The last few weeks have not been great ones for Richard Petty Motorsports. With the future of the team in question, some good news would certainly go a long way for the team and its fans. It appears that they may finally have some.
After weeks of speculation, it appears that the rumors have become a reality. Darrell Wallace Jr. will drive full time for Richard Petty Motorsports next season.
— desdebogota.com (@desde_bogota) October 25, 2017
Wallace will become the first full-time African American driver since Wendell Scott drove back in 1971.
Much will be made about the social significance of his race, but Richard Petty says that had nothing to do with it.
“We looked at the talent,” Petty said (ESPN). “We looked at the way he handled the fans, how he handled the sponsor deals, all that kind of stuff.
“I didn’t care what color was [or] where he come from. … One thing I like about Bubba, he didn’t come in for the publicity, he came in to drive a race car and that’s what we want him to do.”
Wallace does have four Cup Series starts to his name. He did well in each race (three top-20 finishes and an 11th place finish). He has six Truck Series wins on his record. Most of his experience has come in the Xfinity Series. During his 85 Xfinity starts he has six top-5s and 35 top-10s.
The team has not said who it will use as a manufacturer next season nor has it specified any sponsors.
“We’ll let you know later on,” Petty said. “That will be another announcement.”