NASCAR notes: Whitt faces uncertain future; Stremme gets new sponsor

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A couple quick NASCAR Sprint Cup Series notes heading into this weekend’s race at Richmond International Raceway:

  • As a result of the fluid situation at Swan Racing, where the team’s status is uncertain due to a lack of sponsorship, driver Cole Whitt is the first on the proverbial chopping block unsure of his future. Via Sporting News’  Bob Pockrass, a representative from Whitt’s management group, Fuel Sports Management Group, said Whitt does not have a ride for this weekend’s race. Whitt’s best finish this season in the team’s No. 26 Toyota was 18th at Auto Club Speedway last month.
  • Local sponsor Newtown Building Supplies of Hampton Roads, Va. will sponsor David Stremme’s No. 33 Chevrolet this weekend. Stremme’s been in the car since Martinsville but has only a 36th (Darlington) and 39th (Martinsville) place finish in two starts; he also failed to qualify for the race at Texas Motor Speedway.

Lewis Hamilton receives Daytona 500 invitation from Bubba Wallace

Lewis Hamilton Bubba Wallace
Rudy Carezzevoli/Getty Images
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Lewis Hamilton is a fan of the new NASCAR Cup Series team formed by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan to field a car for Bubba Wallace.

Will the six-time Formula One champion also be a fan in person at a NASCAR race in the near future?

Wallace is hoping so.

After Hamilton tweeted his support Tuesday morning about the news of a Hamlin-Jordan-Wallace team making its debut with the 2021 season, Wallace responded with a sly invitation to the Daytona 500.

Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

But it would seem fitting given that Hamilton and Wallace have been two of the world’s most outspoken Black athletes about the quest for diversity and racial justice. Hamilton recently reaffirmed his commitment to activism after his donning a Breonna Taylor shirt sparked an FIA inquiry.

The idea of Hamilton attending the season opener already had legs, too. The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver has expressed a desire to race the Daytona 500 after he has retired from Formula One.

He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.

Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.

Jeff Gordon was flanked by Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton before the 2015 Cup season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway (Jared C. Tilton/NASCAR via Getty Images).