(Photo: Nigel Kinrade Photography)

Bubba Wallace Loses Blue-Emu Sponsorship After “RageQuit” in Bristol iRacing Event

A ragequit has Blue-Emu raging mad at Bubba Wallace.

The company pulled its sponsorship of Wallace and Richard Petty Motorsports after Wallace quit mid-race during Sunday’s (April 5) NASCAR iRacing Pro Invitational Series event at virtual Bristol Motor Speedway.

Wallace was competing in the third iRacing event featuring drivers in the NASCAR Cup Series. But he left early on after a dustup with Clint Bowyer that left both drivers wrecked. Bowyer, who was serving as an in-race analyst for Fox Sports, clipped Wallace on the exit of turn 4. He then intentionally hit the Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet on the opposite side of the speedway in turn 2. Both crashed on the back straightaway but had resets that could make their cars good as new.

But a final incident came shortly thereafter. This contact, which also involved Chris Buescher and Chase Elliott, Bowyer admitted was done on purpose. However, the veteran insisted Wallace caused him to lose his cool with plenty of previous bumping.

Wallace was none too pleased about what happened and chose to abruptly quit the game.

Wallace officially left on lap 11 of 150, earning him a last-place finish in the field of 32 cars. Shortly before disconnecting, Wallace exclaimed in a brief expletive-laden rant on Twitch, “Y’all have a good one. That’s it. That’s why I don’t take this (expletive) seriously.”

The 26-year-old later took to Twitter to further express his frustration. The anger caused his followers to believe that he “ragequit.”

Blue-Emu, who was sponsoring Wallace’s virtual entry, took note of his actions. The company, which has backed Wallace in his real racing efforts, has chosen to pull their financial support going forward. The company posted a message on their Twitter feed saying, “Bye-bye Bubba. We’re interested in drivers, not quitters.”

Executive Vice President of Blue-Emu Ben Blessing also expressed his displeasure with “ragequit.”

“I ain’t paying him a cent,” Blessing said. “We aren’t sponsoring Bubba anymore. Can you imagine if he did that on the real track?”

The company has not announced its NASCAR sponsorship plans going forward. Along with Wallace, Blue-Emu sponsored fellow iRacing entrant Landon Cassill at Bristol. The company also backed last weekend’s event at virtual Texas Motor Speedway.

While Blessing remained irked at Wallace, he praised Cassill.

“Landon has been a real pro,” he said. “He’s been practicing six to eight hours a day with our brand in the background.”

In addition to the Cassill sponsorship, Blue-Emu also has a personal deal with retired driver and NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace. The company also had a contract with Wallace’s team owner Richard Petty, but mutually agreed to end the relationship in 2015 after a sponsorship conflict.

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About Zach Gillispie

Zach Gillispie
A lifelong race fan, Zach Gillispie joined Frontstretch in the summer of 2018 as a news writer. Originally from Charlotte, NC, he resides in western PA with his family. Zach currently attends Grove City College, pursuing a degree in Communication Arts. In the rare moments when he is not working or studying, you can find him involved in his church, traveling, cheering on his beloved Atlanta Braves, or immersing himself in anything that involves racecars of any form. Follow Zach on Twitter @gillispie_zach

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23 comments

  1. Avatar

    oh my gosh….even in virtual world sponsors rule the roost.

    bubba needs to do a virtual therapy session.

    bubba, no one is enjoying this social distancing and shelter in place.

    when racing finally resumes, sponsor money will be slim pickings.

    • Avatar

      Poor bubba, he isn’t very good at anything is he. Some people are just born half assed fools and seems bubba is one .

  2. Avatar

    people need to chill out – it’s a video game. Do we really think that Blue EMU sales are boosted by iRacing???? Holy moly. There are so many other larger things to worry about – the name on the side of a freaking digital racecar is not one of them.

  3. Avatar

    The technology and images are amazing but sad to say it doesn’t float my boat. I DID like Larsons sprint car win though.

  4. Avatar

    This bum has an excuse for everything. Maybe his mammy and pops shouldn’t have sheltered him from real life when he was a kid. Bad move by Blu-Emu to sponsor this bum in the first place. Obviously they didn’t do their homework. Bubba even sucks at make believe racing. LOL.

  5. Matt

    Haven’t seen it mentioned but I’m surprised PETA isn’t up in arms. The thing about extracting emu oil is that doing so kills the emu. It’s not like you get milk from a cow. Given other “non-lethal” topical pain ointments……
    So who cares about a huge fllightless and allegedly bad tempered birdie? Well fans of Liberty Mutual’s Limu the Emu of course. This isn’t unique to race sponsors of course. KFC off a whole lot of chickens to stock their stores. But when’s the last time you saw a chicken wearing a button down shirt, a badge and sunglasses, much less have a name. Would be poetic justice if Bubba picked up KFC or Ben-Gay as replacement sponsor.

    • Avatar

      “Given other “non-lethal” topical pain ointments”…
      I doubt NASCAR would allow CBD Oils to be a sponsor (yet). 🙂

      • Avatar

        Judging by the past (something they haven`t heard of), it depends on how much $$$$$$$ NA$CAR gets.

      • Avatar

        Bill B – cbd oil is still relative expensive. I use on my knee and shoulders for my arthritis and it does help, but it’s still a lot more money than the Walmart brand of bengay.

        • Avatar

          Have you tried baths with epsom salts for the arthritis. It iis supposed to help with joint pain.

    • Avatar

      What did Holly Farms sell?

  6. Avatar

    Bubba needs to learn a lesson in PR and probably humility. On the other hand, this Blessing guy sounds like Boss Hogg. Real drama over a make-believe race…. I wonder if Netflix is interested.

  7. Avatar

    Real-life drama about a make-believe race during a pandemic. I wonder if Netflix is interested.

  8. Avatar

    Funny that no one below mentions Clint Boyer. He and Bubba are kind of cut from the same cloth. controlling their delicate emotions inside/outside of a race car.

  9. Avatar

    Confession; after 50+ years, (since 1968), I no longer watch “real” racing, as it’s a farce & has been for almost 2 decades. Confession #2, I’m certainly not going to waste my time watching digital “racing”, as it’s an even bigger farce, & I enjoy playing racing video games. But, I KNOW IT’S NOT REAL!

    This Blue-Emu idiot & anyone else stupid enough to support has asinine actions needs to realize the same thing. Get a freaking life!

    THIS AIN’T REAL RACING PEOPLE! Of course, neither is what NASCAR has tried to pass off as “real” racing since at least 2004. Good grief, the abject stupidity of too many people gets more & more obvious every moment.

  10. Avatar

    If Blu Emu will not stand behind their driver on a game, i’m sure they won’t stand behind their product in real life.

    • Avatar

      You are a uneducated fucking moron

      • Avatar

        I have to ask…. do you have some vested interest in Blu Emu? CEO? Majority stock holder? Invented it? That’s the only way I can see you getting so upset at this comment.
        Or did you inadvertently reply to the wrong comment? Just wondering.

  11. Avatar

    I’m no fan of Bubba, but maybe, just maybe, people are getting tired of being wrecked by Bowyer every time they are around him. He is brings out the yellow multiple times a race because he’s terrible. Why does he get a pass? Because he works at FOX? Why were other drivers disqualified the week before for doing the same thing Bowyer did (intentionally wrecking someone) but Bowyer gets nothing?

    So my question is this? If its just a video game and the boys are just having fun, why are people getting bent about Bubba quitting it? If we are supposed to take this seriously, why is Bowyer even allowed to race?

  12. Avatar

    Even in these iRacing events, you’re representing your sponsors. It’s not greatly different than how drivers behave in other public appearances can have ramifications, or how athletes can get into hot water through social media posts.

    The point about some drivers being a wreckfest in iRacing is a good point. Legit iRacers like Landon Cassill can have their day ruined by some of these pinballs. They’ve said this isn’t about finding out which NASCAR driver is the best iRacer. But, for some events, I’d like it to be about that. We already know who can’t hang with Ty Majeski, William Byron, Timmy Hill, Garrett Smithley, Junior, etc. Too bad Majeski isn’t eligible now for the big iRacing shows on Sunday.

    Wallace is talented. But, Landon Cassill is no less talented. If Bubba starts causing RPM to loose the few sponsors it has, drivers like Cassill are available to immediately replace. A lot of the field is closer in talent than we might think. Alex Bowman didn’t suddenly find talent. He got a chance in real equipment. Timmy Hill, Garrett Smithley, Joey Gase, Corey LaJoie and the like aren’t talentless. I think Ross Chastain has proven himself now. (It should have been obvious to all just watching what he was doing with Premium on Sundays, in my opinion.) They probably aren’t Kyle Busch, but give them a JGR car or Penske car or SHR car and two seasons and I bet they’re reasonable. This is why some of us root for the guys at the back of the grid on Sundays–we know many of them are talented and underdogs, just like us. The small teams are just trying to be the next FRM or Germain Racing. FRM is trying to equal JTG Daugherty, and so forth.