Two Octobers ago, Richard Petty Motorsports announced that Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. was the new driver of the No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet made famous by team co-owner, “The King” Richard Petty. Wallace, then 24, had broken barriers and racing records throughout his rise within the sport.
Seen right in this undated photo with his parents on his Instagram page, Wallace Jr. is a graduate of both NASCAR’s Drive for Diversity and NASCAR Next programs. He became the first African-American driver in 50 years to win a NASCAR national touring series feature since NASCAR Hall of Fame driver Wendell Scott.
“This is a dream come true to race for ‘The King’, Richard Petty Motorsports, the iconic No. 43 and for all the fans and partners that have and continue to support this team,” said Wallace in a statement. “I believe in what Richard Petty Motorsports is doing and their desire to win races. I believe this team, its partners and fans are ready to see some great things again. I’m humbled that they have chosen me to take that next step with them.”
In the summer of 2018, Wallace and his team at Richard Petty Motorsports announced a deal with World Wide Technology (WWT), an information technology and data analytics company co-founded by David L. Steward, who won the Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) in 2012.
According to SportTechie, during those races, the No. 43 car and team had the WWT branding and the company’s “Silicon Valley in St. Louis” tagline. In exchange, WWT will help Wallace’s team improve performance by providing data analytics consulting and technology solutions, SportTechie said.
“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 a statement. “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.”
At the Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday, Wallace and No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet finished 14th in the first stage. In the second stage, he was one position better in 13th, according to FrontStretch.