Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Richard Petty Motorsports announces six-race sponsor for Darrell Wallace Jr.

Leave a comment

World Wide Technology will sponsor Darrell Wallace Jr.‘s No. 43 Richard Petty Motorsports Chevrolet for six races as part of a partnership with the team, it was announced Tuesday.

World Wide Technology will sponsor Wallace at Kansas (May 12), Sonoma (June 24), Indianapolis (Sept. 9), Las Vegas (Sept. 16), Charlotte (Sept. 30) and Dover (Oct. 7).

World Wide Technology will provide data analytics consulting and technology solutions to help improve the team’s performance. World Wide Technology will embed a team of its data scientists within the organization and use analysis of sensor, environmental and other data to optimize the team’s performance on the track.

“Technology is always changing in our sport,” said Brian Moffitt, chief executive officer for Richard Petty Motorsports, in a statement. “The amount of data available and collected by teams during test sessions and race weekends is staggering and could be overwhelming. Our partnership with World Wide Technology will help ensure our team maximizes the knowledge available in this collection of data so we stay ahead of what’s happening in our sport.”

With the announcement, RPM is looking for a primary sponsor for 8-10 races this season.

 and on Facebook

Darrell Wallace Jr. hopes to do more than replicate Daytona 500 result at Talladega

Getty Images
Leave a comment

According to Darrell Wallace Jr.‘s birth certificate, Talladega Superspeedway is his home track.

Wallace, who lived in Mobile, Alabama, until he was 2, will make his first Cup start at the 2.66-mile track in Sunday’s GEICO 500.

“I just have my Aunt and Uncle still live down here,” Wallace said Friday. “It’s right in their backyard, so it’s good for this to be my ‘home track’ if you say. … I don’t really remember much at all, but that is what it says on the birth certificate and it’s good to have those ties and have those roots here.”

Sunday’s race will be Wallace’s third on a restrictor-plate track in Cup competition. The last was a big deal for the 24-year-old driver, as he finished second in the Daytona 500.

The rookie driver will try to replicate that result and then some in order to score his first Cup win.

“You can’t really expect it to go as smooth as that went although that wasn’t smooth at all,” Wallace said. “You don’t know what you are going to get. You don’t know who is going to play nice, who is going to rough up some feathers and go from there. I don’t know. I’m just keeping an open mind about it.”

Wallace isn’t driving the same car he had at Daytona. The battered No. 43 Chevrolet is part of an auction of Richard Petty memorabilia.

“This is a new car for us and we were a really good push car at Daytona and a lot of people said that throughout the garage, so we will see if we have those same characteristics or if we are better out front this time,” Wallace said. “It would be nice to just be out front the whole time.”

Wallace is two races removed from being out front for the first time after leading six laps at Bristol. It was part of a rejuvenated performance by the No. 43 team following the off-weekend for Easter. Wallace has finished eighth (Texas), 16th (Bristol) and 25th (Richmond) since the break. Between Daytona and Texas he failed to finish better than 20th or on the lead lap.

“I think we are hitting on some things,” Wallace said. “(Crew chief) Drew (Blickensderfer) and I had talked about that last weekend in Richmond. We are a much better team after that first break that we had on Easter Sunday. We definitely needed that to regroup and come back with a different game plan and it’s showing. Richmond was kind of a head scratcher for us, but we are here focused on Talladega hoping we have the same result, just one spot better than Daytona.”

The Daytona result does give Wallace “a little bit of confidence.”

“I’m just trying to remember what in the heck I did,” Wallace said. “Good graces were on our side. Hopefully, we still have some of that good graces on our side for this race this weekend.”

Darrell Wallace Jr. leads first laps of Cup career, ‘devastated’ with Bristol result

Getty Images
2 Comments

Darrell Wallace Jr. gave fans his “raw” response to the Food City 500 that saw the rookie driver lead the first laps of his Cup career, but finish 16th after falling off in the closing laps at Bristol Motor Speedway.

In a video recorded in his RV after the race, an emotional Wallace was “devastated, absolutely devastated” with the outcome.

After starting 20th on Sunday, Wallace managed to finish 10th in Stage 2 for his second top-10 stage finish of the season. His first came in the Daytona 500.

The driver of Richard Petty Motorsports’ No. 43 Chevrolet passed Brad Keselowski to take the lead on Lap 375. Six laps later, Wallace lost the lead to eventual race winner Kyle Busch. Wallace then slowly fell through the field before he eventually was lapped.

“That last caution came out (with 30 laps to go) and we were struggling with left front problems there late in runs, locking up easily, but still was able to make decent ground,” Wallace said immediately after the race. “Then all of a sudden it went away there and man, just blindsided there by that.”

The blindsided feel hadn’t left Wallace in his motorhome.

“I don’t know what happened, I have no idea,” Wallace said. “My guys gave me an absolute great car. We went up there and led our first laps in a Cup race and holy (expletive) I don’t know what went wrong. My mind is about 1,000 mph right now just trying to figure out what in the hell went wrong.”

Wallace’s finish came a week after his earned his second top 10 of the year at Texas Motor Speedway. Wallace said he expected a “solid” top 10 or even a top five at Bristol.

“I was pumped, I was excited,” Wallace said of leading his first Cup laps in his 12th career start. “I’m just as shook as all of you guys. … We went from leading the race to probably the absolute worst car out there. My mind is blown right now.”

Wallace’s six laps led were the first for RPM since Aric Almirola led two in the 2017 Daytona 500. They were the first laps led at Bristol since Brian Scott led five laps in 2016.

Wallace’s No. 43 car was sponsored by STP and had a paint scheme he helped design.

“(Gave them) a run they deserved, not a finish they deserved,” Wallace said. “We still got momentum on our side.”

Darrell Wallace Jr.’s Daytona 500 car to be auctioned off

Richard Petty Motorsports
3 Comments

Next month many items from the historic career of Richard Petty will be auctioned off in Las Vegas, including multiple cars and trophies.

Now a more recent piece of Petty history has been added to the docket.

The battered and bruised No. 43 Chevrolet that Darrell Wallace Jr. drove to a historic second-place finish in the Daytona 500 will be up for auction May 12 at the Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino.

MORE: Click here for the Petty auction catalogue. 

Wallace, who finished behind Austin Dillon, became the highest-placing African-American driver ever in the 500 in his first start in the race.

Wallace’s car, which was damaged on the last lap from contact with Denny Hamlin and the wall, joins items including the 1974 Dodge Charger that Petty drove to his fifth Daytona 500 win.

“This car is always going to be special to me,” Wallace said in a press release. “It was my first Daytona 500 and was such an emotional race. This car was the best place for me to be. It was an amazing day with this car.”

The car is signed by Wallace and estimated to sell between for $70,000 – $90,000.

 and on Facebook

Darrell Wallace Jr. earns first top 10 since Daytona 500

2 Comments

After taking the checkered flag in Sunday’s Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway, Darrell Wallace Jr. gave crew chief Drew Blickensderfer a reassuring message.

Wallace joked that he shouldn’t listen to the Twitter “trolls.” Blickensderfer still had a job for another week.

Wallace was in a good mood. For the first time since his historic second-place finish in the Daytona 500, Wallace had finished in the top 10.

The No. 43 Chevrolet placed eighth in the O’Reilly Auto Parts 500. It’s his only finish higher than 20th in the six races since Daytona.

“Hell yeah, we needed that,” Wallace said. “The guys did a hell of a job all weekend long. I thought we had pretty decent speed and a lot of people in the garage were like ‘Your car is pretty good, so just don’t mess it up.’ ”

Wallace started 15th and thanks to attrition and wrecks throughout the day, stayed just outside the top 10 most of the race.

Late in the final stage, Wallace, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and Ryan Newman were the only drivers left in a green-flag run who had not pitted.

Newman slammed into the Turn 1 wall with 34 laps to go. After pitting, Wallace restarted fourth before falling to eighth.

“Drew did a great job doing some pit strategy on that last call to get us out there to fourth,” Wallace said. “I don’t know if we were on the splitter on that last run, but she just wouldn’t turn going down into the corners and gave up a couple of spots. I will beat myself up over that one, but still walking away with my (second) top 10 in the Cup Series is pretty good. Really good day for us. We had some prospects on the box, so I think that went a long way as well. But man, what a good day, what a good weekend.”

Wallace also finished on the lead lap for the first time since Daytona.

The early stretch of his rookie season bottomed out two weeks ago at Martinsville, where he placed 34th, 14 laps down after multiple unscheduled pit stops and a visit to the garage for repairs.

Wallace drew attention midrace when he jockeyed for the free pass spot with Kevin Harvick.

“I will see if I get a text from him later, but I think he knew the circumstances there,” Wallace said. “He knew I wanted that more than him, and I think we ended up both getting it.  I don’t know how. That was fun. That shows how much speed we had in our car, but it also shows the product of racing here at Texas because it’s hard to pass.”