Darrell "Bubba" Wallace Jr. will drive the famed No. 43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports in 2018. Wallace is set to become the first full-time African-American driver to race in the NASCAR Cup Series since Wendell Scott in 1971. On Sunday at the Daytona 500, Wallacenext to Erik Jones of Joe Gibbs racing.
While most of his starts have come in the XFINITY and Camping World Truck Series, Wallace had a cup of coffee at the Cup level earlier this season, filling in for four races for a then-injured Aric Almirola, who left the tour after the 2017 season.
Wallace is a graduate of both NASCAR's Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs and will inherit a ton of history in the 43., made the ride famous by taking it to Victory Lane 200 times, the most in NASCAR history.
"We have hired a lot of different drivers in the past, but Wallace brings a lot of youth and talent to our team," Petty said in October. "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."
Over the course of his young career, the 24-year-old Wallace owns six wins in the Truck Series and 34 top-10 finishes in the Xfinity Series.