Confirmed: Darrell Wallace Jr. to drive No. 43 RPM Ford in 2018
As Motorsport.com earlier reported, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., will drive the No. 43 for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2018.
The race team is expected to make a formal announcement on Wednesday.
Wallace, 24, made his Monster Energy Cup Series debut with RPM earlier this season when Aric Almirola was sidelined with a fractured vertebra. In four Cup starts, Wallace improved with every race. He posted a career-best result of 11th at Kentucky Speedway in July.
"This is a dream come true to race for 'The King', Richard Petty Motorsports, the iconic No. 43 and for all the fans and partners that have and continue to support this team," said Wallace. "I believe in what Richard Petty Motorsports is doing and their desire to win races. I believe this team, its partners and fans are ready to see some great things again. I'm humbled that they have chosen me to take that next step with them. I'm ready for next season to begin and to prove to people that we can compete at the level we all expect to be at."
The recruitment of Wallace by RPM marks the first-time an African American has completed full-time on NASCAR’s top tour since Hall of Famer Wendell Scott posted four top-10 finishes in 1971.
A graduate of NASCAR's Drive for Diversity program, Wallace climbed through the NASCAR ranks, starting at age 16 in the K&N Pro Series East. He won six races on the tour and finished second in the 2011 standings. Wallace advanced to the Camping World Truck Series in 2013 and won in his 19th start. In 45 races, Wallace has won six truck events, with his most recent victory coming at Michigan in August.
He made his Xfinity Series debut in 2012, but did not compete full-time until 2014. Wallace was fourth in the NXS standing this season when funding ran out on the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing team after 12 events.
Drew Blickensderfer will continue as crew chief for the team and Wallace.
"We have hired a lot of different drivers in the past, but Wallace brings a lot of youth and talent to our team," explained Richard Petty. "He's proven at a young age to be able to be consistent on a weekly basis, give feedback to the team to help improve the car and race hard to get the best finish possible. He knows how to win, too. His records leading up to the top levels of NASCAR speak for themselves. We feel that Bubba can immediately come in and compete. He's really eager to show what he can do and that he belongs in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series."
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|Drivers||Darrell Wallace Jr.|
|Teams||Richard Petty Motorsports|