NASCAR’s Bubba Wallace Loses Sponsorship After Rage-Quitting Virtual Race

What happened on the track at a virtual Bristol Motor Speedway had real-world consequences

Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, stands by his car. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty)
Bubba Wallace, driver of the #43 Victory Junction Chevrolet, stands by his car. (Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / April 6, 2020 11:26 am

In a story that almost perfectly encapsulates the weirdness of 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, a NASCAR driver was cut by his real-life sponsor on Twitter after dropping out of a virtual race.

On Sunday, Bubba Wallace took to the track at a virtual Bristol Motor Speedway for a NACAR iRacing event and got tangled up with his fellow driver Cling Bowyer during a lap. Somewhat of a hothead, Wallace got upset and dropped out of the iRace.

“That’s why I don’t take this shit serious. Peace out,” Wallace said on his gaming stream.

After Wallace joked about quitting on Twitter, his first-time sponsor Blue-Emu promptly announced it was cutting ties with him, also on Twitter.

Subsequent tweets by the brand made it clear that, as surreal as the situation was, it was real.

“We aren’t sponsoring Bubba anymore,” Ben Blessing, the executive vice president of pain-relief brand, told The Action Network. “Can you imagine if he did that in real life on a track? We thought this was a blessing in disguise for us. But then you find out that you aren’t sponsoring a NASCAR driver, you are sponsoring someone like my 13-year-old son who broke his controller playing some game where he builds houses.”

So, that’s where we are in the world of sports right now. Keep washing your hands, y’all. For anyone that is interested, William Byron easily won NASCAR’s iRacing event on Sunday.

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