Darrell Wallace Jr. has signed an extension to drive for Richard Petty Motorsports through 2020, the team announced on Saturday.
Wallace opened this season with a stunning second-place finish in the Daytona 500.
His NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victory at Martinsville in 2013 was the first for an African-American driver on one of NASCAR’s top three tours since 1963. Wallace, who is better known by his nickname “Bubba,” was the first African-American driver to start in the Daytona 500 since 1969.
The results have been uneven since then, but apparently enough to convince Richard Petty to give him a longer look. He’s had just one other top-10 finish in 20 races this season and sits 24th in the points standings.
“We like a little bit of what he’s doing so I think we’re going to hire him again for next year,” Petty said from Pocono Raceway on Saturday morning.
“This lets me kind of relax a little bit and really digest and focus on the race cars,” said Wallace, 24. “There’s no need to go out and search. It’s just a matter of making this team better.”
A six-time winner in the Trucks series, Wallace joined the top-level series as an injury sub for Aric Almirola last season, making four starts.
Now, he will drive the No. 43 made iconic by Petty for the foreseeable future.
“I’m enjoying the hell out of this year,” Wallace said earlier this season. “I’m having so much fun, and some weeks are good. Some weeks are not what we want, but we’re continuing and growing and learning from it, and that is all you can do.”
–Field Level Media