Third-year NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace announced this afternoon that he will be leaving Richard Petty Motorsports.
RPM is the only team Wallace has raced for during his time in the NASCAR Cup Series. The 26-year-old driver has finished in the top five once and in the top 10 five times during this 2020 racing season.
When Wallace spoke out against the Confederate flag and in support of Black Lives Matter earlier in the summer, Petty threw his support behind the young driver. Wallace did not indicate where he would be taking his talents next.
“This was not an easy decision as I have nothing but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his family, but I believe it’s time for someone else to take over the reins of the No. 43,” Wallace wrote in his announcement. “Thank you to the King and everyone at Richard Petty Motorsports for giving me the opportunity to start my Cup Series career. I’ve grown so much as a driver and as a person since joining them. We’ve got nine more races together, and I hope we can finish the 2020 season on a high note.”
— Bubba Wallace (@BubbaWallace) September 10, 2020
The reactions from fans to Wallace’s announcement has been mixed. Some are excited to see him get another opportunity, while others think he should have remained more loyal to Petty.
Kind of bittersweet to see Bubba Wallace leave RPM. Was looking forward to seeing Bubba turn that organization around into a competitive team. But some things must come to an end unfortunately. Hoping Bubba lands a ride for next year 🤘🏽 pic.twitter.com/EM43ofmaHm
— Justin Champagne (@ChampagneRacin) September 10, 2020
@BubbaWallace sorry to see you going out of the 43,it’s been real. Best of luck in the future and hope you get to compete for it all. Wish you coulda stayed @RPMotorsports #nascar #bubbawallace #petty
— Robert Morrison (@AlphaWork503) September 10, 2020
I truly feel you owe more to the King then to do him dirty like this. Leaving RPM high and dry without sponsorship is going to cause them to close the doors. He gave you your opportunity and now when they needed you, you dropped them. Not a good look
— Eric Davies (@EricDavies01) September 10, 2020
Hendrick shelves the 48 and brings back the 5 for Wallace. 42 would be a lateral move. Not much speed there either. CGR cares more about Indy than NASCAR. Hendrick obvious choice. Just not sure about the #
— Randomish (@Randomish_Host) September 10, 2020
If he wasn’t performing in the 43 then he won’t be performing somewhere else. The issue is this … there are simply better drivers in the xfinity series that could put the 43 in a better place. It is what it is. Just looking at the drivers ability there are better drivers.
— American Patriot (@appstateben) September 10, 2020
— Jackie Helton (@JackieLHelton) September 10, 2020
The only African-American driver competing at the highest level of NASCAR, Wallace recently signed a number of endorsement deals, including with Beats by Dre and DoorDash.