NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver Stephen Mallozzi and his race team needed a sponsor.
Usually a NASCAR team owner or general manager works the phones to find a sponsorship, but Mallozzi landed a deal from a surprising connection — the restaurant chain where he works as a server.
Mallozzi and his AM Racing team announced Tuesday that Outback Steakhouse will sponsor the driver in the Sept. 14 race at Bristol Motor Speedway.
The 22-year-old Mallozzi has worked as a server at Outback since 2021. He has more experience serving the chain’s famous bloomin’ onions than he does in the Craftsman Truck Series, where he has made four career starts. But three of those have come this year, and he’s serious about pursuing the sport full time.
The lucrative sponsorship from Outback is another step toward his dream.
“I am absolutely stoked to bring Outback Steakhouse on board,” Mallozzi said in a statement. “To have a nationally recognizable brand on the side of my truck is enormous for me, not just because I get behind the wheel another time, but because it helps my brand image in a big way.
“Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt to have a good relationship with a brand that makes some of the best steaks in the country!”
Looking for an underdog to cheer for? Mallozzi comes straight out of central casting for the role. After attending the University of Virginia, he made his NASCAR debut last year. Needing sponsorship for a race this season, he sold his own car to foot the bill for the race.
Now, with the popular Outback chain picking up the tab, he can concentrate on racing.
“To have worked for a company that supports its employees like this is pretty awesome,” Mallozzi said. “I’ve always had a great relationship with all of my bosses, and to finally get a deal done is an incredible feeling…”
Outback Steakhouse has been active in the sport as a sponsor for many years, including sponsorships with NASCAR Cup Series stars Kevin Harvick and Ryan Newman.