Roush Fenway Racing continues to look for sponsorship for Wallace


CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Darrell Wallace Jr. is planning to run a full XFINITY season but there are no guarantee he will, as Roush Fenway Racing continues the sponsorship hunt for Wallace’s team.

The 21-year-old who won four Camping World Truck Series races last season, moved to Roush after the season when Joe Gibbs Racing could not find sufficient sponsorship to put him in a full-time XFINITY ride.

Roush Fenway Racing now faces that challenge.

So why the difficulty in finding sponsorship for a driver who has won in NASCAR and is the lone African-American running full-time in any of the sport’s top three series?

“This sport, from Truck and XFINITY series, we’ve been scrapping and clawing to get sponsorship for everybody,’’ Roush Fenway Racing President Steve Newmark told MotorsportsTalk. “All the teams have been doing that. It’s not anything specific to Bubba. He’s unbelievably articulate and very talented and personable guy. We’re pretty confident we’ll be able to find someone that really is an anchor partner for him to grow with.’’

Newmark also noted that the team is only two months into its sponsorship search. The deal to sign Wallace came late last year after many companies had allocated their marketing budget.

Wallace said he won’t let the sponsorship uncertainty impact him on the track.

“You just kind of roll with it,’’ he said. “Try not to let that worry me. If it’s there, it’s there. We’ll just go out and win races. It hasn’t affected me.

Even if sponsorship can’t be found for every race, car owner Jack Roush has shown in the past a willingness to have the organization subsidize a car. That could be an option for Wallace.

“Jack really wants to run a full season, so it’s my job to go out there and deliver like any other driver, run out front and win races and you never know who will latch on,’’ Wallace said.

IndyCar disappointed by delay of video game but aiming to launch at start of 2024

IndyCar video game 2024

An IndyCar executive said there is “absolutely” disappointment that its long-awaited video game recently was delayed beyond its target date, but the series remains optimistic about the new title.

“Well, I don’t know how quick it will be, but the whole situation is important to us,” Penske Entertainment president and CEO Mark Miles said during a news conference Monday morning to announce IndyCar’s NTT title sponsorship. “Motorsport Games has spent a lot of money, a lot of effort to create an IndyCar title. What we’ve seen of that effort, which is not completely obvious, is very reassuring.

“I think it’s going to be outstanding. That’s our shared objective, that when it is released, it’s just widely accepted. A great credit both to IndyCar racing, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, something that our fans love.”

In June 2021, IndyCar announced a new partnership with Motorsport Games to create and distribute an IndyCar video game for the PC and Xbox and PlayStation consoles in 2023.

But during an earnings call last week, Motorsport Games said the IndyCar game had been delayed to 2024 to ensure high quality.

Somewhat compounding the delay is that IndyCar’s license for iRacing expired after the end of the 2022 season because of its exclusive agreement with Motorsport Games.

That’s resulted in significant changes for IndyCar on iRacing, which had provided a high-profile way for the series to stay visible during its 2020 shutdown from the pandemic. (Players still can race an unbranded car but don’t race on current IndyCar tracks, nor can they stream).

That’s helped ratchet up the attention on having a video game outlet for IndyCar.

“I wish we had an IndyCar title 10 years ago,” said Miles, who has been working with the organization since 2013. “We’ve been close, but we’ve had these I think speed bumps.”

IndyCar is hopeful the Motorsports Game edition will be ready at the start of 2024. Miles hinted that beta versions could be unveiled to reporters ahead of the time “to begin to show the progress in a narrow way to make sure we’ve got it right, to test the progress so that we’re ready when they’re ready.”

It’s been nearly 18 years since the release of the most recent IndyCar video game for console or PC.

“(We) better get it right,” Miles said. “It’s something we’re very close to and continue to think about what it is to make sure we get it over the line in due course.”