The United States Air Force announced Monday, Dec. 18, that the organization will continue its partnership with Richard Petty Motorsports and the No. 43 in sponsoring rookie Darrell Wallace Jr. for two 2018 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.
The races will be Fourth of July weekend at Daytona International Speedway and Veterans Day weekend at Phoenix International Raceway.
“The Air Force is excited to partner with Richard Petty Motorsports once again and this year we are ‘enlisting’ a new driver, Darrell ‘Bubba’ Wallace, Jr.,” said Timothy Hanson, chief of the Air Force Recruiting Service’s strategic marketing division, in a press statement. “NASCAR and other motorsports align well with our target audience’s interests and the Air Force’s commitment to teamwork and technology.”
Wallace will be driving the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 as part of RPM’s new alliance with Richard Childress Racing.
“I’m proud to join the men and women of the Air Force and represent them on and off the track,” said Wallace. “I’m also really looking forward to meeting the next wave of airmen and play my part to engage, inspire and bring awareness to the unique opportunities which lie within our United States Air Force. I’ve had the opportunity to spend time with some airmen and they are the best at what they do. I admire them for their service and the protections they provide our country.”
The USAF has been a sponsor in NASCAR’s top series since 2001, and it has been with RPM since 2009, adorning the car of the team’s last win, a rain-delayed July 2014 victory in Daytona for Aric Almirola.
“The U.S. Air Force has been partners with us for a long time,” said team co-owner Richard Petty. “It’s a special partnership for us because we get to thank the men and women who protect our freedom each weekend but also get to talk to new recruits about the Air Force and what opportunities they have. It’s been great for both of us.”
Other known sponsors for 2018 are Click n Close for three races, including the Daytona 500, and STP for several races.
Wallace has four MENCS starts, all of which came in 2017 while filling in for an injured Almirola. His best finish is 11th at Kentucky Speedway.