Richard Petty Motorsports Keeps NASCAR Driver Darrell Wallace Jr.
Darrell Wallace Jr. will continue as driver of the iconic No. 43 beyond the 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series season
Darrell Wallace Jr. will be the driver of the iconic No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports entry in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series beyond his rookie season of 2018, according to an announcement by the race team during the Pocono Raceway weekend that culminated in the July 29 running of the Gander Outdoors 400. Team co-owner Richard Petty announced July 28 that RPM had picked up the multi-year option on Wallace’s contract.
"We have faith in Bubba [Wallace] and in our team that we'll continue to get better, together,” Petty said. "This confirmation allows our partners to start building for next season and beyond. It also allows the different companies that we're talking to now know that we're very serious about building our future with Bubba as our driver.”
Wallace has a top-five and two top-10 finishes, 21 races into his rookie Cup Series season with a best finish of second in the season-opening Dayton 500 in February.
"Our highs have been well documented and so have our lows,” Wallace said. "It's all a part of growing together as a team with a new alliance, a new shop, a new manufacturer, a new car and being a rookie driver. It's a wild ride, and I'm thankful to the Petty family for allowing me to be on it. Richard is competitive, and I think about winning in the 43 all the time. We both want the same thing and we're building that. Today, allows us to get this confirmed and continue to focus on the future.”
Richard Petty Motorsports formed a technical alliance with Richard Childress Racing during the offseason that included a move to the RCR campus and a manufacturer switch from Ford to Chevrolet.
Wallace drove the No. 43 in four Cup Series races last season as one of the substitute drivers for the injured then-RPM driver Aric Almirola. In his four 2017 races with the team, Wallace posted a best finish of 11th at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, his last of those four races. In his stint as a fill-in, Wallace improved his finishing position with each race. When Almirola left the No. 43 team for Stewart-Haas Racing at the end of 2017, Wallace was named as his replacement.
Prior to going full-time in the Cup Series, Wallace raced in both the NASCAR Xfinity and Camping World Truck series, running two full-time seasons in each series. He went winless in the Xfinity Series but won six times in the Truck Series, most recently at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn last year.