With Aric Almirola expected to miss the majority of the regular season with a back injury, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. will get to make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Debut.
Roush Fenway Racing announced Monday that Wallace will drive the No. 43 Ford Fusion for Richard Petty Motorsports in Sunday’s Axalta 400 at Pocono Raceway. Wallace will replace Almirola, who will miss at least two months with a fractured T5 vertebrae.
“We are very proud of Bubba and his development at Roush Fenway Racing,” Roush Fenway president Steve Newmark said in a statement. “We believe that Bubba has tremendous potential and will continue to excel in NASCAR’s top series. He has been a great representative of our organization both on and off the track and we’ve enjoyed being part of his growth as a driver. Our entire team is excited to see him take the next step in his career and make his Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series debut in the No. 43.”
Newmark said Wallace’s transition to RPM is a testament to the strong relationships between Ford-powered Cup teams, of which there now are seven.
Roush Fenway says it will suspend the operation of its No. 6 team in the NASCAR Xfinity Series after Pocono. It will continue to evaluate whether Wallace will be able to run in any more Xfinity races this year, though his primary focus will be on his Cup efforts.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images
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