Bubba Wallace leaving Richard Petty Motorsports at season’s end

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bubba Wallace, loaded with numerous new sponsors he individually signed, will depart Richard Petty Motorsports at the finish of the year and choose his new wealth elsewhere.

Wallace, who has driven Petty’s iconic No. 43 the last 3 seasons, instructed the group Thursday he would not indication a contract extension.

“This was not an simple conclusion as I have very little but the utmost respect for Richard Petty and his relatives,” Wallace claimed in a statement, “but I believe that it is really time for someone else to just take around the No. 43.

“Thank you to the King and every person at Richard Petty Motorsports for supplying me the opportunity to start off my Cup Collection job. I’ve developed so a great deal as a driver and as a individual due to the fact joining them. We’ve got 9 a lot more races collectively, and I hope we can complete the 2020 time on a higher observe.”

Wallace, who is 26, has a profession-best five prime-10 finishes this season and is rated a occupation-best 23rd in the Cup Collection standings. Wallace did not make the playoffs in any of his three Cup seasons and is winless at NASCAR’s top level.

Wallace in 2013 grew to become the 2nd Black driver to earn a national collection NASCAR race when he won the Truck Sequence event at Martinsville Speedway. He is the only total-time Black driver at NASCAR’s countrywide level.

Wallace this time has taken an lively purpose in pushing for racial inclusion and equality, pushing NASCAR to ban the Accomplice flag at its races earlier this year. He parlayed that into quite a few sponsorship promotions that have been negotiated in a way that Wallace could consider them with him if he still left RPM.

Amongst his new associates are Door Sprint, Columbia Sportswear Co., Funds App, and a particular offer with Beats by Dre. He’s also acquired an affiliation with McDonald’s, one of the sponsors at Chip Ganassi Racing.

It can be not apparent the place Wallace is headed simply because a number of significant teams with seats accessible advised The Linked Push they were being not in perform for the driver. Wallace’s agent did not return a ask for for remark from AP.

RPM, in the meantime, reported it would end the year with Wallace and announce its ideas at a afterwards day. The team has experienced difficulty landing sponsorship — a single of the good reasons the No. 43 has struggled to be aggressive — and there has been speculation the workforce would be absorbed by a new owner.

The crew claimed in a statement, “We appear forward to the future chapter in the earning for the legendary No. 43 staff. We will announce our new driver in the future.”

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