Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr announced on Thursday that he would not return to Richard Petty Motorsports and the famed No. 43 for the 2021 season.
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 10, 2020
Richard Petty Motorsports said in a statement, “Earlier this morning, Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr., informed Richard Petty Motorsports that he will not be returning for the 2021 NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) season. We will complete this season with Wallace behind the wheel of the No. 43 team. We will announce our new driver in the near future.
This is an interesting development because Wallace is leaving the team in which he also has an ownership stake, turning down an additional ownership stake had he re-signed with RPM. At the moment, the only other team offer which has been made public has been by Chip Ganassi Racing for Wallace to take over the reins of the No. 42 McDonald’s Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE in 2021.
While the safe bet for Wallace would have been to maintain his position at Richard Petty Motorsports, choosing not to return is not merely a huge leap of faith, it may very well be a necessary one. It is a similar situation to when Ricky Craven left Larry Hedrick’s team at the end of 1996 because he had an opportunity to drive for Hendrick Motorsports. It was a chance he needed to ensure success for the next chapter of his career.
Bubba has a bright future ahead of him in NASCAR’s top series. The 26-year-old native of Mobile, Alabama is about to take the next step towards success, but the question now remains:
Will Bubba be behind the wheel of the No. 42 McDonald’s Chevrolet next season, or will he end up behind the wheel of Hendrick Motorsports’ famed No. 48?