Recently, one of the big shots from NASCAR won a crash-filled and hectic race at the Talladega Speedway. As a result, the rough job phase in NASCAR got some limelight and three drivers who need jobs. Erik Jones, Ty Dillon, and Matt DeBenedetto were all following Denny Hamlin, the show’s winner, across the end line. It was like a white-knuckled and chaotic finish. A victory for any of the three members would surely not be enough to bag them a seat for 2021. However, it should be useful to create a buzz that will attract potential sponsors.
This year’s pandemic has led to a rough job phase in NASCAR ever in the past two decades. Moreover, mid-level drivers face the most problems. Besides, some are also receiving orders to leave due to a cost-cutting situation. The A-list drivers who were earning in millions before the pandemic are not receiving the same amounts anymore. Moreover, paying rides are becoming rarer with time. What we find now are only a bunch of young entrepreneurs who come with sponsorship dollars.
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The Talladega was a chance to improve the rough job phase in NASCAR.
The Talladega Race was a good chance for all three drivers to win and sell their stories in front of an emotional crowd. Approximately 15,000 fans witnessed the race that came with 12 laps and 13 cautions in the overtime section. The event went on for over four hours and stopped twice at red flags. The fans were booing when Denny Hamlin became the winner. Instead, people in the crowd were cheering for the other three drivers trying to perform despite the rough job phase in NASCAR.
Matt DeBenedetto is still unsure if the Wood Brothers Racing will choose him. Moreover, the deadline for team submission is next week, and there is no word till now about his number. 2020 is the second consecutive year when Matt’s job status is in confusion, even during the end of the season. However, he has somehow managed to upgrade the 2019 agreement with Team Penske. Now, Matt DiBenedetto wants to get the No. 21 Ford position back. However, his current team Penske will have the final say regarding this.
Three drivers are left with no option and opportunities
Talking of Erik Jones, he is going through this rough phase for the first time in his career. The reason for the problem is that his current team Joe Gibbs is replacing him. Next year, Christopher Bell will take his position in the NASCAR. While Jones was thinking of working in an extension with Gibbs, it was already late. By the team he gets the news of replacement, most of the other groups are almost towards the end of their 2021 planning.
On the other hand, it is the fourth driving season for Ty Dillon. He is mastering the skill of single-car Germain Racing for the past couple of years now. His current team is the Richard Childress Racing. However, the limelight seems to fall first on his grandfather, and then on his brother. They are a Hall of Famer and winner of the Daytona 500, respectively. While finalizing the list for the next season, Germain kept away Dillon’s name, and presently, the RCR is out of resources to expand the list and find him a spot.
According to teams and sponsors, the three drivers don’t seem to offer much to the business. If they want sponsorship money, they must convince team owners to find them a spot in the final lists. Besides, the position will be based on sheer potential and nothing else. However, such jobs are rare to find, considering the present situation. It seems that Bubba Wallace is also raising over $18 million to sponsor the Hamlin and Jordan team. The drivers are agreeing to anything that they are getting. Even Dillon will drop a step if the Xfinity decides to keep him on the list.
How to make things better during such harsh situations?
Eric Jones is always one of the top people who keeps drawing a healthy salary since Kyle Busch found him. At that time, Jones was just 16 years old and had zero chances of becoming part of a team as competitive as Gibbs. However, the former winner of the Southern 500 is still one of the best in the league.
On the other hand, Matt DiBenedetto kept working to stabilize Cup Series throughout his career. However, it was no less than shocking when team Leaving hired Christopher Bell as his replacement. Despite that, he stood a good chance with the Penske and Wood Brothers. However, keeping his position healthy is now not ultimately his call. Suppose he won the match on Sunday, October 4, it would not have been enough convincing to find a spot in the Wood Brothers list. Moreover, he lost all his remaining chances after receiving a NASCAR penalty for going outbound in the race. Despite the penalty, he landed at the 21st place.
It was the third-best ranking for Dillon considering all his rankings for the past four years. Besides, if we are talking only about Germain Racing, then the Talladega finish was the best. The situation is such that RCR will have to convince new sponsors to keep him on board. Dillon states that he has not driven under RCR for quite some time now. Besides, he wants people to understand that he only wants a position based on his potential and talent. It is disrespectful to give him a position considering his family background.
Business strategies are not the same now
Talent is indeed the hardest sell during such volatile situations. Several cars are presently receiving funding based on a B-2-B relationship. So, there is no question of hard cash in such cases. It is a tough time for potential drivers, but the best option now is to understand the situation’s harshness. Moreover, it is wise to grab whatever opportunity comes in the way until conditions get better.