NASCAR America: How will Bubba Wallace fare in Cup with Petty, No. 43?

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It’s Bubba’s time.

Richard Petty Motorsports has handed the keys to the iconic No. 43 Ford to Darrell Wallace Jr., even though almost everyone calls him by his colorful nickname, “Bubba.”

Wallace will drive for RPM for the first time in Sunday’s race at Pocono. How long he remains in the No. 43 will mainly depend upon how long it takes for the injured Aric Almirola to return to full health. Best estimate: probably another two months.

So during that time, Wallace — who becomes the first African-American driver to race in the Cup series since Bill Lester in 2006 — will have at least six races or more to prove himself in NASCAR’s premier series.

The other thing Wallace has to wonder is what happens when Almirola does return to the RPM fold?

Will Wallace then return to the No. 6 Roush Fenway Racing Xfinity Series team — which has suspended operations due to lack of sponsorship — or will he remain at RPM in another capacity, or will he become a free agent?

Wallace’s goal for Sunday’s race at Pocono is simple: he wants to make smart decisions and try to finish in the top 20.

Can he do that? The NASCAR America crew gave their take on Wallace’s great opportunity in Tuesday’s edition of the show.