership is much more than that.
WWT is providing much more than just sponsorship dollars to RPM. The company will provide the team analytics, data, data scientists, and technology solutions. As the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series has evolved over the years, data and technology have become paramount. Team co-owner and namesake, Richard Petty admitted that they fell behind on that side of the sport when the team was still based in Level Cross, NC.
“You look at Lowe’s, FedEx, and I think they (World Wide Technology) have the potential to do much more than that,” Wallace explained. “As long as we keep hitting on the right things and bettering our program from here on out, I think they will look into that much deeper, and that’s what we need. But for me, personally, it’s exciting. I try to do everything in the most positive way and try to be myself. Sometimes I overstep the boundaries, and then you wonder why sponsorship doesn’t come about. Then you question, if I overstepped the boundary that one time, did that set it back?”
RPM and Wallace started 2018 behind most teams, with more unsponsored races than sponsored races. The team also changed manufacturers, moved locations, and entered into a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing. Despite this, Wallace has run decently, scoring a top-10 at Texas Motor Speedway, which ultimately attracted the partnership of World Wide Technology.
“This is just a confidence booster for all of us,” Wallace said, “a momentum booster as well. This is big, knowing that we have funding and additional funding throughout the season. We’re still on the hunt for a couple more races, but we’re in a lot better spot from where the season started to where we are now. It’s good to see that and we still have 26 to go, so I think put another 10 (races in the books) in and we could be having another conversation if not, saying that WWT stepped up for more races and growing into a bigger partnership of ours. But definitely a huge confidence booster.”
Since Texas, Wallace has led laps at both Bristol Motor Speedway and this past weekend at Talladega Superspeedway. He was running up front throughout the race at both tracks, as well as at Richmond Raceway under circumstances took him out of contention late.