Stephen Mallozzi was originally an employee for NASCAR Camping World Truck Series team Reaume Brothers Racing, but the organisation has now decided to give him a shot in the driver’s seat. On Thursday, RBR announced Mallozzi will enter the Truck race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on 9 July in what will be his inaugural NASCAR start. He will drive the #43 Toyota Tundra TRD.
Mallozzi initially made his name in karting, which included finishing second in the 2017 Senior Rotax National Championship and being named a Team USA Rotax Karting Representative, but ended his career to be with his father as he fought stage four lung cancer. Mallozzi eventually resumed driving with RBR, who inducted him and fellow employee Jonathan Cuevas into its inaugural driver development programme in 2021 and began their transitions into stock car racing.
“Breaking into motorsports in general is impossible, and I am so grateful for people in racing like Josh (Reaume, team owner) who continuously give drivers opportunities,” said Mallozzi. “For me, I’ve been pushing so hard to make this happen for my dad. He has his own impossible fight after being given just six months to live, and since that initial diagnosis, he’s been going for almost six years. My old man has been my inspiration to keep going and try so hard to make this happen. He gave so much so I could race, and now it’s my turn to make him proud.”
Besides racing and working with RBR, Mallozzi also dabbles as the esports reporter for NASCAR website TobyChristie.com, covering Monday Night Racing and Podium Esports’ MPI Cup Series. He quipped on Twitter, “God finally, after writing all these stories for Toby, Toby has to write one about me!”
“Growing up in karting and wanting to be a race car driver, your dad is very much your best friend, driver coach, agent, and sponsor,” commented Reaume. “To be able to help Malozz achieve this goal in light of the circumstances will most likely be the highlight of my year. Mid-Ohio will be a weekend in which I will be so proud to be Stephen’s owner.”
Mallozzi’s addition to the driver roster continues a trend of Reaume Brothers Racing giving drivers their NASCAR débuts. Nine drivers have made their first career Truck starts with the team in 2022: Jade Buford, Loris Hezemans, Chase Janes, Brayton Laster, Blake Lothian, Mason Maggio, Thad Moffitt (in alliance with GMS Racing), Brad Pérez, and Armani Williams. Nick Leitz will be the tenth at Nashville on Friday.