NASCAR Update: Bubba Wallace’s Longtime Sponsors Ends Partnership With NASCAR & 23XI Racing


LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – OCTOBER 16: Bubba Wallace, driver of the #45 McDonald’s Toyota, walks onstage during driver intros prior to the NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 16, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
NASCAR teams are feeling the heat with sponsorships drying up left and right, pushing teams to get creative and not lean so heavily on sponsor dollars. Take Bubba Wallace, for example. Word on the street, according to Sports Business Journal, is he had to say goodbye to one of his long-time backers, DoorDash, just recently. This sponsorship crunch is hitting everyone hard, even high-profile teams owned by big names like Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.
NASCAR squads are trying to cut down on how much they rely on sponsor money
Back in 2020, DoorDash announced they’d be the main sponsor for Bubba Wallace while he was tearing up the track with Richard Petty Motorsports. When Wallace shifted gears over to 23XI Racing, DoorDash didn’t skip a beat and tagged along with him. Landing deals with big names like DoorDash, McDonald’s, Columbia Sportswear, Dr. Pepper, and Root Insurance, the team was all set, covering the #23 Toyota’s expenses for the entire 2021 season.
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However, according to Sports Business Journal, after being the headline sponsor for Wallace’s No. 23 for about half of 2021, DoorDash started dialing back its involvement with 23XI and eventually pulled out of NASCAR altogether this last season. This move really highlights why teams are trying to be less dependent on sponsorships, which usually make up 60%-80% of a team’s budget for the year.
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23XI Racing’s head honcho, Steve Lauletta, said, “You’ve got to understand your partner’s business enough to bring solutions that solve their problems, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job at that. Then you’ve got to deliver, and we’ve been lucky to deliver on all the partners that have been here. Does that mean they’re all going to stay here for 10 to 15 years? No, it doesn’t mean that. But it’s not for a lack of ideas, collaboration, support, relationships. Things change all the time.”
Lately, Bubba Wallace hasn’t been lighting up the scoreboard either. He kicked off the 2024 season on a high note with two top-5 finishes in a row but has hit a bit of a slow patch since. He’s got some thoughts about the dip, though.
Bubba Wallace is getting real about the rough patches he’s hit this season
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Despite kicking off with a solid start, including a couple of top 5 finishes, Bubba didn’t shy away from calling himself out before heading into the COTA race. Chatting with reporters, the driver from 23XI Racing laid it all out, pointing out that outside of the speedway races, his #23 crew just hasn’t been cutting it. “I’ve been doing dumb stuff. So it’s falling in the same trend as every other year,” he confessed.
Tired of Doing “Dumb SH*T” Every Year, Bubba Wallace Manifests a Breakthrough at COTA
Reflecting on his performance at COTA last year, where he crashed his car and didn’t finish the race, Bubba didn’t hold back. Stepping out from the medical check-up after slamming his Camry into Kyle Larson, he was brutally honest. Trying hard not to beat himself up, he couldn’t help but vent his frustration over making what he called rookie moves, six years into racing at this level.
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“Two weeks in a row of making rookie mistakes six years into the Cup? Need to be replaced,” he admitted. However, this year he was able to finish P15, despite facing some issues at the beginning of the race at COTA after getting tangled with Martin Truex Jr.


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