Billy Johnson is slated to pilot the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford this weekend at Sonoma Raceway team sources have confirmed.
Johnson, 30, competes for Chip Ganassi Team UK in the World Endurance Championship and select IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar races. In last weekend's 24 Hours of Le Mans, he finished 10th in the GTE-Pro class and 28th overall, driving the No. 66 Ganassi Ford GT.
“To be able to put him in a Cup car, at the highest level of NASCAR, in the iconic No. 43 Fusion, and to let him show his skills at Sonoma, well, we couldn’t be happier for him to have this chance," read a release from the team.
The former Roush Racing driver has five starts in NASCAR’s Xfinity Series. His best finish of eighth came at Montreal where he was contending for the win but had to pit for fuel when the race went into a second overtime.
The San Clemente, California native began racing in the Rolex Grand-Am Sports Car Series at 18. In 24 starts, Johnson scored three wins and five podium finishes.
“It is going to be awesome. It will be my first NASCAR Cup race and to debut in the 43 car, one of the most iconic numbers to ever race in NASCAR, is a huge honor,” said Johnson. “Richard Petty Motorsports is a great organization. To have the chance to make my Cup debut for the King is surreal, and I appreciate them putting me in the car.
“I have run a lot of XFINITY races, but this will be my first Cup race. It is awesome that RPM and everyone at Ford Performance has the confidence in me to take on Sonoma. I have run pretty well in the XFINITY road course races I have done, so I hope that translates into a good showing this weekend."
Darrell “Bubba” Wallace will return to the seat at Daytona International Speedway. Wallace scored his first top-20 finish in the Monster Energy Cup Series at Michigan International Speedway on Sunday. Wallace had moved up to the top 15 prior being collected in a five-car wreck with eight laps remaining in the FireKeepers 400. He finished 19th.