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NASCAR Cup: Richard Petty Motorsports expected to name Darrell Wallace Jr. as 2018 driver

Darrell Wallace Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

Darrell Wallace Jr. (photo courtesy of Getty Images for NASCAR)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Darrell Wallace Jr. is expected to replace Aric Almirola behind the whee of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Ford in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2018, according to a report from Motorsport.com. RPM announced that Almirola would not be with the team next year, after Stewart-Haas Racing and Smithfield announced Tuesday that Smithfield would be leaving the Petty organization to be a primary sponsor at SHR next year.

Also, NASCAR on FOX reported via Twitter (@NASCARonFOX) on Tuesday that Richard Petty Motorsports crew chief Drew Blickensderfer has confirmed Wallace in the the No. 43 next season.

“RPM crew chief @drewblick says the team intends to have @BubbaWallace behind the wheel of the No. 43 machine in 2018,” the tweet read.

Wallace drove the No. 43 in four Cup Series races earlier this season while Almirola was sidelined by a back injury. Those four races were Wallace’s first four races in the Cup Series. He improved his finishing position with each race, posting a career-high 11th at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta.

After Wallace’s brief stint in the No. 43 car, RPM expressed interest in putting Wallace in a Cup Series car full-time next season.

Wallace started the year as a driver for Roush Fenway Racing in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, but RFR shuttered operations of its No. 6 Xfinity Series team for which Wallace was driving after the 12th race of the season.

In all, Wallace has 84-career starts in the Xfinity Series, resulting in six top-fives and 34 top-10 finishes. Wallace also has run 45 races in the Truck Series, most recent in a single race this season. He won in his only Truck Series start this season at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, but that race was later classified as “encumbered” by NASCAR when his truck failed post-race inspection. In all, Wallace has run 45 Truck Series races, resulting in six wins, 15 top-fives and 27 top-10 finishes.

Follow Auto Racing Daily on Twitter @AutoRacingDaily or like Auto Racing Daily on Facebook (facebook.com/autorcngdaily). Amanda’s also on Twitter @NASCARexaminer and has a fan/like page on Facebook (facebook.com/nascarexaminer).

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Posted by on September 13, 2017. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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