Darrell Wallace Jr.
Richard Petty Motorsports
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Richard Petty Motorsports welcomes Wallace back for season two in the No. 43 Chevrolet. Last season's Rookie of the Year candidate started strong out of the gates with his runner-up finish in the Daytona 500, but it was a much different story from there on out. The Mobile, Alabama native labored to just two more Top 10s during the season for a total of three for the campaign. Wallace's 24.5 average finish over the course of last season resulted in a 28th-place finish in the final driver standings. We expect some marginal improvement for this driver and team over last season. After all, Aric Almirola was piloting this same car to six or seven Top 10s per year and high teen to low 20 standings finishes for many seasons. Wallace has similar potential. Crew chief Drew Blickensderfer will continue calling the shots as we see this driver continue to grow this season. Read Past Outlooks
Leads Second Daytona 500 Practice
February 9, 2019
Wallace Jr. was fastest in Saturday afternoon's second practice for the Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway. He turned a fast lap of 195.020 mph.
The No. 43 Chevrolet picked up some speed in Saturday's second practice for the Daytona 500. He showed the way with Ty Dillon in the No. 13 Chevrolet coming in second in lap times. It appears Wallace has good speed in his machine, and will challenge for the pole position in Sunday's Daytona 500 pole qualifying.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Wallace will finally get his crack at the top level of NASCAR in 2018. He takes over the No. 43 Chevrolet of Richard Petty Motorsports and fills the seat that Aric Almirola vacated. Wallace comes over from Roush Fenway Racing's Xfinity Series team where in five seasons he managed 35 Top-10 finishes and grabbed a top standings finish of seventh-place in 2015. He made four relief appearances for Almirola last season in the No. 43 Ford during his back injury hiatus. The 24-year-old driver performed impressively in those outings collecting two Top-15 and three Top-20 finishes. The relief duty served as an audition for Richard Petty Motorsports, and they saw all they needed to see to give Wallace the ride for 2018. RPM will shift from Ford to Chevrolet in the upcoming season, so Wallace and this team have lots of upside.
Wallace's 2016 season failed to measure up to expectations in a few ways. His Top 10 totals dropped from 14 to nine over the previous year, and he slipped from seventh to 11th in the overall driver standings over 2015. Once again he was held out of victory lane and saw his average finish drop from 11.8 to 15.7 year-over-year. The downturn in performance was disappointing and saw Wallace nowhere near making the Chase for the Cup playoff. Roush Fenway Racing is in a bit of turmoil right now and it's showing up in this race team. Wallace will return for another full schedule in 2017 although not much is known about the team's makeup or the sponsorship package. This young driver will likely face some headwinds again in his pursuit of success in the Xfinity Series.
Wallace didn’t have quite the season we expected for his first full-time effort in the Xfinity Series last year. He claimed no wins and only 14 Top-10 finishes in a season that lacked a lot of week-to-week consistency. Wallace only led 85 total laps during his rookie campaign, so it seemed this team lacked some speed when compared to others. The young driver will get a new crew chief in season two. Matt Puccia takes over atop the No. 6 team’s war wagon and will guide Wallace to hopefully a better season in 2016. While victories are probably a slim hope at this point, we would expect to see a generous increase in Top-5 and Top-10 finishes in the upcoming campaign.
The most dominant car and team in the last five years of Nationwide Series competition return in 2013. While the driver lineup is still in flux at this point, it’s clear that Joe Gibbs Racing star Busch could return for a few events this season. Outside of Busch the driver lineup should include a few Sprint Cup Series drivers and youngster Darrell Wallace Jr. This strong team racked up a series-leading seven victories and 28 Top-10 finishes last season and that was with a rotating driver lineup as well. The 18-year-old driver Wallace picked up three Top 10’s in four starts with this team, and that speaks volumes of the top car in the Nationwide Series.
More Fantasy News
Leads Afternoon Las Vegas Testing
February 1, 2019
Wallace Jr. was fastest in the afternoon session of Day 1 testing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Thursday. He turned a fast lap of 178.253 mph.
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Crew Chief Named
January 31, 2019
Richard Petty Motorsports has promoted lead engineer, Derek Stamets, to lead the No. 43 team and driver Wallace Jr. in 2019, motorsport.com reports.
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U.S. Air Force to Continue Sponsorship
December 14, 2018
The Air Force and Richard Petty Motorsports announced they will continue their 11th consecutive year of partnership together in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2019. The Air Force will continue to be a two-race primary sponsor of the famed No. 43 with driver Wallace Jr., as well as a major associate throughout the season, Richard Petty Motorsports PR reports.
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Turns in 10th-place finish in Can-Am 500
November 12, 2018
Wallace Jr. turned in one of his best performances of the season Sunday at ISM Raceway. He would finish 10th-place in the Can-Am 500.
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Suffers Scary Crash at Pocono
July 29, 2018
Wallace Jr. crashed and finished 33rd in the Gander Outdoors 400 at Pocono Raceway Sunday afternoon.
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